3 ways the Commanders are winning during 2023 offseason

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Daron Payne
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Daron Payne /
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne /

Commanders cemented their culture

There’s been a noticeable culture shift since Ron Rivera became head coach. This bears more significance when it comes to recruitment and retention.

No longer is the Washington Commanders gambling on big-money veterans that could go either way. Instead, they are focusing on rewarding their top stars who’ve come from the college ranks en route to forming a core that can hopefully provide sustained success.

The latest example of this was Daron Payne. Washington made their intentions clear early by placing the defensive tackle under the franchise tag, which was swiftly followed by a long-term extension worth $90 million that also comes with $60 million guaranteed.

This is the more traditional method of approaching personnel around the league. The Commanders have been shrewd in their free-agent incomings, but drafting and developing is the most cost-effective way when it comes to molding a potential contender.

That makes it vitally important Washington hits on the majority of the eight 2023 NFL Draft selections. Their needs are becoming clearer after free agency, so addressing these as a matter of urgency is the only way they’ll stand any chance of making bigger waves within the division.

If not, then they could be staring at a losing season at the worst possible time.