Can Jacoby Brissett win the Commanders starting QB job in 2023?

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Jacoby Brissett
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Jacoby Brissett /

Can veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett beat out Sam Howell and become the Washington Commanders’ starting option in 2023?

The Washington Commanders weren’t going to make things easy for quarterback Sam Howell this offseason. They are giving the former fifth-round pick a real chance to become the team’s starting option in 2023, but head coach Ron Rivera is keen for the player to earn every rep that might come his way in a competitive environment.

This sentiment was echoed by one particular addition soon after free agency began. Jacoby Brissett came into the fold on a one-year deal worth $8.5 million, which is top-end backup money if Howell is given the keys to the kingdom later this year.

Obviously, Brissett will play an integral role in Howell’s development from a backup into a potential starter. However, the signal-caller will also have serious ambitions about winning the starting job himself all things considered.

Jacoby Brissett joined the Commanders to start in 2023

Brissett played well for the Cleveland Browns last season until Deshaun Watson came back from his lengthy suspension. In 12 games, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just six interceptions within a run-first offense spearheaded by Nick Chubb.

This earned the former North Carolina State standout an impressive 60.0 QBR, coupled with an 88.9 passer rating and an outstanding 82.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. These numbers were in the higher echelons among starting quarterbacks around the league and another sign Brissett hasn’t come here to sit on the sidelines.

There was reportedly high demand for Brissett. So for the veteran to choose the Commanders, he must feel pretty confident about beating out Howell for the job – although he’s already declared his willingness to assist the North Carolina product in whatever way possible.

It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic shakes out during OTAs and the team’s training camp. Both players are fiercely determined, with this added competition sure to bring about a sense of urgency that can hopefully transition across the roster along the way.

The presence of Eric Bieniemy is another major factor in this equation that shouldn’t be overlooked. His influence as an offensive mind is evident in terms of recruitment, so the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator probably banged the table hard for Brissett as a decent fit within his system.

Howell could be the future. This represents the best possible outcome for the Commanders considering his current contract, which is minuscule compared to other starting signal-callers around the NFL.

But the stakes are high for Rivera in 2023 with Washington’s ownership potentially changing hands. So he might opt for a proven performer if the young upstart cannot meet expectations throughout the upcoming preparation period.

Whichever quarterback wins the job in Week 1, they’ll have the confidence of the coaching staff and players. Because Brissett and Howell will have earned the right to lead the Commanders at the beginning of what’s sure to be another eventful campaign.

Both fancy their chances, there’s no getting away from that. And having Bieniemy controlling the offense should ensure they are in the best possible position to thrive despite the increased competitiveness within the NFC East.

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