Has Adam Peters shown his hand with Commanders QB dynamic shift?

Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Has Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters shown his hand with a surprising shift in the team's quarterback dynamic?

The Washington Commanders' quarterback dynamic took an interesting twist thanks to a surprising arrival during free agency. Adam Peters has been busy filling problem holes since the legal tampering period began. He's now got a veteran backup to help lead the franchise into a more prosperous era.

According to reports, the Commanders have agreed to terms with Marcus Mariota on a one-year, $6 million deal that could max out at $10 million depending on incentives. This came on the back of Peters' attempts to lure Sam Darnold - someone he knows from the San Francisco 49ers - before he eventually joined the Minnesota Vikings.

This sent the rumor mill ablaze. While all options are still on the table, Peters might have provided some clues by going in this direction.

Commanders shake things up with Marcus Mariota addition

Let's start with the topic at the forefront of every fan's mind. With the No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Commanders are projected to take a quarterback. If Caleb Williams got No. 1 to the Chicago Bears as expected, the choice is seemingly between Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye.

Jayden Daniels could be the Commanders' choice at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jayden Daniels / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Having a veteran presence on board only supports this projected path further. Mariota won't be coming into the organization to push for starting reps. He'll be tasked with mentoring a young signal-caller through their important transition. In the event disaster strikes, the former Oregon star has the experience to step in at a moment's notice.

Much has also been made on social media about Mariota's particular set of skills. They resemble what Daniels brings to the table much more than Maye all things considered. That might not mean much, but having this continuity will be vital to offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury from a schematic standpoint if the veteran is forced onto the field at any stage.

Of course, it could mean nothing. But this is the time for wild speculation and it's not hard to read between the lines.

However, nothing is guaranteed.

What this means for Sam Howell's future remains to be seen. It doesn't look especially promising given he'll be demoted to No. 3 on the depth chart if the Commanders take a quarterback at No. 2 overall. Perhaps getting something in return for the player via trade is a possibility, but places are filling up. Peters would need to act fast in this scenario.

It's a new era and a fresh set of ideas. The chances of Howell being the starter in 2024 looked slim at best. With the arrival of Mariota, it's diminished to non-existent levels.

The Commanders are currently putting the right pieces in place to become more competitive next season. Peters has brought in some decent acquisitions without breaking the bank. More are expected and the front-office leader boasts nine draft picks - six in the top 102 - to give the roster another boost.

Unless the Commanders solve their complex quarterback conundrum, all this will be for nothing. Peters acquiring Mariota is a small yet vital piece of the puzzle. Something that lends further weight to the momentum building around Daniels being the guy.

Some sections of the fanbase might think this is a little harsh on Howell. But there can be no room for emotional attachment where NFL roster building is concerned.

The plot thickens…