What can the Washington Commanders do to convince coveted head coaching candidate Ben Johnson to join their ambitious project?
The Washington Commanders have been widely linked with Ben Johnson as their search for a new head coach continues. They'll get the chance to state their case to the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator later this week.
According to multiple reports, the Commanders are scheduled to interview Johnson on Friday. He's also got confirmed meetings with the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks. Numerous others have sent in requests. He is the most coveted candidate in this year's cycle after growing his blossoming reputation during a historic season from the Lions so far.
Commanders can sell Ben Johnson on their ambitious project
Johnson could have his pick of destinations when push comes to shove. The Panthers are extremely high on the play-caller. They'd have appointed him last year had he not decided to see things out in Detroit. Team owner David Tepper is unlikely to go down without a fight.
That's why Washington's meeting with Johnson will be the coach interviewing them as much as the new brain trust running the rule over his credentials. He'll need to be convinced this storied franchise is heading in the right direction. That the stain of Dan Snyder won't have any lingering impact on their desire to get the Commanders back where they belong.
The early signs are positive thanks to the arrival of general manager Adam Peters, who left an incredible impression during his introductory presser on Wednesday. It'll take much more. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Peters spoke about the aligned vision needed between himself and the head coach. A lot of responsibilities are coming the way of their chosen individual. The chance to mold a roster capable of challenging consistently should be intriguing for Johnson despite various other enticing openings around the league.
How can the Commanders convince Johnson to take the plunge? By stating their short and long-term objectives effectively. By declaring their intent to invest and build the right away. There will be no cutting corners under new ownership. It might take time, but Washington has positioned itself for a quick rebuild if everything comes together.
This is another selling point. The Commanders have the league's most salary-cap space. It stands at a projected $75.74 million currently. This is likely to increase further once further transactions become official.
Washington also has nine draft selections in 2024. Six of those are in the top 102. They also have the No. 2 overall selection, allowing them to select one of the top quarterback prospects depending on their evaluations.
Couple this with DC being one of the biggest markets and the chance to wake a sleeping giant, the allure is obvious. Tepper and the Panthers will throw his almost unlimited wealth at the situation, but the environment might be more important to Johnson as he gets set for his well-deserved promotion.
Besides, if the Commanders can get Johnson into a room with Josh Harris, Peters, and Magic Johnson, the chances of him accepting the position are high. But this is far from a done deal with many other outstanding candidates also getting a look.
Johnson is ready. The Commanders are poised to rise from obscurity. That seems like a match made in heaven to me.