Change is only viable route forward for Commanders after torrid 2023

The winds of changes are howling in Washington...

Josh Harris
Josh Harris / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Change is the only viable course of action as Josh Harris' ownership group looks to get the Washington Commanders back into contention.

The Washington Commanders are in the midst of significant change. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is gone, a new analytics guru is becoming increasingly influential, and Josh Harris' ownership group remains intent on finalizing some huge plans behind the scenes after finally wrestling power from disgraced previous owner Dan Snyder.

This is going to take time. Rarely does an NFL team go from a bottom feeder to a legitimate Super Bowl challenger in one offseason, but Harris and his team of benefactors can lay the foundations for a successful future by hiring the right people and giving them everything needed to mold a competitive roster.

Commanders must hit this offseason out of the park

Change is the only viable route forward for the Commanders. This franchise has accepted mediocrity and treaded water for too long. Fans deserve better than what they've been forced to support for the best part of two decades.

These wheels have been in motion for weeks. The Commanders are rich in draft assets and could have around $100 million to spend in free agency once some established figures become salary-cap casualties. That's called planning for the future.

A once toxic head coaching job is now alluring. This sentiment was echoed by Jeremy Fowler and John Keim of ESPN, who revealed the front office didn't celebrate a deadline trade haul for Montez Sweat and Chase Young with their futures in significant jeopardy.

"The front office, meanwhile, has found it difficult to celebrate the acquisition of draft picks someone else will probably be making. If Harris cleans house in January -- or earlier -- those five selections in the top 100 of the 2024 NFL draft, along with $87 million in estimated cap space, would make the head coach and general manager jobs plenty attractive."

Jeremy Fowler and John Keim, ESPN
Commanders
Magic Johnson / Tasos Katopodis/GettyImages

This is almost a blank canvas for any incoming figures in positions of power. More than likely, this will see a new head coach and general manager forming a relationship from scratch and working from the bottom up to get this franchise back to prominence.

As a lifelong supporter, Harris understands the frustration. He'll also know talk is cheap.

It would be a surprise if a plan wasn't already being formed. This includes general manager candidates, a head coaching shortlist, draft prospects of interest, and which players are worthy of receiving contract extensions.

Harris recently preached patience, which is understandable. We live in a reactionary world where everyone wants immediate gratification. This is seldom seen in the NFL, but fans want to feel some semblance of optimism that brighter days are ahead.

There's no doubt Harris' ownership group has learned a great deal about the football operation this season. They'll also have a pretty good indication of what more is needed to get the Commanders out of their slump and into the playoff picture.

Change is coming. It's inevitable at this point. How the Commanders approach such a pivotal offseason could either speed up the rebuilding process or set them back considerably.

Given Harris' previous experience of managing sports franchises from the very top and Magic Johnson's Midas touch, the confidence they'll do what needs to be done remains extremely high.

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