Commanders News: Sale urgency, Sam Howell, power rankings and Montez Sweat

Which Washington Commanders news stories are hitting the headlines as the quietest section of the NFL offseason is officially upon us?

Montez Sweat
Montez Sweat / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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There are still plenty of rumors and speculation surrounding the Washington Commanders even at this stage of the 2023 preparation period. A scenario that won't come as the greatest shock to anyone that's followed the team in detail over recent months and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down just yet.

Among the stories generating column inches recently include how Sam Howell is getting better, where the Commanders stand in post-minicamp power rankings, the potential contract extension for pass-rusher Montez Sweat, and the pending sale approval bringing an increased sense of urgency across the franchise.

Let's delve into each topic in more detail.

Commanders in the power rankings

It's so hard to gauge how the Washington Commanders will fare in 2023. The roster looks decent and the coaching staff has the right credentials, but quarterback Sam Howell is the big unknown and there's no telling how certain key individuals are going to handle the huge pressure increase once Josh Harris' ownership group has their $6.05 billion purchase approved.

This uncertainty was also highlighted by Dalton Miller from Pro Football Network, who placed the Commanders at No. 19 in his post-minicamp power rankings. However, he added that Ron Rivera's squad will be difficult to beat if their defense takes another leap forward.

"There are few teams in the NFL more confounding than the Commanders. Jacoby Brissett played the best football of his career in Cleveland a season ago. If he played that way again for Washington, he’d give them a chance to compete for a Wild Card spot in the NFC. The problem is the Commanders’ defense has always been talented, but they’ve also been incredibly inconsistent over the past few seasons. If they play like they did in 2022, they’ll be a tough out this season."

Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network

It all rests on Howell, to be frank. If he's protected well enough and thrives under Eric Bieniemy's guidance, a profitable campaign should follow.