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Commanders GM Adam Peters discusses upcoming HC search, building team around 'cornerstone' players

The Commanders have found their next general manager. Now it's time to start putting the other pieces of the puzzle into place.

Speaking to the media for the first time since being named the new GM of the Washington Commanders, Adam Peters on Tuesday discussed the challenge ahead for him and the new ownership group to lead the team through a rebuild and into what they hope can be a new era of football in the D.C. area.

At the top of the list of tasks for Peters is the anticipated selection of a head coach to take the reins after last week's firing of Ron Rivera, a process which owner Josh Harris had said would kick into gear once they had their new GM.

Though Peters said he had not yet started interviewing candidates, he already has ideas of what he wants to see, expressing that they would not be limiting themselves to one specific type of candidate.

"We're looking for the best leader for this team, for the Washington Commanders," Peters told reporters. "So we'll have set criteria that we're going to be aligned in that vision, and it's not going to be in a box, it's not going to be offense, it's not going to be defense, it's going to be the best leader for this organization."

Once the head coach decision is resolved, Washington can concentrate on what needs to change inside the locker room to turn things around, and through which avenues to address issues.

The Commanders are certainly a team with options at their disposal, entering a critical offseason with the No. 2 overall pick in a draft that figures to display an intriguing set of quarterback options from the college pool, and with an expected $75.3 million in open cap space for 2024, per Over the Cap, the most in the NFL.

When asked about whether the team had started discussing a possible approach to using that coveted pick to assist with the rebuild, Peters deflected, reminding reporters that the draft is still months away, and he needs to focus on the HC search before any deeper discussions can be had.

Peters was similarly non-committal when later asked about the Commanders' quarterback situation specifically.

Washington started at least three different quarterbacks each season from 2018 to 2022, and though they got some stability at the position in 2023 with second-year signal-caller Sam Howell, his performance wasn't consistent enough to squash questions over whether Washington could go to the draft for another option.

But while there is potential for change at the QB position, Peters did acknowledge that there are still solid players at other positions on the roster to build a foundation around.

"I believe that there's a few cornerstone pieces on this roster, I believe we have a lot of work to do, and that's just evaluating everybody, and that's going to start with the coaches," he said. "Once the coaches come in, we hire a head coach, and we sit down together with the personnel department, and we sit down and evaluate everything, and figure out where we need to be. So that's an ongoing process, I've started a little bit, but we have a lot of work to do."

Peters has the experience of working through a rebuild with a team already, having spent seven years with the 49ers as VP of player personnel and then assistant GM as San Francisco went from a 2-14 record the year before his hiring to advancing to three conference championships and one Super Bowl during his tenure.

Now having assisted in turning the Niners into a championship contender, Peters comes to Washington looking to help this franchise turn over a new leaf, even if it might take some time.

"I think the thing that I could tell you is right away, with the 49ers maybe the results didn't show, but you could see it on the field, and you could see what we were doing on the field, and the fans could feel it and they knew it was turning and we were close," Peters said on Tuesday. "So you can't put timetables on it, but what I can tell you is that you're going to see great competitors, you're going to see a physical team, you're going to be really impressed with what you see on the field."

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