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Commanders GM Adam Peters on process of determining QB future: 'We still have a lot of work to do'

INDIANAPOLIS -- New Commanders general manager Adam Peters was part of a 49ers franchise that took just about every avenue to land quarterbacks. They traded for veterans, signed free agents and used both high picks (trading up for Trey Lance) and low ones (nabbing Brock Purdy in the Mr. Irrelevant slot) to address the position.

Now Peters is being tasked with solidifying that spot in Washington, which has had its share of struggles at the position in recent years. Finding the right person -- or people -- for the job, it turns out, is no snap of the fingers.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Peters said Tuesday from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

The Commanders do have a few things working for them in their search. They have Sam Howell, who has started the past 18 games, returning in 2024. They own the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which appears to feature some very promising QB prospects. They're also oozing salary-cap space if they choose to spend money on a veteran outside the building.

That's the good news. The bad? Picking quarterbacks is hard, Peters said.

"If I knew that answer, I'd be somewhere else," Peters said, "probably retired. ... There's so much more that goes into it besides the tape. If you're evaluating a defensive end, I think we all can see what Nick Bosa or Myles Garrett looks like. At quarterback, there's so much nuance that goes into it besides the talent and skill set and the arm strength and all that."

Peters understands that finding an unquestioned QB starter is the dream scenario, but that taking a carpet-bombing approach to the position might not be a bad idea.

"With really quarterback or any position, it's people evaluating people, so you're going to make mistakes," he said. "It's a matter of [whether] you have a better hit rate, really. In the draft, you try to hit on as many as you can, and the more hits you have -- whether it's the first-round pick or the seventh-round pick, or anywhere in between -- that's how you build your team."

Howell is expected to be at least part of that solution. He led the NFL in interceptions (21) and sacks taken (65) last season but also approached 4,000 yards passing and accounted for 26 combined TDs, rushing and passing.

Peters said he recently "took a walk" with Howell around the Commanders' campus and "got to know him a little bit better, so I feel really good about him, too. So we've got a lot of different things we can do but still really excited about him."

Two other new faces to the franchise, head coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, will also have influence on which quarterbacks the Commanders go with. Kingsbury's ties to possible No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams, spending last season together at USC, make the idea of that pairing an exciting possibility. Williams is also a D.C. native and likely would energize a franchise that hasn't finished above .500 since 2016.

The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 pick and could select Williams before them. If the Bears happen to make the top pick available by trade, do the Commanders have to be in the running? Peters sounds like a man who might just pick up the phone to see what the cost would be.

"Really with anything that could happen in this league, you always want to be involved in it," Peters said. "Whether you actually pull the trigger or not, that's a different story. But you always want to understand what people are looking to do.

"So, you always want to be involved in any of those things, whether you actually pull the trigger at the end. That's when you gather all the information and make the best decision for the team."

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