Washington has a new nickname. It's still searching for a new quarterback.
The Commanders are not going to be shy about their opening under center in 2022. After failing to get even one full game out of Ryan Fitzpatrick and being forced to hand the rest of the season to Taylor Heinicke, Ron Rivera is not about to sign up for the same outcome. He also thinks Washington might be an attractive destination for a quality passer.
"We'd like to believe we would be a viable option for a lot of (quarterbacks)," Rivera told The Athletic on Tuesday. "We understand what the capital will take to bring a type (of) player like that here. We believe we have a lot to offer."
Washington can offer a couple of exciting pass catchers in Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, and a backfield that includes Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. The Commanders have a top-10 offensive line capable of protecting whoever decides to make the move to the nation's capital. And they have a defense that has plenty of young talent and hopes to be better after ranking 22nd in 2021.
Though it may sound far-fetched, Rivera sees some similarities between his squad and each of the last two Super Bowl-winning teams.
"For the most part, (the Buccaneers and Rams) were in place and went and got their quarterback," Rivera said. "I believe we have the makings of a good football team. We have to be able to have the pieces in place to say that, and I believe we do."
Are the Commanders a Tom Brady away from winning a title? We won't go that far at this point. But Washington did get hot down the stretch in 2020 and sneak into the playoffs, and they weren't the easiest out for the eventual champion Buccaneers on Super Wild Card Weekend. Washington's 7-10 finish in 2021 wasn't too far off the mark needed to reach the postseason, either.
Perhaps now is the time to strike.
"If you feel like you need to get those pieces, and you can get those pieces using draft capital or whatever capital you have in terms of player trades and all that good stuff, why not do it?" Rivera said.
'Tis the season for vague discussions, lofty goals and the benefit of available time to delay any real-world judgment of coach and executive performance. All 32 teams -- including the Rams -- are trying to get better and promise to be thorough in their approach.
As we learned from listening to Steelers outgoing GM Kevin Colbert on Monday, no names, please. At least not all of the names. There's no point in tipping your hand when the possibilities truly are endless -- and the quarterbacking Jenga tower has yet to lose a plank.
"We're more than likely going to have a veteran on the roster, more than likely (will) have another veteran, (and) more than likely have an opportunity to have a rookie on the roster as well," the coach said.
With the 11th overall pick in April's draft, Washington is in an ideal position to potentially snag a quarterback of the future. The Commanders could also add a veteran or two, or swing a major trade for the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo or someone else. Armed with nearly $32 million in projected cap (per Over The Cap), the Commanders have multiple avenues available to them. The entire picture could look a whole lot different come May.
The overarching lesson learned this week: Rivera's ready to roll and won't sit by idly this offseason.
"If you look at what's happened the last couple of years, you would say, yeah, that's the thing to do," Rivera said. "There's a lot of options out there right now. Do any of them come to fruition? I can't tell you that. But what I can tell you is we're vetting every possibility."