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Daily Slop - 31 Dec 23: Carrion birds starting to circle GM Martin Mayhew’s office

A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

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Washington Commanders v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

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Articles

Riggo’s Rag

Insider revelations paint bleak picture for Commanders GM Martin Mayhew

Big changes are coming to the Commanders this offseason...

Hiring a new front-office leader allows him to hand-pick his next head coach. Harris and his wealthy team of investors will have their opinions, but the last thing the Commanders need at this critical stage is a meddling owner getting in the way of smart football decisions.

Things have tailed off spectacularly for the Commanders after a promising 2-0 start. The team has won two games since. They’ve been blown out multiple times. Fan disillusionment has grown. The attitude of those within the locker room has been called into question. There is a significant need to solve the quarterback position after Sam Howell’s recent regression.

Yet, the Commanders look like one of the more attractive destinations. It’s a big market. They have a ton of draft capital. They could have over $100 million to spend in free agency. It’s one of the NFL’s storied franchises despite enjoying very little success over the last two decades.

In truth, what happens over the next two games is irrelevant. Decisions within the building have already been made one suspects. Looking at Mayhew’s overall contribution and how the roster looks, it wouldn’t be the biggest shock to see him removed from the equation.


Riggo’s Rag

Commanders quarterback soap opera could take one final (awkward) twist

It’s an increasingly messy situation...

While there is going to be a level of professionalism from both sides, Howell immediately returning to the starting lineup just a few short days after he was all but written off by Rivera is nothing short of unbelievable. On the other hand, considering how the coach has handled the position throughout his four-year reign, it’s not all that surprising.

Rivera’s gambled and lost on countless occasions. Even when it looked like Howell could be the answer, the Commanders failed to address the pathetic protection in front of him. When push came to shove, there was only so much punishment the player could take before it started to knock his confidence.

This cannot be placed on Brissett, who’s looked assured during cameo appearances against the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets. The North Carolina State product will do everything possible to convince the coaching staff he’s ready before tomorrow’s game. It’ll be the biggest talking point in the hours to come, but Fowler’s report indicates it could legitimately go either way.

The Commanders have descended into a parody with Rivera leading the charge. His roster building and culture restoration have been called into question this season. At times, what’s transpired seems more like reality television than what’s typically associated with an NFL franchise.


Sports Illustrated

Commanders Sign Jake Fromm After Jacoby Brissett Injury - NFL Tracker

The Washington Commanders are making moves and noise in the NFL, and we chronicle it all here!

The Washington Commanders are adding reinforcements ahead of their game against the San Francisco 49ers.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Commanders are signing quarterback Jake Fromm to the active roster.

The move comes after Jacoby Brissett was placed on injured reserve, which could mean that Sam Howell will start against the Niners...at 1 p.m. ET.


Burgundy & Gold Report

Wilson Dominated in 2023 | Commanders NFL Draft

Commanders NFL Draft

This year’s linebacker class features some diverse talent and NC State linebacker Payton Wilson might just be the most intriguing.

Payton Wilson

6’4” 238 lbs | LB | N.C. ST

Draft Proj Late 2nd-3rd Rd

Career Stats (47 Games)- 402 TAK (202 solo), 48 TFL, 15 SACKS, 7 INTs, 13 PD, 1 FF, 2 FR & 1 TD

2023 Stats (12 Games)- 138 TAK (69 solo), 17.5 TFL, 6 SACKS, 3 INTs, 6 PD, 1 FF, 2 FR & 1 TD

As a freshman in ‘19 Wilson was active in 11 games (366 snaps) playing linebacker. He finished the season with 49 tackles (13 assists), 7 QB pressures, 1 sack, 3 pass breakups, 1 interception and QB rating of only 48.7 when targeted.

In 2020 Wilson played in 10 games (689 snaps) recording 74 tackles (25 assists), 20 total pressures, 12 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, 4 sacks, 1 pass breakup, 2 interceptions and a 62.0 QB rating when targeted.

During his junior season in ‘21 Wilson played in only 2 games (51 snaps) after sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery vs Mississippi State. In the two games he played Wilson registered just 2 tackles (1 assist).

Wilson bounced back in 2022 starting 10 games (561 snaps) recording 42 tackles (16 assists), 19 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, 3 sacks, 3 pass breakups and 1 interception.

His best performance of the season came in a 22-21 win over Virginia Tech (10/27/22), in which he recorded 7 total tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks.

Initially Wilson elected to declare for the NFL Draft after the ‘22 season, but turned down an invitation to the ‘23 NFL Combine and decided to return the NC State for one more season.

It’s believed that his stock was compromised due to his injury history and didn’t receive a favorable draft grade, which was rumored to be in the Day 3 range.

Outlook

A team looking for a coverage linebacker with elite pursuit ability, would be wise to take a long look at Wilson.

The NC State linebacker’s injury history will be the top concern for teams heading into the draft though, which likely keeps him out of the Top 50 consideration.

His medicals will be gone through with a fine tooth comb after sustaining a dislocated shoulder, torn labrum and two knee surgeries between 2016-2021.

Although Wilson’s injury history might scare some, he compiled an impressive two year stat line and displayed his versatility with the ceiling to be an effective MIKE linebacker on the next level.

NC State officials state Wilson has vertical-jumped 36 inches and been clocked in the 4.49-4.54 range in the forty-yard dash. If Wilson puts up those kind of numbers during the NFL Combine and his medicals check out, the Wolfpack do it all linebacker could end up going higher than projected.


NFL.com

Analyzing NFL’s head coaching carousel as end of 2023 regular season looms

The Commanders job is more attractive than it’s been in decades, thanks to competent ownership, some building blocks on the roster, a potential top-three draft pick and extra draft capital to potentially package and target a new franchise QB.


Podcasts & video

Locked on Commanders: Washington Commanders QB: Sam Howell, Caleb Williams, or Russell Wilson | Jacoby Brissett Status


What changes would you make to fix the Commanders this offseason? Doc Walker discusses it all



NFC East links

NFL.com

CeeDee Lamb sets Cowboys’ single-season record for receptions, receiving yards in win over Lions

The 24-year-old officially set the Cowboys’ franchise record for both receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,651) in a single season.

“It’s a real moment,” Lamb said after the win, via the team transcript. “Obviously, shout out to my guys, you know we continue to work, continue to be able to continue to grow. And I mean the show, I wouldn’t be able to do any of without them, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going.”


NFL league links

Articles

NBC Sports

Why was the Lions’ two-point try vs. Cowboys called off? Here’s what to know

The overturned two-point try is the headline from Dallas’ 20-19 win over Detroit on Saturday

1. Before the play, Decker, who wears No. 68 and was sent by Goff, walked over to head referee Brad Allen along with fellow lineman Dan Skipper, who wears No. 70 and runs to the referee after Decker was already there, to report the play to be considered an eligible receiver. And because the referees said it was No. 70 who reported and not No. 68, the formation on the play was also illegal. If the numbers had been swapped as the Lions claimed, the play would’ve stood (Josh Reynolds, who was next to Decker, stood off the ball and was properly aligned).

2. After the flag, Allen told Campbell that it was No. 70 who reported, not No. 68. Campbell said in his post-game presser that he went over the play to the officials before the game “to a tee.”

3. Skipper said after the game he did not report to the referees, while Decker said he did. Decker also said it was his understanding Campbell explained the play before the game.

4. Goff after the game said Skipper did not report while Decker did. Goff also said it wasn’t a fix by the referees, but still a mess up.

5. According to the pool report that Allen did after the game with Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning News, Allen stuck to saying it was No. 70 who reported, not No. 68.

In summary, the Lions claimed to have went over the play to the referees before the game and executed it properly, hence the Decker catch. But because of the referees saying it was a different lineman who reported, the score did not count.

Allen was also part of the crew that missed a blatant defensive pass interference call in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs in their 27-19 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 3.


Deadspin

The Lions Got Absolutely F****d

There’s nothing more annoying than when I have to scrap my entire postgame blog because everything gets crazy in the final couple of seconds. This was a great NFL game. It was back and forth. You had turnovers and big plays. The Lions’ defense is still trying to stop Ceedee Lamb. It had the feeling of a playoff game. One of the big reasons it felt like a playoff game was because it featured the Lions getting f****d over by the officials in Dallas

The problem with this play is that people need to learn what was said here. Taylor Decker looked up to the official and reported himself as eligible. We’ll never truly know. Maybe there was a microphone on him. I hope that there was. In past years, I would just chalk this up to shitty Lions luck. Past Lions teams made too many mistakes or got too conservative in the fourth quarter. This team is different. I’ve said that all year. They got f****d. That late flag was thrown 5 to 10 seconds after the play ended. Am I wearing my fan hat here? Yeah, probably. I am a fan. If one guy is going to come on here and say that it’s nonsense and the Lions didn’t do enough to win, it probably would be me. But I’m standing up for them here. This was an electric moment. The Lions went for two and converted. I think that’s a lame call.


Deadspin

Baltimore Ravens to honor RB who assaulted fiancee in elevator

Team makes tone-deaf remark in announcing Ray Rice as ‘Legend of the Game’

The Baltimore Ravens selected Rice to be the “Legend of the Game” and issued extremely tone-deaf, passive remarks in the announcement:

“In 2014, Rice’s incident ended his career and put him in the center of a national conversation about domestic violence.

Rice is being recognized for the player he was, and for the redemption he has worked towards. Out of the public eye, Rice has been working on himself, his relationship, and within the community.”

[H]onoring a player with a checkered past is nothing new for Baltimore, who inducted Ray Lewis — who had double murder charges against him (later dropped) — into its Ring of Honor, alongside Jamal Lewis, who served jail time after pleading guilty to using a cell phone to try to set up a drug deal.