Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Commanders fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in regular email surveys.
We begin our survey with the usual weekly question that asks if you are confident in the direction of the team. After the 45-15 home loss to the Dolphins that dropped the Commanders to 4-9 on the season (and with the bye week upon us), how are you feeling?
It’s the bye week for the Commanders, but the 10-2 Eagles are playing the 9-3 Cowboys in a game that has potentially huge implications for the division championship and playoff seedings. Initially, I thought I’d ask which team you wanted to see win, but opted instead to simply ask which team — Dallas or Philadelphia — you hate more. I realize that there’s really no ‘right’ answer.
The Commanders face a highly significant offseason in which the new owners are expected to put their stamp on the franchise in a big way. We’ve heard it reported that there will be “sweeping changes” to both the business side and the football side of building.
This probably means that familiar names like President Jason Wright, GM Martin Mayhew, head coach Ron Rivera and a host of others are under pressure. Expect announcements (or at least sourced rumors) of these changes to begin as early as Sunday 7 January and Monday 8 January — the dates of the team’s final game of the season against the Cowboys and the infamous “Black Monday” that follows annually.
Out 3rd question this week asks you about the approach you’d like to see with the roster, and there are only two choices.
Option 1 is to build around the current core of players. This would probably mean holding onto recently extended veterans like Terry McLaurin, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, while attempting to retain and extend some of the other keay players who are in ‘contract years’ like Jeremy Reaves, Kam Curl, and maybe even some veterans like Kendall Fuller or Curtis Samuel.
Option 2 is the tear the roster down in order to get more cap space and draft picks for a re-build. Under this option, players like Allen, Payne and McLaurin would be offered for trade, both to give them the opportunity to land on a playoff roster somewhere, and to add draft capital to the ammunition that the new GM will have at his or her disposal. This approach probably includes some salary-cap-driven releases, too. Players like Charles Leno ($7.5m cap savings) and Logan Thomas ($6.5m cap savings) among others would be released to build up the war chest available for free agency shopping in March.
- The Commanders currently have 9 draft picks (including 6 in the top 104 selections) and an estimated $88.7m in 2024 cap space (4th highest in the league).
- Under Option 1, there would be little or no change to those resources between now and the new league year.
- Option 2, on the other hand, would see Washington enter free agency with well over $100m in cap space and double-digit draft picks. It would be like a GM Christmas in March and April!
Comments & Results
Of course, we invite you to answer the survey questions below, but also feel free to expand on your answers and provide nuance in the comments section. I rely on those comments when discussing the results of the survey when they are posted in a separate article the next few days.