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The 5 O’Clock Club: Who is the starting center for opening day of the ‘23 season?

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

NFL: Washington Commanders at Baltimore Ravens Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Let me start by saying that, so far at least, no one has announced that Chase Roullier will not be on the Commanders roster in 2023.

However, the team re-signed Tyler Larsen in free agency.

They also signed Nick Gates from the Giants, where he started 29 games in 4 years after signing with New York as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Gates contract was for 3 years and over $16m, with $8m guaranteed, per Over the Cap.

The Commanders then drafted Ricky Stromberg in the 3rd round of the draft this past weekend. gave Stromberg a pre-draft rating of 6.22, which that they project him to be an eventual average starter in the NFL.

One thought that occurred to a lot of people after Stromberg was drafted was that it could signal that Gates, who has experience playing guard, could be a candidate for the left guard position.

When asked about this plan as a possibility, Ron Rivera reportedly answered that Gates would not be doing that.

There’s a good chance that the interior offensive line depth chart will see a lot of different combinations during training camp, and the identities and postitions of the 5 guys who eventually line up to take the first offensive snap of the season opener may include some surprises.

The depth at the center position has certainly thrown a lot of Washington fans for a loop.

Some wonder why we have so many centers when we have a clear starter on the roster in Roullier.

Others suggest that no one would give Gates the contract that he got if he wasn’t expected to start.

Still others have said that Ron Rivera didn’t spend a 3rd round pick on Stromberg to have him back up Nick Gates.

Take a look at this small sample of Twitter:

Clearly, opinions are all over the place. We’d like to hear yours.


When the Commanders offense takes the field for the first snap on opening day of the ‘23 season, which center will be snapping the ball?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Chase Roullier
    (63 votes)
  • 77%
    Nick Gates
    (515 votes)
  • 10%
    Ricky Stromberg
    (71 votes)
  • 2%
    Tyler Larsen
    (14 votes)
663 votes total Vote Now