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Daily Slop - 7 Jan 24: Diana Russini: “Commanders are keeping an eye on what happens in New England”

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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Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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Washington Post (paywall)

The Ron Rivera era in Washington was even worse than you think

Rivera’s teams over his four years, including the first 16 games this season, have been 4.1 points worse than an average team per game after adjusting their margin of victory for strength of schedule, according to Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System. That’s actually worse than the franchise managed under Jim Zorn, the oft-mocked coach who followed Joe Gibbs’s second go-round in Washington. Of coaches Snyder hired who lasted more than one season, only Jay Gruden (4.6 points fewer per game than an average team) and Steve Spurrier (5.1 points fewer per game than an average team) posted worse numbers. Washington’s adjusted margin of victory during Rivera’s tenure ranks 26th in the NFL.

Gibbs was clearly the most — or perhaps only — successful coach of the Snyder era, according to both record and the Simple Rating System. Gibbs’s teams were 30-34 (a .469 winning percentage) and were 0.8 points better than an average team per game during his second stint with Washington, which included playoff appearances after the 2005 and 2007 seasons. Washington finished plus-6.0 and plus-4.5 in 2005 and 2007, the two best seasons of the Snyder era by SRS.

Washington Post (paywall)

Commanders stats of the week: The No. 2 pick is attainable

2 of 15 draft picks

The Commanders have failed to get the production and consistency they have needed from their draft picks, this season especially. Cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr. hasn’t played to the level expected from a first-round pick and was benched earlier in the season. He also missed time with an elbow injury. Third-round center Ricky Stromberg was injured in Week 4, and fourth-round tackle Braeden Daniels was placed on injured reserve before the season. Fifth-rounder KJ Henry and seventh-rounder Andre Jones Jr. got more playing time at defensive end following the trades of Chase Young and Montez Sweat, but neither is polished or consistent enough to solidify a roster spot next season. And sixth-round running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. showed the potential to be a reliable back, but his time was limited, and an ankle injury cut his season short.

Second-round defensive back Quan Martin has shown the greatest progress, with big plays, versatility and a clearer understanding of the defense.

Looking at the bigger picture: Only two of the 15 players the Commanders drafted in the past two years are on track to play a full 17-game slate since they entered the league: wide receiver Jahan Dotson and quarterback Sam Howell. Dotson missed time last season because of injury, and Howell appeared only in Week 18. Should both play Sunday, they will be the first among either draft class to see the field for a full season.

The Athletic (paywall)

Russini: What I’m hearing about the NFL coaching carousel entering Week 18

Washington Commanders

Ron Rivera has worn many hats in Washington during his four years as head coach. At different times he seemed to be playing the part of owner, general manager, public relations official and head coach. After serving in all of those roles, on Monday he might not have one. I was told by league sources that Rivera and his staff are well aware his time in Washington is coming to an end.

Though this season started with promise, new owner Josh Harris began discussions in search of a new head coach and general manager a few weeks back, according to a league source. The Commanders are keeping an eye on what happens in New England while hoping to hire a general manager first before landing their next head coach.

Commanders Wire

Has Jonathan Allen played his last game for the Commanders?

The Commanders ruled out the Pro Bowl defensive tackle and longtime team captain for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. That means Allen’s 2023 season is over after 16 games and 53 tackles, including 10 for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 19 QB hits.

Those aren’t bad numbers, but fans have come to expect more from Allen. He nor Daron Payne were as impactful in 2023 as they were in 2022. And Allen’s frustration with the constant losing showed on more than one occasion.

After a Week 7 loss to the Giants, Allen went on an uncharacteristic profanity-laced tirade. Some thought Allen wanted out of Washington, but he later said in his weekly appearance on the “Sports Junkies” that wasn’t the case.

However, later in the season, Allen again appeared frustrated, admitting he has thought of what it would be like to play for another organization.

“1,000 percent,” Allen said on the “Sports Junkies. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I play this game to win, and I would love to win here, for sure. But I want to win, first and foremost.”

That’s led to plenty of speculation that Allen could be on the block, with some even predicting Washington would trade the 2017 first-round pick.

Allen has two years remaining on his contract at base salaries of $14 million (2024) and $15.5 million (2025). However, there is no guaranteed money remaining on Allen’s deal, meaning he could be easy to move — if Washington chooses.

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