It’s difficult to grade the Washington Commanders’ offseason thus far.
One one hand, they made a significant upgrade at quarterback. Supported by a strong running game, stout offensive line and a top-heavy receiving corps that will hopefully improve in the upcoming draft, Carson Wentz is in a position to succeed.
Beyond acquiring Wentz, the Commanders did well to re-sign JD McKissic, Bobby MccCain, Cornelius Lucas, Joey Slye, Cam Sims and Danny Johnson, while outside signings Andrew Norwell and Efe Obada bring depth to both lines.
On the other hand, Washington has lot a lot of talent. Between Brandon Scherff, Landon Collins, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle, DeAndre Carter and Ricky Seals-Jones, you’re talking about six starters / rotational pieces who’ve departed.
Taking all of that into account, what offseason grade would you give the Commanders? Should they have been more aggressive in the first and second waves of free agency? Were they wrong to let so many key players leave?
If you asked Bleacher Report, which graded every team’s offseason before the upcoming draft, they’d give Washington a C +. That’s probably the first level-headed grade / analysis we’ve seen following the widely-panned Wentz trade.
Even better? It’s the best grade in the entire NFC East!
Bleacher Report writer Ian Wharton gave the Commanders the best offseason grade of any NFC East team.
Here’s what writer Ian Wharton said about Washington’s grade.
Considering the reputation that Carson Wentz has created for himself over his last two teams, it’s fair to criticize how quickly Washington surrendered several draft picks to acquire the faded star.
Their desperation to simply get an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke was reasonable, even if they may have lost out on more talented leaders who came available later. If nothing else, Wentz is a mediocre presence who raises the floor and ceiling of this team.
The rest of Washington’s offseason has been relatively quiet. Replacing Brandon Scherff with Andrew Norwell at left guard may end up being shrewd considering the durability issues Scherff has endured.
Wharton continued to note that the Commanders should be competitive in a “middling” NFC East that doesn’t have an outright favorite. Even more appetizing? Wharton believes Ron Rivera’s side has just as many question as the Cowboys and Eagles, which brings us to the grades for the remaining NFC East squads.
We’ll start with the Giants, whom nobody considers a threat. With that said, the hirings of Joe Schoen as general manager and Brian Daboll as head coach suggest New York has turned a corner and is ready to become a flagship franchise again.
Wharton gave the G-Men a C, which is pretty fair, as they’ve managed to keep Sterling Shepard and Blake Martinez, who’s as underrated as they come at the linebacker position, while signing Mark Glowinski to shore up the OL. If New York hits on its two first-round picks, that C could jump up to a B-.
The Eagles, meanwhile, were also given a C. Another fair grade.
While some fans in the City of Brotherly Love would argue the team deserved a higher grade following the additions of Haason Reddick and Kyzir White, Wharton questions the Eagles’ decision to stick with Jalen Hurts. We’d add that not adding a proven wide receiver in a stacked free agent class is a fair critique, too.
What saved Philly from potentially receiving a lower mark, though, was the fact they stockpiled more draft capital in a trade with the Saints. In the deal, the Eagles added an additional first-rounder in 2023 and a second-rounder in 2024, adding more ammunition to maybe trade up for a QB in next year’s loaded class.
Only fitting to save the best (or worst) for last, right?
After trading Dak Prescott’s favorite target Amari Cooper for pennies on the dollar, getting spurned last-second by Randy Gregory due to wonky contract verbiage, and being tied with Washington for the fewest outside signings (two) of any team in the league, Wharton gave Dallas a deserved D grade.
In addition to losing Cooper and Gregory, the Cowboys lost dynamic receiver Cedrick Wilson and versatile offensive lineman La’el Collins. While the favorites to repeat as NFC East champs, the Cowboys, as Wharton said, have just as many questions as the Commanders as we sit here today.
There’s no doubting Washington’s offseason has been underwhelming, but it speaks volumes they’ve done better than their division rivals. If they hit on their draft picks and make a couple low-profile signings post-draft, fans will feel even better heading into OTAs, minicamp and training camp.