Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Mitchell Trubisky? Malik Willis? Aaron Rodgers? Who will lead the Commanders next year?

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(Artur Galocha/The Washington Post)

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Ron Rivera has said “nothing is out of the question” when it comes to finding a new starting quarterback. After cycling through six starters since arriving in 2020, the Washington Commanders head coach seems poised to move on to No. 7 and hand the keys to another veteran or a rookie.

The goal has always been to find a long-term solution. But as Rivera discovered in his latter years with the Carolina Panthers and has found in Washington, the teams that win and win consistently are generally the ones with top-tier quarterbacks.

“I’ll point to the fact that our first season here when we moved some people around and Alex Smith came in and we really saw that development and growth,” Rivera said recently. “That to me is what a good quarterback can do for you, is he elevates the play of the people around him. He manages the games, he distributes the ball and when needed, makes plays. That’s what you look for. That’s what you gotta have.”

[Finding a franchise QB is still the NFL’s toughest puzzle]

The query is whether or not the Commanders can discover that this 12 months.

While their options appear simple — trade for a veteran, sign a free agent, draft a rookie or maintain the status quo with Taylor Heinicke — each one is complicated by uncertainties and, of course, cost.

Here’s a closer look at some of their potential options:

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Editing by Rick Maese. Photo illustrations by Artur Galocha. Photo sources by David Zalubowski, Gregory Payan, Nam Y. Huh, Butch Dill, Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press; Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post. Design and growth by Junne Alcantara.

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