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Offseason of change | Tracking all the moves Washington has made to recalibrate the franchise

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The Washington Commanders have been busy this offseason.

Almost five months ago, the team was limping to the finish line of the 2023 season with a 4-13 record after starting things off 2-0. They were slated to have a top pick in the draft and on the cusp of a coaching change. While the tools were there to recalibrate the franchise, Washington was the closest thing to a blank slate as one can find in the NFL.

We're past the halfway point of OTAs, and the team's future, while incomplete, is starting to become clearer.

Managing Partner Josh Harris didn't waste any time putting things in motion, and signs of a new era are all over the facility. From the "rapid but thorough" search for a general manager to investing in the stadium, drafting a quarterback and more, the team is poised to take a new direction that will hopefully be filled with more wins, playoff appearances and division titles in the future.

Here's a look at the major moves Washington has made since the end of the 2023 season.

  • Jan. 8: Josh Harris begins "rapid but thorough" search for GM
    • After the Commanders finished the 2023 season with a 38-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Harris relieved Ron Rivera of his duties as head coach and began a "rapid but thorough" of finding the Commanders' next general manager, who would be charged with turning the franchise back into a playoff contender. "From my point of view, we are coming out of this poised for a great future," Harris said. "We've got a lot of draft capital, a lot of cap space, and I'm lucky enough to be supported by an amazing ownership group. This is probably one of the most important jobs I have as a Managing Partner. It's important that I do this personally and we get this right and we bring in the right leadership."
  • Jan. 15: Adam Peters hired as new general manager
    • Peters, who has been in the NFL for almost two decades, helped build a roster that is considered by many to be one of the best in the NFL. In the time that Peters has spent in San Francisco, both as a vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager, the team has had four winning seasons and as many playoff selections. The 49ers have also won the NFC West in three of the last five seasons. "Throughout my career in the NFL, I've learned that successful organizations begin with a strong ownership group willing to commit the resources needed to foster a culture of winning," Peters said. "We have that here in Washington and it's my responsibility and privilege to carry out the mission of delivering a team that will ultimately compete for Super Bowls."
  • Feb. 3: Dan Quinn hired as Washington's 31st head coach
    • Quinn, who was named the Cowboys' defensive coordinator in 2021, brought decades of coaching experience, most of which comes at the NFL level. He spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks. He was also the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for six seasons, helping the franchise reach a Super Bowl following the 2016 season. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to become the next head coach of such a storied franchise and fanbase," Quinn said. "Under the leadership of Josh Harris, the ownership group, and Adam Peters, we cannot wait to help usher in a new era of Washington Commanders football. The organization has an outstanding vision, and I'm honored to be a part of what's next."
  • Feb. 14: Commanders hire Lance Newmark as assistant general manager
    • Newmark joined the Commanders with 28 years of NFL experience, including 26 seasons with the Detroit Lions. He most recently held the role of senior director of player personnel for Detroit and helped oversee both the college and pro scouting operations. He also assisted with the weekly management of the Lions roster and assisted Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes with the implementation of Holmes' scouting vision throughout the entire personnel department. "It was very clear in this process that Josh Harris is extremely committed to running a first-class organization and building a championship caliber football team, which made this opportunity very special," Newmark said.
  • Feb. 15: Commanders announce coaching staff
    • Nearly two weeks after Quinn was hired to help Peters recalibrate the franchise, the head coach announced his full coaching staff, consisting of about two dozen individuals who brought decades of experience to the DMV. Kliff Kingsbury, the former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, rejoined the NFL to guide a Commanders offense that struggled in 2022. He will be surrounded by coaches with experience mentoring young quarterbacks like Brian Johnson, David Blough and former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Joe Whitt Jr. followed Quinn from the Cowboys to be Washington's defensive coordinator, bringing a "run and hit" style to the DMV. Larry Izzo, who has led some of the best special teams units in recent years, was hired as the team's special teams coordinator.
  • Feb. 27: Commanders announce renovations to stadium
    • The Commanders announced additional upgrades to their home stadium, bringing targeted investments in improving the stadium and fan and player experience to a total of more than $75 million once completed since new ownership purchased the team in July. The upgrades will be noticeable from the moment fans enter the parking lots and include faster entry into the stadium, new premium seating options and suite experiences, improved food and beverage options, and sound system upgrades. The stadium also will be getting a structural refresh, including upgrades to elevators and escalators, water and mechanical systems, and other infrastructure improvements.
  • March 6: Washington Commanders name Tim McGrath as senior director of player health & performance
    • McGrath arrived in Washington with an extensive background in clinical practice, rehabilitation & performance programming and implementation in professional sports. He has 20 years of professional sports experience and 22 years of clinical experience. McGrath oversees the training room along with the strength and conditioning, nutrition, sports science and player wellness programs at the organization. "Tim McGrath has been an incredible resource for our players since joining the organization as a consultant towards the end of last season," Peters said. "I'm excited to officially welcome him to the organization in a full-time capacity as our senior director of player health and performance."
  • March 13: Commanders begin overhauling their roster by signing more than two dozen free agents
    • Quinn and Peters were in an ideal situation as they entered their first offseason together. Half of the roster from last season was set to hit free agency, but with help from some of the most available cap space in the NFL, the two were able to remold the roster in a way that best matched their vision. So, the Commanders went out and signed more than two dozen new players -- more than any team this offseason -- to give the Burgundy & Gold a fresh new look and make the roster more competitive. Their free agency haul was a mix of youth and experience, all of which came on short-term deals. Veterans like tight end Zach Ertz, linebacker Bobby Wagner and running back Austin Ekeler provided instant leadership to the locker room; linebacker Frankie Luvu and center Tyler Biadasz were signed to be instant contributors; and veteran Marcus Mariota was added to a completely restructured quarterback for guidance, mentorship and competition.
  • April 8: Washington Commanders hire Ryan Juarez as Director of Rehabilitation and Jamal Randall Sr. as Senior Physical Therapist /Assistant Athletic Trainer
  • Juarez joined the team after serving as the director of football rehabilitation for the University of Nebraska. Prior to his stint at Nebraska, he served as the associate athletic director at Mercer University where he specialized in sports medicine from 2021-23. Juarez also worked as a physical therapist and athletic trainer with the San Diego Chargers (2012-15), Rutgers University's football program, the San Diego Fleet of the AAF along with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Fresno State football program. Randall Sr. joins the team after serving as an athletic trainer and physical therapist for the Atlanta Falcons from 2017-23. Prior to his stint with the Falcons, he spent a number of years working in various clinical roles in private practice. He also worked with the Cleveland Browns.
  • April 15: Commanders name Dave Gardi SVP of football initiatives
    • Gardi joined the Commanders after working at the NFL League Office for 21 years. He held the role of senior vice president of football operations for 10 years. Prior to his role as senior vice president of football operations, he served as the League's vice president of labor relations and football administration. Gardi started at the League Office as counsel in 2003. Gardi will handle a number of in-game management duties and will support the coaching staff and front office on compliance with League protocols, officiating trends and health and safety guidelines.
  • April 25: Commanders announce Darrell Green jersey retirement
    • Darrell Green is known among the Washington Commanders' fan base as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He dedicated two decades to the team, helping it win two Super Bowls and build it into a powerhouse of the 1980s and 90s. No Washington player will ever wear his No. 28 jersey number again. Green, a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, member of the Commanders Ring of Fame and 1996 Walter Payton Man of the Year, will have his jersey retired during the 2024 season. He joins Sonny Jurgensen (No. 9), Bobby Mitchell (No. 49), Sammy Baugh (No. 33) and Sean Taylor (No. 21) as the only Washington players to receive the honor. "I'm humbly grateful," Green said. "I feel like crying just thinking about it right now. This means a lot to me."
  • April 25: Commanders draft Jayden Daniels with No. 2 overall pick
    • The Commanders took the next step into their future by drafting LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 overall pick. Daniels, who started his college career at Arizona State before transferring to LSU, completed 65% of his passes for 12,749 yards with 89 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Daniels also adds dynamic ability as a runner, ranking first among quarterbacks in 2023 with 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 2023 Heisman winner had a stellar end to his time with the Tigers. On top of ranking third in program history in total offense and fourth in career passing yards, Daniels finished fifth among all quarterbacks last season with 3,812 yards and second in passing touchdowns. He is the only player in FBS history to pass for 12,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards. "We felt so good about how awesome of a person that he was on top of watching all that tape," Peters said. "It made us feel really, really good about making this pick. And if we could've run it up, we would've run that pick up."
  • May 20: Commanders name Brandon Sosna SVP of football ops
    • Sosna joined the Commanders after working for the Detroit Lions for the past two years. In Detroit he held the role of senior director of football administration. In that role, Sosna oversaw Detroit's strategic planning and management of the salary cap. He was also the club's chief contract negotiator. Sonsa will report directly to Washington Commanders General Manager Adam Peters. In his role as senior vice president of football operations, Sosna will be the club's lead contract negotiator, oversee a number of football operations departments, including analytics, health and performance and football administration and will be one of the club's liaisons to the business operation. He will also play a major role in strategy around roster construction, the salary cap and the CBA.
  • May 22: Commanders name David Blackburn Director of Player Personnel
    • Blackburn joined the Commanders after working for the Baltimore Ravens for the past 17 years. In Baltimore he most recently held the role of director of college scouting. In that role, Blackburn oversaw the Baltimore college scouting process and played a vital role in planning for the NFL Draft. "I've known David Blackburn for a number of years dating back to our days scouting the West Coast," Peter said. "David has always impressed me with his consistent approach, talent in player evaluation and overall professionalism. He is one of the most respected scouts in the NFL and is also a top-notch person. He has been a valued member of the Baltimore Ravens personnel department and has learned from two of the most well-respected people in our business in Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta. David will be an outstanding addition to the staff we are building here in Washington."

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