Washington Commanders In Flux With Ownership Change, Quarterback Change, Ron Rivera Style Change

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The Washington Commanders have sort of been in the wilderness for years now. And one might assume a change in ownership away from the Daniel Snyder fiasco experience might relieve the situation and bring direction and certainty back to a once-great franchise.


Not yet.

The Commanders are currently in one of the NFL most uncertain positions. And that has little to do with the fact they’re the worst team in an NFC East division where the other three teams are good.

Daniel Snyder selling to Josh Harris but NFL must approve.
Owner Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to the game between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Commanders Await Snyder Sale To Harris

The Commanders, like everyone else, are awaiting the ownership change from Snyder to a group headed by businessman Josh Harris to be fully vetted by the league and approved by owners. The process is ongoing and, in the meantime, there a bit of uncertainty within the franchise.

And we’re talking day-to-day stuff like dealing with contract issues.

“We’ll have to work through some things before we can do any of that stuff,” coach Ron Rivera told reporters on Wednesday. “We’re in a good position right now. I don’t think we really need to make those type of moves. If something does come up, I’ll probably reach out to the current owner and see what we’re capable of doing still.

“So far everything has been going well. We haven’t gotten to that point, so we’re just gonna continue to work as if it’s business as usual.”

Ron Rivera admits ownership change has put contracts on hold.
Ron Rivera admits Commanders have put contract issues on hold. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

Commanders Contract Issues On Hold

Rivera is trying to be positive but business as usual is a stretch. Because he has told players the ownership change has indeed paused things relating to contract extensions and signings. Even Rivera admits that.

“It’s been put out there that everything’s kind of in a holding pattern until we get everything done and put into place,” Rivera said. “I do know that there is a plan. We’ve had a plan. We went through what the plan was in February, March, April. We’ve adjusted it because we got Daron [Payne] taken care of.

“And so now, we have a plan to focus on the next few guys that we feel we’ve got to be able to go after. But once the ownership change happens, we’ll be able to sit down with the powers that be and explain to them what we see and hopefully they’ll agree with it, and we’ll be able to go forward.”

The truth is the Commanders are facing uncertainty on multiple fronts beyond the ownership change.

Sam Howell trying to win Commanders quarterback job.
Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders warms up before the preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Sam Howell QB Situation Full Of Uncertainty

They are the only team in their division with uncertainty at quarterback. They hope unproven Sam Howell will be good but nobody knows as he works toward trying to win the starting job.

And even Rivera himself, in his 13th season as an NFL head coach, is undergoing change in both style and substance.

“I feel more like a manager at times than I do anything else,” Rivera admitted. “It’s about making sure that I’m delegating the authority to these guys and letting them do their responsibilities. With a veteran coach like Jack [Del Rio], I’ve been able to rely on him and his staff to go forward. Spend a little more time bouncing in between the different groups.”

That sounds good but it definitely is different.

Ron Rivera Washington Commanders
Ron Rivera is adjusting his approach to coaching. (Getty Images)

Ron Rivera Trying To Be A Manager

“It’s frustrating because some of the things I have to manage and work around, I kind of step back and have to deal with things that aren’t necessarily football related,” Rivera said. “It does take away from the time and that’s kind of one of the things that I’m looking forward to is getting into a situation now where it is more focusing on managing what’s going on with the team specifically — meetings, practice, on the field, in the facility and hopefully be able to stay just there.”

Maybe all this eventually comes together for the greater good. Maybe an ownership change, quarterback change and head coach changing his approach will mean the Commanders can get about the business of winning.

But one thing for sure is it’s all going to require the Commanders grow accustomed to change.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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