Commanders QB Could Be Released Before Training Camp

Jeff Driskel

Getty Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Driskel.

The Washington Commanders are dealing with roster issues that haven’t been present for quite some time — namely too many good players at one position.

Most notably, the Commanders currently have four quarterbacks on the roster with No. 2 overall pick Jayden Daniels, Marcus Mariota, undrafted free agent rookie Sam Hartman and 9-year NFL veteran Jeff Driskel. Not all will ultimately make the 53-man roster and Riggo’s Rag’s Dean Jones has Driskel on his list of players on the roster who could be cut before training camp.

“Keeping four quarterbacks going into camp is a possibility,” Jones wrote. “At the same time, if those in power like what they see from Hartman, giving him extended reps at the expense of Driskel is something that cannot be completely ruled out at this juncture.

“Nobody is disputing the fact Daniels and Mariota will be the top two. Much will also depend on how many quarterbacks Washington takes through onto the roster. If they genuinely believe in Hartman’s long-term prospects, Driskel will be moved on at some stage.”

Driskel: Definition of Journeyman NFL QB

Driskel was a part-time starter at the University of Florida for three seasons before transferring to Louisiana Tech for his final college season in 2015, when he threw for 4,026 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

Driskel was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers but never played for them. After the 49ers released Driskel, he played three seasons as a backup for the Bengals before bouncing around the league like a pinball — the Commanders are his eighth team in nine seasons.

The results for Driskel when he’s been forced into a starting role have not been good. He’s 1-11 as a starter over his career, with his only victory coming when he started a career-high 5 games for the Bengals in 2018.

Who Will Be Opening Day Starter for Commanders?

All signs point toward Daniels being the opening day starter for the Commanders — he started 55 games across 5 seasons at Arizona State and LSU before winning the Heisman Trophy in 2023.

“Daniels has a strong support system in place,” Jones wrote. “Offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and quarterbacks coach Tavita Pritchard will be on hand every step of the way to ensure he hits the ground running. Marcus Mariota — a former No. 2 pick who was acquired in free agency — will be the mentor backup during the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU’s pivotal rookie campaign.”

Mariota was the No. 2 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2015 — the same year Driskel was drafted — and was the full-time starter for the Titans until he was benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill in 2019.

Whoever ends up at quarterback for the Commanders it will almost certainly be an improvement over Sam Howell, who started all 17 games in 2023 and led the NFL in interceptions (21) and sacks taken (65). Washington went 4-13 and the franchise hasn’t had a winning record in seven seasons.

Howell was traded to the Seattle Seahawks along with a fourth-round pick and sixth-round pick in 2024 in exchange for a third-round pick and fifth-round pick in 2024.

Read More