Washington Commanders

Commanders Won't Pursue Lamar Jackson, Will Roll With Sam Howell

PHOENIX -- Washington Commanders leadership ranks Lamar Jackson as a top talent, but Washington doesn’t plan on going after the Ravens quarterback. Instead, Washington intends to roll with second-year passer Sam Howell.

“There are a ton of talented players that could help us that we don’t end up talking to for various reasons and Lamar falls into that category,” Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said.

Mayhew’s comments came hours after Jackson tweeted out that he requested a trade from Baltimore as the team and the 2019 MVP remain far apart in contract talks. The Washington GM explained that there are a lot of NFL players that become available that the organization doesn’t pursue for a number of reasons.

“I won’t get into specifics; I don’t want to sound critical of anyone,” Mayhew said. “[Jackson]’s a very talented guy.”

As for Howell, the Commanders fifth-round pick out of North Carolina last season, Mayhew is excited. Though he started only the Week 18 win over the Cowboys and completed just 11 passes last season, Mayhew thinks Howell’s rookie year was the right approach.

“One of the problems in the league is guys play too much too soon," Mayhew said. "I think Howell played the appropriate amount last season. I think he's going to be a good player.”

Howell will get every chance to win the Commanders starting quarterback job this offseason, and the team believes he's up to the challenge. Once considered a top prospect, Howell slipped in the draft after his Tar Heel team lost a ton of NFL talent after the 2020 season.

Notes on Commanders Sale:

  • Mayhew said the Commanders sale process was having "no impact" on the football team's offseason.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Giants owner John Mara offered no comment on a pending Commanders sale, though Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained, "I believe that something is close to happening. I don’t know that for sure. We’ll wait and see what happens."
  • One of the reported bidders for the Commanders is Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who recently purchased a new casino in Lake Tahoe. NFL rules stipulate that its owners can't hold majority interests in casinos, so Fertitta's bid seems to have a major flaw.
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