The 2023 NFL season has barely concluded, but that hasn't stopped many sites and networks from looking forward to next season.
ESPN released its 2024 NFL Power Rankings, and the Washington Commanders were near the bottom of the heap, landing at No. 31. The only team behind Washington was the Carolina Panthers.
They also labeled the Commanders' offseason as "a new beginning," given the seismic changes that have transpired in the last year and with owner Josh Harris, general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn entering their first together in Washington.
"Washington has a new owner (Josh Harris), general manager (Adam Peters) and head coach (Dan Quinn) hoping to revive a franchise whose fan base has endured one tough season after another; the team has won three playoff games since winning a Super Bowl after the 1991 season," ESPN writes. "The Commanders can help themselves more by spending wisely in free agency (they're projected to have the most cap room in the NFL this offseason) and by drafting well (they have the No. 2 pick, which they can use to find a quarterback of the future, and own five picks in the top 100)."
With Washington projected to have over $80 million in cap space, according to Spotrac, and six picks in the top 102 of the 2024 NFL Draft, Peters and Quinn are well-positioned to begin to shape the team in their image this offseason. The Commanders' rebuild will center around what they do with the No. 2 overall pick, as they could go many different directions, ranging from taking a quarterback or potentially trading back and taking one of the top offensive tackles to improve an offensive line that allowed the second-most sacks last season.
Rebuilds can be done quickly if a team drafts and signs the right players. The New York Giants went from 4-13 in 2021 to 9-7-1 and won a playoff game last year in Brian Daboll's first season as the head coach. The Houston Texans enjoyed a similar turnaround, going from 3-13-1 in 2022 to 10-7 and winning the AFC South and a playoff game last season after drafting quarterback C.J. Stroud, who won Rookie of the Year and hiring head coach DeMeco Ryans, who nearly won Coach of the Year in his first season.
While no two rebuilds are the same, Washington has the draft ammunition and cap space to make a quick turnaround. If Peters and Quinn can hit on their draft picks and free agency signings, the Commanders will have a chance to ascend power rankings and potentially be in the playoff picture as the 2024 season progresses.