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Why Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera felt aggressive approach for QB Carson Wentz was important

Most of the unprecedented quarterback movement this offseason was triggered by a domino effect. One quarterback would come off the board, forcing another team into action to find their own veteran signal-caller for the present.


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The Washington Commanders acted swiftly once two of the top veteran quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson — were no longer available, while a team like the Indianapolis Colts waited back to see what else would become available.

Here’s a timeline of what went down last month:

March 8: 

11:25 a.m.: Aaron Rodgers agrees to return to the Green Bay Packers

1:41 p.m.: Russell Wilson traded from the Seahawks to the Broncos for a package that includes Drew Lock

March 9: Carson Wentz traded from the Colts to the Commanders

March 13: 

7:13 p.m.: Tom Brady unretires

7:37 p.m.: Kirk Cousins signs a one-year contract extension with the Vikings

March 14:

Mitchell Trubisky signs with the Steelers

March 18:

Deshaun Watson traded from the Texans to the Browns

March 21: 

1:44 p.m.: Matt Ryan traded from the Falcons to the Colts

2:30 p.m.: Jameis Winston re-signs with the Saints

3:36 p.m.: Marcus Mariota signs with the Falcons

That leaves the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks as the only two quarterback-needy teams and Browns QB Baker Mayfield and San Francisco 49ers veteran Jimmy Garoppolo as the only obvious starting-caliber signal-callers on the market.


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Commanders head coach Ron Rivera told PFF at the NFL Annual Meeting last week that it was important for the team to jump on a quarterback early in the process. They dealt second- and third-round picks and a conditional third-round pick (that can become another second) for Wentz, a second-round pick and a seventh-round pick.

“Yeah, it was, because it’s changed how we approach each phase,” Rivera said. “It really has. It’s changed how we approach things going forward. It’s taken some of the pressure off, obviously, and it’s instilled a lot more positive attitude in terms of hope and opportunity.”

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) looks to pass Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Commanders reportedly offered the Seahawks three first-round picks for Wilson before Seattle ultimately took the Broncos’ package to trade him out of the conference. Seattle sent Wilson and a fourth-round pick for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant. Washington also tried to trade for Matthew Stafford last offseason before the Rams jumped in.

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