Count the Washington Commanders out of the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera revealed at the NFL Owner's Meetings on Tuesday the team will not be pursuing Jackson, rather settling on free agent addition Jacoby Brissett and 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell to battle it out for the quarterback job.
"We never did [look into it]," Rivera said. "That's just something that never felt suited to what we wanted to do. I know he's a tremendous talent. I know he's a player that can impact your team. That was just the direction for us as a football team."
Why didn't the Commanders ultimately decide not to add a franchise quarterback of Jackson's talent?
"You look at the impact of what your roster building is and the assets we'd have to use to get him," Rivera said. "What would the financial impact be? These are the things we'd have to think about. This is why we did what we're doing. We are roster building -- I think -- for the first time."
The Commanders have started 12 different quarterbacks since the start of the 2018 season, the most by any team in the NFL. They have the fourth-longest active drought in the league without a playoff win (2005), and have had a record of .500 or worse in all three seasons under Rivera. Washington has had five players in franchise history with 100 passing touchdowns, but none has played in the last 29 years.
Washington believes it may have its franchise quarterback in Howell. The Commanders rather take a chance on him and build a strong roster instead of pursuing a 26-year-old former MVP in Jackson.
"We think Sam is going to be a good football player. We really do," Rivera said. "We were fortunate he fell to the fifth round because it was perceived to be a poor draft class. I don't think it's as a wild shot as people think it is.
"Part of it is watching a young man like Brock Purdy have the season that he had last year and you'd like to think, 'Wow, we have a player that has the same type of ability and skill set.'