The Washington Commanders are confident that they have found their franchise quarterback.

With the second overall pick, the Commanders selected LSU’s Jayden Daniels, one of the most electric dual-threat quarterback prospects in recent memory.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner led LSU to a 10-3 season last year and threw for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He added 1,134 yards on the ground and 10 rushing touchdowns.

On Wednesday, Daniels downplayed reports that he was unhappy with the Commanders conducting a group interview with other top quarterback prospects.

“I'm blessed to go wherever I'm called,” Daniels told reporters. “Whoever calls my phone, whoever gives the card to the commissioner that says my name, I'm blessed to go and they're going to get my all.”

Daniels later clarified that he was “one hundred per cent” heading to Washington.

Despite gaudy production in his senior year, scouts were split on Daniels’ professional prospects, with some wondering if he possesses the pocket passing skills required for the NFL.

At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Daniels is larger than most dual-threat prospects, and his ability to avoid turnovers his senior year was very promising.

But Daniels’ Heisman season is an outlier among his five seasons in college – three at Arizona State and the final two at LSU.

In his first 43 NCAA games, Daniels had a 143.8 passer rating. That number skyrocketed to 208.0 last season.

Due to his extended college career, Daniels will celebrate his 24th birthday during his rookie season in the NFL, making him significantly older than fellow top quarterback prospects Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.

Daniels joins a Commanders squad that went 4-13 last season with Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.

Dan Quinn replaces Ron Rivera as Washington’s head coach, and former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury will take over as the Commanders’ offensive coordinator.

Dak Prescott threw for four touchdown passes as the Dallas Cowboys eased to a 45-10 Thanksgiving victory over the Washington Commanders.

Tony Pollard added a seven-yard touchdown run while DaRon Bland rounded things off with a 63-yard interception return for a score – his fifth of the season to set an NFL record.

The win lifts the Cowboys to 9-3 and stretched their home-winning run to 13 matches.

For the Commanders, who have lost eight of their last 10 matches, Sam Howell threw for 300 yards and ran for a touchdown.

The Green Bay Packers beat NFC North leaders the Detroit Lions 29-22.

Jordan Love connected with Christian Watson from 53 yards on the first play of the game and ended with three touchdown passes.

Opposite number Jared Goff struggled against the Packers defence, fumbling three times – one of which was returned for a touchdown by Jonathan Owens.

A vote to approve the record sale agreement of the Washington Commanders will not take place next week at the NFL's owners meetings.

NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller told reporters in a conference call the league will provide an update on the proposed ownership change at next week's meetings in Minneapolis, though a formal vote for approval will take place at a later time.

Earlier this month, embattled owner Dan Snyder agreed to sell the Commanders to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris for $6.05 billion, the largest purchase price for a professional sports franchise in North America.

"The league staff and finance committee will continue to review the details of the transaction," Miller said on Thursday. "We will provide membership with an update in Minnesota."

The Harris group, which includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, contains multiple limited partners which must be vetted by the NFL before a vote can proceed. The sale will require the approval of 24 of the league's 32 owners to become official.

"Any transaction like this deserves due process, and we will do it as expeditiously as we can. [We have] plenty of people working on it, and doing so is a priority," Miller added.

Snyder and his wife, Tanya, announced in November they would be putting the historic franchise up for sale following a congressional investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct and financial misdeeds.

The NFL launched an additional probe headed by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, which is still ongoing.

The Snyder family purchased the Commanders, then known as the Redskins, from the estate of Jack Kent Cooke in 1999. After years of opposing changing the team's controversial nickname, Snyder finally relented in 2020 amid heavy pressure from activist groups and corporate sponsors.

The Washington Commanders will not exercise the fifth-year option on defensive end Chase Young’s rookie contract following a second straight injury-plagued season, according to The Washington Post.

Young, the 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, has been slow to recover from a serious right knee injury he suffered in November 2021 that sidelined him over a year.

The former second overall pick returned for the final three games of last season but did not record a sack.

The 24-year-old will now be an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season. Young would have earned around $17.5million in 2024 had the option been picked up.

A healthy Young put together a strong rookie campaign in which he registered 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 15 games and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

The former Ohio State All-American had 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles through nine games in 2021 before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and the patella tendon in his right knee in a Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera acknowledged earlier this month that Young’s medical history would factor heavily in the team’s decision whether to exercise the option.

"That's the thing that will drive a big part of the conversation," Rivera said. "As we continue to work through this and talk about it, it will be about seeing him and watching him.

"We'll continue to work through these things – talk to the doctors, talk to the trainers, strength and medical – and just kind of get a feel for where he is. Then we'll be able to make a decision and we’ll go from there."

C.J. Moore and Quintez Cephus have been released by the Detroit Lions after the duo and three other NFL players were suspended by the league for gambling violations.

Safety Moore and wide receiver Cephus' releases came after being suspended indefinitely by the NFL, while their now former Lions team-mates Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams were handed six-game bans.

Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney was the other player cited by the league, also earning an indefinite suspension.

A statement from the NFL on Friday said: "The NFL confirmed today that three players have been indefinitely suspended for violating the league's gambling policy. Two other players were each suspended six games.

"Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore of the Detroit Lions and Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders are suspended indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2023 season for betting on NFL games in the 2022 season. These players may petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

"Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams of the Lions are suspended for the team's first six regular season games of the 2023 season. These players are eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason activities, including preseason games. The suspensions will take effect at the final roster cutdown.

"The gambling policy, which is annually reviewed with all NFL personnel, including players, prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility.

"A league review uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way."

Shortly after the announcement from the league, the Lions confirmed they had released Moore and Cephus, who played 11 and four games respectively in the 2022 season.

"As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league's gambling policy," Lions executive vice president and general manager Brad Holmes said.

"These players exhibited decision-making that is not consistent with our organisational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately.

"We are disappointed by the decision-making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward."

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has reached an agreement to sell the franchise to Josh Harris for a record price of $6.05billion.

Harris, who co-owns the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL's New Jersey Devils, has not finalised or sent an agreement to the league, but a sale is expected to go through if no issues emerge.

Any sale would need to be approved by the NFL's finance committee and at least 24 of the league's 32 owners, who are scheduled to meet in Minneapolis in May for the Spring League Meeting.

The widely reported $6.05billion fee would shatter the previous record price for an NFL franchise, set only last year when the Denver Broncos were sold to the Walton-Penner group for $4.65billion.

Current owner Snyder and the Commanders remain under investigation concerning allegations of workplace misconduct and potential unlawful financial conduct, while the franchise recently settled lawsuits with Maryland and the District of Columbia over fans' season-ticket deposit money.

Washington have been under Snyder's ownership since 1999 but have not won a playoff game since 2005, while their last postseason appearance came in 2020.

Overall, the Commanders have a 164-220-2 record in the Snyder years with six playoff appearances.

The Washington Commanders have brought in some veteran competition at the quarterback spot by reportedly agreeing to a one-year contract with Jacoby Brissett.

ESPN reports that Brissett, who started the Cleveland Browns' first 11 games of last season while Deshaun Watson was serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct policy, will be guaranteed $8million and can earn up to $10m.

The seven-year pro is expected to compete with 2022 draft pick Sam Howell to be Washington’s starter after the Commanders recently parted ways with their two main quarterbacks from last season, Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.

Wentz was released on February 27 and Heinicke reportedly agreed to a two-year, $20m contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday.

Brissett comes in with a vast experience edge on Howell, whose lone NFL start came in Washington’s 2022 season finale. The former North Carolina standout helped the Commanders to a 26-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys that day, though coach Ron Rivera indicated this offseason that Howell would have to earn the number one job and the team would likely add a veteran to the mix.

The 30-year-old Brissett has started 48 games, including 15 for the Indianapolis Colts in both 2017 and 2019, and is coming off a solid lone season with the Browns in which he completed a career-best 64 per cent of his attempts while throwing for 2,608 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Brissett owns a career passer rating of 84.4 over 76 games while amassing 10,350 passing yards with a 48-to-23 touchdown-to-interception ratio, though his career record as a starter is just 18-30.

A third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2016, Brissett will be playing for his fourth team in four years. After spending four seasons with the Colts, he started five games for the Miami Dolphins in 2021 before signing a one-year contract with the Browns last March.

The Atlanta Falcons are signing Taylor Heinicke as the former Washington Commanders quarterback returns to his native Georgia.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Falcons are bringing Heinicke in to compete with Desmond Ridder and add some much-needed experience.

Heinicke – who turns 30 on Wednesday – will arrive in Atlanta from Washington, where he played 27 times since arriving towards the end of the 2020 season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the deal will be for two years and worth up to $20million.

After being released by the Carolina Panthers in 2019, Heinicke joined the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL, though did not play a game before the league was suspended in April 2020.

He signed with Washington in December 2020, playing once in the regular season against the Panthers, before also featuring in the Wild Card round defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heinicke was a near ever-present in the 2021 season, with 20 passing touchdowns and one rushing in 16 appearances (15 starts), while he also started nine times in the 2022 campaign, with 12 passing TDs and one rushing.

Carson Wentz has been released by the Washington Commanders a year after the team traded for the quarterback.

The Commanders moved for Wentz ahead of the 2022 season, sending two third-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts and swapping their second-round pick last year.

But it was another injury-wrecked year for Wentz, whose departure from the team was confirmed in a statement on Monday.

The statement read: "The Commanders believed that Wentz could use his veteran experience to push Washington to the playoffs, but after missing over half the season with his injury, those hopes ultimately did not pan out."

Wentz has never rediscovered the form that earned him an All-Pro selection in the 2017 season before he missed the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl win through injury.

There were promising signs at the start of his year in Washington as he threw for 650 yards and seven touchdowns across the first two games.

But Wentz's performances had fallen away even before he broke his right ring finger in Week 6, ruling him out until the fourth quarter of the Week 16 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Wentz becomes a free agent ahead of the 2023 campaign, with his release saving the Commanders around $26million in salary cap space.

Eric Bieniemy is content with his new role as offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders and insists he is not already looking for a head coaching opportunity.

Bieniemy has joined the Commanders after his second Super Bowl win in five years as the Kansas City Chiefs' OC.

Despite his success in that job, the 53-year-old repeatedly failed to land a position as an NFL head coach following a number of interviews.

It is something that will appeal to Bieniemy again in the future, he suggested, but his sole focus for 2023 is on the Commanders.

"Being a head coach right now is not in my thought process," Bieniemy said. "What I'm focused on is being the best coach today; everything else will take care of itself.

"I live in the moment. Right now, my feet are planted here.

"[Getting a head coaching job] hasn't happened. It's not anything that's going to impact me moving forward.

"All that stuff about being the head coach, we can talk about that next year sometime. I'm focused on the job at hand."

Bieniemy's Chiefs offense led the league with 413.6 total net yards per game in 2022 as the Commanders ranked 20th (330.3 yards per game).

That was merely the Chiefs' third-best season under Bieniemy in that regard, while their worst performance saw 379.2 yards per game in 2019 – a mark Washington have topped only four times in their history.

The Washington Commanders are working to finalise a deal to make Eric Bieniemy their offensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

Bieniemy has long since been considered one of the finer offensive minds in the NFL, but his success with the Kansas City Chiefs has not resulted in a head coaching job.

Working under Andy Reid, Bieniemy has served as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator since 2018, his schematic acumen helping Kansas City to two Super Bowl titles in his five seasons in the role.

Having won Super Bowl LIV in the 2019 season, the Chiefs reclaimed the title last Sunday with a thrilling 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Arizona.

That proved to be a swansong for Bieniemy, who was not under contract for 2023, with the Chiefs' play-calling crucial in setting up an injured Patrick Mahomes to engineer a comeback after Kansas City went into half-time trailing 24-14.

The Chiefs led the NFL in points and yards on offense in 2022, as they did in Bieniemy's first year as offensive coordinator in 2018.

He now looks set to be tasked with overseeing an offensive turnaround for the Commanders, who have finished in the bottom half of the NFL in yards and points in each of the last five seasons.

Bieniemy would appear to be making something of a sideways move, however, with Reid operating as a play-calling head coach in Kansas City, a switch to Washington to work for Ron Rivera offers the former running back a chance to have full control of an offense, while it will also be the first multi-year deal he has received as an offensive coordinator.

Speaking on Monday after the Chiefs' Super Bowl win, Reid said of Bieniemy: "I hope he has the opportunity to go somewhere and do his thing, and run the show and be Eric Bieniemy."

That opportunity has now arrived, and Bieniemy will surely not lack chances to make an overdue leap to a head coach position if he can transform Washington's offensive fortunes.

Hall of Fame NFL executive Bobby Beathard has died at the age of 86.

Beathard spent more than three decades as an executive in the league, enjoying 10-year stints as general manager in both Washington and San Diego.

Beathard contributed to four Super Bowl successes overall, overseeing Washington's victories at Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XXII as GM, as well as helping the Miami Dolphins to two triumphs during a spell as director of player personnel.

The 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee died aged 86 on Monday as a result of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease.

A statement from the Washington Commanders read: "Bobby was a man of extraordinary class and integrity and was the architect behind the greatest teams in this organisation's history.

"He cared deeply about everyone he worked with and always put the team first. Bobby is rightfully enshrined in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Washington Ring of Fame and will go down as one of the greatest executives in NFL history."

Beathard's grandson, quarterback C.J. Beathard, played in four games for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2022 season, having entered the league with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

The Washington Commanders have fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

Turner had been in the role since 2020, when Ron Rivera, whom he had worked under during two spells with the Carolina Panthers, was named head coach.

They helped Washington reach the playoffs in 2020, but did so with a losing record. The subsequent two seasons have also failed to produced winning records.

Washington went 8-8-1 in 2022, a season that could prove to be controversial owner Dan Snyder's last with the franchise. The Commanders announced in November that Dan and Tanya Snyder were exploring a sale of the team.

A potential change in ownership may buy Rivera more time for the sake of stability, but Turner has paid the price for a season in which Washington's offense struggled for efficiency.

The Commanders averaged 4.93 yards per play in 2022, putting them 28th in the NFL, as they were again hamstrung by a lack of a definitive answer at the quarterback position. Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell all started at least one game under center for Washington.

"I met with Coach Turner today and informed him that we will be moving in another direction going forward with the offensive coordinator position," Rivera said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, we did not live up to the expectations and standard that I expected to see from our offensive unit.

"I felt it was best for a fresh start at the coordinator position heading into next year.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Scott and thanked him for his three years of service to our organisation. I wish Scott and his family all the best in the future."

The Washington Commanders will start rookie Sam Howell for their regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys having been eliminated from postseason contention.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera confirmed the decision on Wednesday as they re-shuffle the QB deck for one final time.

Rivera swapped Taylor Heinicke for Carson Wentz at QB for last week's 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, which ended the Commanders' playoffs hopes.

Wentz, in his first start after almost two months out with a fractured finger, completed 16 of 28 passes for 143 yards with three interceptions.

"I think first, initially, is obviously, it would be his first start, and it would become a little bit of a circus, having to deal with all of the things that come with being a starter, but also, you look at the opponent, and who you're playing and what they're playing for," Rivera told reporters.

"Going with Taylor would have given us an opportunity to see what they're doing, how they're doing it and would have given Sam a chance to look at it if we had gone with Taylor.

"At the end of the day, at some point, if Sam ever gets an opportunity to be a starter, this would be the chance. Why not get it over with now and go from there?

"The most important thing is that we're really intrigued in terms of watching and seeing what Sam can do as a quarterback in this league."

Wentz, 30, has two years remaining on his Washington contract, having joined via trade last offseason from the Indianapolis Colts.

For most fantasy leagues, Week 17 brings the end of the campaign.

The number of players traditionally held out of action to protect against injury in the raft of games with no playoff implications in Week 18 means it is too risky to hold fantasy championships on the final week of the regular season.

Hence, most fantasy title games will take place this week, and those involved may spend the days prior to the upcoming kick-offs agonising over which players to put in their line-up.

Often players who appeared unlikely fantasy stars at the start of the year emerge as league winners, and here Stats Perform picks out four such players and a defense whose contributions could decide the destination of fantasy titles. 

Quarterback: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

The dynamism Fields brings as a runner always gave him potential fantasy upside and he has harnessed that spectacularly in 2022. Fields had been a top-10 fantasy quarterback every week since Week 6 before he was held in check by the Buffalo Bills last Saturday.

While the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot, their defense, which gave up an astonishing 320 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers last week, is not well-equipped to slow down Fields, who should be expected to bounce back and deliver a championship-game tilting display.

Running Back: Brian Robinson Jr, Washington Commanders vs. Cleveland Browns

Robinson was frustrated by the San Francisco 49ers' outstanding defense last time out, but he is unlikely to meet much resistance from a Cleveland defense that is allowing the seventh-most yards per rush (4.87) in the NFL.

Between Weeks 12 and 15, only Miles Sanders (5.98) averaged more yards per carry than Robinson (5.69) among running backs. He hit a large speed bump in the Bay Area but, back in the friendly confines of FedEx Field against an opponent already eliminated from playoff contention, Robinson is in a good position to get back on track in a must-win game for the Commanders.

Wide Receiver: Garrett Wilson, New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks

Wilson's production was submarined by the struggles of namesake Zach Wilson against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

In a game the Jets cannot afford to lose, they will have Mike White back at quarterback in Seattle, setting Wilson up for a bounce-back game against an opposing defense that is very amenable to passing attacks.

Since Week 12, Wilson has racked up 24 receptions for a first down, tied for the third-most in the NFL. The Seahawks have allowed the seventh-most passing plays of at least 20 yards (49) and, despite possessing some talented rookie cornerbacks, do not have the means to stop White and Wilson rekindling their rapport.

Tight End: Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Engram received one of the more modest deals during the Jaguars' free agency splurge, but his signing has paid dividends over the last three games, in which only two players – Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown – can claim to have tallied more receiving yards than his 337.

The Texans are playing hard down the stretch and claimed only their second win of the season in Tennessee last weekend, but their defense is still the 10th-worst by yards per pass play allowed. Look for Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence to take advantage with an aerial attack that will heavily involve Engram.

Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Despite being very inexperienced in the secondary, the Chiefs' defense sits an impressive 11th in the NFL by yards per play and, as Kansas City look to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills in the race for the one seed in the AFC, gets a favourable matchup with Denver's dismal offense.

The Broncos' 33.9 per cent Success Rate on offensive plays is the worst in the NFL and a Chiefs defense that has forced the third-most negative plays (103) in the league should relish going against Denver's beleaguered attack.

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