Commanders Will Not Retain Eric Bieniemy

When news of the Commanders’ Kliff Kingsbury hire came out, questions were raised about the future of incumbent offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. An answer has emerged regarding the latter, and he will not be in Washington for the 2024 campaign.

Bieniemy will not be retained, new head coach Dan Quinn said at his introductory press conference. As a result, the longtime Chiefs OC will once again be on the move after a single campaign spent in the nation’s capital. Kingsbury was brought in on Sunday, and he will take charge of Washington’s offense. Quinn added that he and Bieniemy spoke earlier today, and the former offered well wishes for the latter in his next NFL opportunity.

Bieniemy spent 10 seasons under Andy Reid in Kansas City, including five as offensive coordinator. That gig did not involve play-calling duties, but he did take on a position which involved full control of the offense last offseason by joining the Commanders. The move from a unit led by Patrick Mahomes to one featuring Sam Howell at quarterback, a suspect offensive line and a skill-position corps lacking in proven options (aside from wideout Terry McLaurin) led to questions about how much success Bieniemy would be able to have in 2023.

On the other hand, Ron Rivera was widely seen as a lame-duck coach entering the campaign, giving Bieniemy a potential avenue to a head coaching opportunity. Rivera was indeed dismissed at the end of the season, and owner Josh Harris confirmed Bieniemy would be a candidate to replace him. The latter interviewed with Washington, but he was not among the team’s list of finalists, putting his own future in doubt.

Quinn is now officially in place, and the Commanders are prepared to move forward with new-look coaching and front office staffs. The team’s offense will likely have a new quarterback as its focal point by the start of next season, as the Commanders hold the No. 2 overall pick. Kingsbury’s hire has led to speculation Washington could make a push to select USC’s Caleb Williams (with whom Kingsbury worked this season), though drafting the former Heisman winner remains a likely move on the part of the Bears with the top pick in April’s draft.

Regardless of how Washington moves forward, Bieniemy will now become a late entrant on the coordinator scene. A number of teams have already filled their OC vacancies. That includes the Raiders, who had an agreement with Kingsbury fall through and have since tapped Luke Getsy to lead their offense. Presuming Greg Roman‘s new Chargers position is confirmed to be offensive coordinator, only the Seahawks remain amongst teams with an opening which has not at least reportedly been filled.

The Commanders ranked 24th and 25th in total and scoring offense, respectively, this season. Those totals paint a different picture than the one which was in place earlier in the season (Howell led the league in passing at one point), and they of course will not help Bieniemy’s stock. Given his track record with the Chiefs – whose offense struggled without him, particularly early in the campaign – however, he could find a landing spot relatively soon.

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