Jayden Daniels clearly does not want to play for the Commanders

Jayden Daniels would prefer to play somewhere else in the NFL...
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

How are Washington Commanders fans supposed to get excited about the idea of Jayden Daniels playing for their team? How are the Commanders supposed to get excited about him being the face of the franchise?

The guy doesn't want to be there, so what the heck are they supposed to do?

This report from NFL insider Dianna Russini of The Athletic paints a pretty horrible picture for the Commanders:

When you're talking about investing the 2nd overall pick in a player, you don't want him to just be "cool" with playing for your team. You want a guy who is going to be fully invested in being the face of your franchise. This is not some late-1st-round maneuver for the Commanders, this is a potentially franchise altering move.

This puts Commanders GM Adam Pierce and head coach Dan Quinn in a very odd situation. Is this going to be another Eli Manning scenario where the team eventually relents and is willing to trade the player to his preferred team? Are the Commanders going to take Daniels anyway and just expect that he'll get over these feelings in time? Would they pass on him for Drake Maye and allow the Patriots to deal with the situation?

It's really shaping up to be fascinating, because if Daniels holds up a Commanders jersey on draft night, everyone's going to know he's feeling something like this:

Eli Manning
2004 NFL Draft / Chris Trotman/GettyImages

At that time, the Chargers were able to swap with the New York Giants, who selected Philip Rivers out of North Carolina State. They benefitted by trading with the Giants, obviously, but the Chargers earned the #1 overall pick in that 2003 season. They were supposed to be able to get the QB1 on their board, and the problem was -- Eli Manning didn't want to be there.

Keep in mind, this was just five years after the Ryan Leaf selection totally burned the franchise, and the Chargers -- at this point -- were just two years into the Drew Brees era. They didn't know what they really had in Brees, and clearly he wasn't part of their plans for the future. Not being able to bring in Eli Manning as their franchise QB at the time had to make them absolutely sick, although we know Philip Rivers turned out to be great.

But the Commanders are in a similar spot. They have a chance to get a Heisman-winning quarterback, maybe the best dual-threat player at that position in this class. They obviously like Daniels a lot and would probably take him 2nd overall without a second thought, but now Daniels has given them reason to think twice. If he doesn't want to be there, that's a huge issue that could have ripple effects over time.

So what does Adam Peters do? Nobody should envy that predicament.