The Commanders recently of pass rusher Chase Young, meaning the former first-round draft pick will become a free agent after the 2023 season. It also means Washington could be open to trade offers for the young defender, as Sports Illustrated reported this week.
It's not that Young, 24, lacks potential as an imposing edge presence, even after back-to-back injury-shortened seasons. But with fellow defensive linemen Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen already under contract for top dollar, and fellow pass rusher Montez Sweat due for an extension of his own, the Commanders might rather auction Young than lose him to the open market in 2024.
With that in mind, which teams could be calling Washington about the former Ohio State star? Here are seven logical suitors:
|Between DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart and Kwity Paye, they're not hurting for talent in the trenches. But their leading pass rusher from a year ago, Yannick Ngakoue, will be gone, leaving a slew of reserves to pick up the slack. Under new coach Shane Steichen, they seem to be taking a longer-term approach, at least according to their QB activity, and Young is early enough in his career that he could still be more of a down-the-road project.|
|Bill Belichick is never one to shy away from a big-name reclamation attempt, and with Matt Judon going on 31 and more expendable after 2023, it's possible they could look to capitalize on untapped talent by plugging Young into their hybrid scheme alongside younger guys like Josh Uche. They've recently taken a youthful approach to upgrading the front seven, by the way, spending their first three 2023 draft picks on "D."|
|Nick Bosa is about to command lucrative money as the headliner of their pass rushing group, and they just paid a fortune for Javon Hargrave to join the interior, but after losing both Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu in free agency, they could stand to add depth off the edge. San Francisco relies so much on its "D" while sticking to the ground on offense, so John Lynch might be willing to bet on the long-term upside.|
|Mike Tomlin's defense would be just fine without him, and both T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith have entrenched themselves as homegrown studs off the edge. But since when is Tomlin not interested in exploring new toys on "D," especially when they have such elite traits? Fitting him into the 3-4 would take creativity, but as Pittsburgh leans on that side of the ball while growing Kenny Pickett, it makes sense.|
|Pete Carroll deploys more of a hybrid 3-4 defense, which would present foreign scenery to Young, but Seattle has been all about upgrading the defensive front this offseason, bringing in Dre'Mont Jones and reuniting with Jarran Reed. With hopes of a second straight playoff bid, they could justify another low-risk, high-reward swing in the trenches.|
|They spent aggressively and wisely to build up their defense this offseason, primarily on the back end. Clearly eyeing a challenge for the NFC North title in 2023, they could still use a power complement to Aidan Hutchinson up front. Romeo Okwara and John Cominski are fine, but Young's imposing size and athleticism could help them take an even bigger leap. They've also got more cap space than all but four teams going into the summer.|
|Matt Eberflus got a few expensive gifts this offseason, with Ryan Poles paying big bucks to replace Roquan Smith's play-making at linebacker. While DeMarcus Walker is also an underrated addition, the coach could still use a premium edge rusher if he intends to oversee dramatic defensive improvement. Young could be just that, and better yet, he'd help the team keep a long-term focus as it builds around quarterback Justin Fields. With a league-leading $32.6M in cap space, why not?|