It’s Time to Rebuild

If I told you in August that Washington would score 31 points against the Eagles twice, I believe everyone would see two wins, at worst a split. I mean, the defense is the strength right? If the offense is putting up 30+ against the defending NFC Champs the Commanders must be 6-2 or 5-3, right? Sadly, no. While the offense has looked better than it has since the Kirk Cousins days, the defense has been nothing short of a catastrophe. Five first round picks including four on the defensive line couldn’t get to a hobbled Jalen Hurts, while AJ Brown showed that sometimes sequels are just as good as the original by putting up another 125+ yards and multiple touchdowns against the Washington secondary. It wasn’t a surprising result on either side of the ball. Sam Howell has showed many times this season that he can make all the throws, and put this team in a position to score. , but the defense has also showed that it cannot meet expectations time and time again. Once again the defensive coaches looked outmatched allowing Jalen Hurts to have his first ever 300 yard 4 touchdown and 0 turnover game of his career. Needless to say, it’s time to rebuild.

The trade deadline is tomorrow at 4pm and despite the fact that I really don’t want Ron Rivera or the current front office having anything to do with roster building for the future, they have to move one or more pieces to set up the next regime for success. Montez Sweat and Chase Young are two of the names being heavily floated by the national media and for good reason. Both EDGE rushers are playing on the last year of their rookie contracts and Washington simply cannot afford to pay four defense lineman top dollar. After re-signing both Jon Allen and Daron Payne the last two seasons, the writing was on the wall that one or both of these guys won’t be playing in DC in 2024. You would think that a smart, forward thinking front office would have used this obvious situation in the offseason to acquire draft capital to replenish the defensive and offensive lines with young talent, but this is a Ron Rivera run organization so whatever the fingers crossed I hope this works plan comes forward, you can bet that is the one that the Commanders will take.

It seems that Sweat is the most likely player to be dealt and I have to say that seems like the smartest move if the plan is to keep one of them. Chase Young is only 24 and has the higher ceiling despite injury issues the last few seasons. Sweat has been a great player in DC but he has never quite lived up to the first round talent they traded two second round picks to get back in 2019. Either way Washington needs to get something in return for one or both of these players. Reports yesterday linked the Atlanta Falcons and a third round pick that could become a second rounder if Sweat signs an extension with them. That’s a trade I’m willing to take, banking on the idea that the Falcons wouldn’t make the trade if they didn’t plan on signing him long-term anyway.

My personal preference would be to keep Young and tag him after the season. Let the new front office and head coach decide how he fits in their franchise plans and if he doesn’t meet expectations, move him this time next year. As for the rest of the team I wouldn’t hesitate to move Jacoby Brissett, Curtis Samuel, or Antonio Gibson for draft picks in 2024. I don’t think they should be trying to win games at this point, but with Rivera knowing he’s playoffs or bust, I think he will stand pat after moving Sweat or Young. If they don’t trade either? It will just be another mistake in a long list of them from this Washington Commanders franchise.

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