There has been a lot of speculation about moves that the Washington Commanders could make if their season went like it usually does under Ron Rivera. The team is once again under .500 at the end of October. They only lost by a touchdown to the Giants, but the offense is a mess, and Jonathan Allen aired his frustrations in the locker room after the game. With new ownership evaluating the entire franchise, this is likely Rivera’s last season barring a massive turnaround, starting with a win over the 6-1 Eagles on Sunday.
The NFL’s trade deadline is October 31st, and there has been a lot of reports and speculation about Washington’s starting DEs, Chase Young and Montez Sweat, and their possible availability via trade. Both players are set to be free agents next March. Sweat is playing on his 5y-year option and Young had his declined earlier in the year.
Chase Young was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, but a complicated ACL injury derailed his last two seasons. He has been getting pressure on QBs, and grabbing headlines even as Washington’s season spirals again. Sweat leads the team in sacks this season, and has been a good player here, but not a great one consistently. Either player could be attractive to teams that are in playoff contention, and looking for a piece or two to prepare for the second half of the season and beyond.
Several reports were out about Washington’s intentions for two of their top defensive players before Sunday’s game. If they beat the Giants, and had a 4-3 record going home to face a Philly team they went to overtime with a month ago, Rivera(or new ownership), would be less likely to trade off any players that could help them now. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini wrote this:
Washington Commanders defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat both have contracts expiring after the season and could be on the trade block. I was told Washington has made calls to take the temperature of the market but is staying patient now, and that the next two weeks of play will shape the decision on their futures. The sense I get out of Washington is one of them will be on the move … if Washington can get the proper compensation.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler added this after saying the team sees both players in their future:
The sense after talking to several people is, if one were to be dealt — again, huge if — it’s likely Young, in part because he’s more inclined to play out the year and entertain free agency. Plus, he needs to play a healthy season.
Sweat is considered a stronger franchise-tag or extension candidate at this stage.
Then Washington lost to New York, and the trade odds have increased. Rivera and crew won’t admit the season looks lost, but there are definitely teams looking at several players on Washington’s roster as possible targets over the next week. The Athletic’s Ben Standig reported that the Commanders haven’t had contract extension negotiations with either defensive end:
According to multiple people with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Commanders have not had contract extension negotiations with the representative for either Young or Sweat, who are both represented by Klutch Sports Group. There also weren’t any formal or significant trade conversations, or anything beyond due diligence, with other teams entering Sunday, nor had the Commanders determined whether they would be buyers or sellers.
One high-ranking front-office executive from another team said following Sunday’s game that he believes Washington “will sell” at the deadline and that Young and Sweat are “available.” “They won’t say it publicly, but they will (sell),” the executive said. “They’re looking for value. All on the table.”
Josina Anderson added some fuel to the trade rumors today, saying several teams would be interested in, and ready to offer long-term deals to Young and Sweat.
Meanwhile, it is my understanding, that there are several identifiable teams that have both interest in trading for either #Commanders DEs Montez Sweat or Chase Young, AND are willing to offer either a long-term deal ahead of free agency.— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 24, 2023
Even though we’re a week away from the trade deadline, we’re still a long way from any trades happening. Rivera said this yesterday:
We’re not going to go around cutting a bunch of people, trading for a whole bunch of people, trying to hire a whole bunch of people. We’re trying to develop a young football team to be a very good football team for the future.
He’s under heavy scrutiny from fans, media, and a new ownership group looking to restore the Washington franchise to its glory days. If Rivera the GM is unwilling to make moves, especially if they lose again on Sunday, ownership would need to take that decision out of a lame duck coach’s hands if they aren’t going to actually fire him.
A big issue will be the compensation Washington would be willing to take for either pass rusher. Both of them would require new contracts from their new team, and Washington would likely extend or franchise tag the other player. Young has been labeled as the player more likely to be traded, but the likely compensation would be less than most people would want, but likely more than a 3rd round compensatory draft pick they might get in 2025. Would a low compensation offer motivate Washington’s decision makers to trade one of their biggest “names”? We’ll likely have to wait until next Tuesday to find out.
Will Chase Young or Montez Sweat get traded before the deadline?
This poll is closed
Chase Young traded
Montez Sweat traded
Young and Sweat traded
Neither player traded