Chase Young’s back is against the wall. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera has decided not to pick up his fifth-year option, and a fraction of the fanbase has already decided to move on from Young, who they deem a bust. Maybe this is a good thing in the mind of Young, though, knowing that he does not have anywhere to go but up if he wants to remain a Washington Commander’. Motivation can come internally or externally, and maybe Rivera’s decision creates an extrinsic motivation that allows Young to tap into what his coaches, teammates, and fans expected of him since coming off of his rookie of the year season.
I thought the Commanders should have picked up Young’s option, but it is hard to disagree with the rationale against it. Being unavailable due to injury (not his fault), hints of immaturity, and an overall significant drop in production in his second season before the injury.
All of this is in the past, though, and Chase Young got his legs under him in 2022, playing in three games toward the end of the season.
A few notable reps from Chase Young’s debut yesterday pic.twitter.com/2YiRLVPhxK— Jamual (@LetMualTellit) December 25, 2022
The only thing that Ron and Chase could do now is focusing on what it will take for Young to earn a contract extension in Washington. On the latest Trap or Dive podcast, we were asked how many sacks it will take for Chase Young to earn “big” money after the season, and while I think Young’s overall impact is essential in his fourth year, I believe his sack total is more important.
Young will not get paid “big” money solely for the pressures he accumulates, how good of a run defender he is, or anything less than 12 sacks. If we are having this conversation within the context of “big,” maybe top-five edge defender money, Young will need to be a game-changing threat to the quarterback—the type of threat who has accumulated 12 or more sacks in 2023.
The Green Bay Packers declined quarterback Jordan Love’s fifth-year option but signed him to a contract extension instead to keep him around through 2024. In theory, it could make sense for the Commanders to follow the Packers model and extend Young similarly after this season if he does not hit the mark of “game-changing” but has played well enough in all aspects of his role that management finds it in the team’s best interest to keep Young.
What do you think? How many sacks does Chase Young need to earn an extension in Washington? Also, do you believe sacks will be enough for the extension, or will other factors also come into place?
Listen to the latest Trap or Dive Podcast, where AJ, Dre, and I discuss the Snyder era coming to an end, Washington game-by-game schedule prediction, and a complete discussion on Chase Young.