Matt Ioannidis’ agent accuses Commanders of deception after DT’s release
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders spent the first 48 hours of the legal tampering feeling out the market. Just hours before the new league year on Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST, the front office released all that pent-up aggression.
A flurry of roster moves were expected before Wednesday evening, but we were admittedly a little shell-shocked by both the speed at which they transpired and the magnitude of transactions that came to fruition.
To provide a quick summary, a trio of players — Matt Ioannidis, Ereck Flowers and Deshazor Everett — got released, Cam Sims was re-signed and fan favorite JD McKissic spurned Buffalo to return to Washington at the eleventh hour.
This guarantees to have a snowball effect on the rest of the Commanders’ free agency plans, so expect more moves in the near future.
For now, though, let’s focus on Ioannidis. While his release wasn’t a huge surprise given it saves nearly $7 million against the cap, his agent came forward with harsh accusations against Washington in light of the news.
Matt Ioannidis’ agent accused the Commanders of “lying” after the defensive lineman was released on Wednesday.
After learning of his client’s release, agent Alan Herman told the Associated Press that Commanders senior vice president of football administration, Rob Rogers, informed Ioannidis and his representatives at the NFL Scouting Combine that he would not be released this offseason.
"They looked us straight in the eye, Rob Rogers, and Rob basically said to Jared and myself: ‘Absolutely not. We have no thoughts of releasing Matt Ioannidis. We don’t particularly care to be lied to to our face. I don’t like when someone lies to my face.They took him out of the free agent market now for two days. That puts us now at a disadvantage because other teams have paid other defensive linemen contracts, and (Ioannidis) hasn’t been able to take advantage of that. That’s not the way you conduct business in the National Football League."
Those are pretty scathing accusations, but we’re hard-pressed to believe Rogers intentionally deceived Ioannidis’ camp. As we know, the NFL is a fluid business and Washington was long in the market for a quarterback. Trading for Carson Wentz was going to lead to cuts; ones the front office previously had no intention of making.
Lo and behold, ESPN’s John Keim relayed that exact information.
"According to multiple sources, Washington’s plans changed last week after the team acquired quarterback Carson Wentz and his $28 million cap hit for this season. One source also said his understanding was they were told Ioannidis was safe “at this time.”"
Keim also revealed the Commanders made Ioannidis available for trade over the last several days, but were ultimately turned down given he’s in the final year of the three-year, $21.75 million contract he signed in 2019.
In follow-up comments made to ESPN, Herman noted Commanders GM Martin Mayhew apologized about Ioannidis’ release. The agent event went as far as to say this marked his first dust-up with Rogers after years of overlap.
"“When someone tells you two weeks ago that he’s solid as a rock, would it take you by surprise?” Herman told ESPN. “Give us a heads up; free agency is coming and we want to make sure the player lands on his feet. Granted, [general manager] Martin Mayhew called and apologized. I’ve dealt with Rob for years and this is the first time I’ve ever had a situation like this with him. Always professional.”“It just takes our player out of the market for three days, and that’s the troubling part of this. If you’re even thinking about doing it, then give us a heads up so we can prepare.”"
Could the Commanders have done better to give Herman heads up?
Perhaps, especially considering they’ve seemingly been planning on cutting bait with Ioannidis for the past week, but the crux of Herman’s frustration dates back to the Combine. To the best of our knowledge, Herman wasn’t “lied” to, though we understand why he’s expressing frustration on Ioannidis’ behalf.