Analyzing the financial impact of Commanders’ 2022 draft class
By Jerry Trotta
Round 2 – DL Phidarian Mathis
The Mathis selection in Round 2 (No. 47 overall) is a huge deal following the Commanders’ decision to not extend Daron Payne.
Paying two interior defensive linemen big-time money was always going to prove difficult, and Washington had to make a tough decision regarding Payne’s future after it extended Jonathan Allen at $18 million per year last offseason.
With Payne entering the final year of his rookie deal and likely to command somewhere around $12-16 million annually, Mathis’ arrival allows the Commanders to reset the money at the DT position while keeping potential extensions for edge rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young in mind for later on.
According to Spotrac, the Alabama product is expected to receive a contract worth $7.506 million total, or $1.876 million per year.
Round 3 – RB Brian Robinson Jr.
It’s unclear whether the Commanders want to extend Antonio Gibson, their third-round pick in 2020 who has two years left on his rookie deal. Though crazy-talented and an ascending talent at the position, Gibson will likely have to rectify his fumbling woes before the team even considers negotiating an extension.
That’s where Robinson Jr. comes into play. Given that paying a running back top dollar almost always backfires (Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and Christian McCaffrey are the most prime examples) teams should draft a RB every few years so they’re never backed into a corner of giving out a regrettable contract.
As a third-round comp pick, Robinson’s contract value sits at $5.044 million, equating to a cost-effective $1.26 million per year. These numbers could loom large in the event Gibson doesn’t last beyond his rookie contract.
Round 4 – S Percy Butler
Butler might’ve been over-drafted, but the post-draft hype suggests he could be play multiple roles for Washington as a rookie. As one of the fastest sprinters in this year’s class, he figures to be a real weapon as a special teams gunner.
Though coverage isn’t his calling card, Butler posted respectable numbers at Louisiana-Lafayette, allowing one touchdown and a 52.7% completion rate when targeted. He also packs a punch against the run and loves to unleash the hit stick, so don’t be shocked to see him on the field as a rookie.
Better still? He’ll be playing on a projected $4.449 million deal.