Troy Apke’s release paints depressing picture of Commanders 2018 draft
By Jerry Trotta
NFL teams had to trim their rosters to 85 players by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. EST deadline. The Washington Commanders did so in somewhat-complicated fashion, releasing Deion Calhoun, De’Vante Bausby and Troy Apke while placing Alex Armah and Chile native Sammis Reyes on season-ending injured reserve.
The Reyes move in particular creates a battle between undrafted free agents Armani Rogers and Curtis Hodges for the fourth tight end spot. That, of course, assumes Washington keeps four tight ends on the 53-man roster.
The other big takeaway is Apke’s release.
A fourth-round pick of Washington in 2018, Apke appeared in 50 games for the franchise over four years, including nine starts. He was sparsely used as a defensive back (just 651 snaps), but became a core member of the special teams unit, playing 61.7 percent of the snaps during his tenure.
There’s always a chance Apke and the Commanders reunite down the road — maybe even before this season — but his release sheds a depressing light on the team’s 2018 draft, as Daron Payne is now the last member of the class standing.
The Commanders’ release of defensive back Troy Apke sheds a damning light on the team’s 2018 draft class.
That’s right, folks. Of the eight players Washington drafted, Payne is the only one who’s still with the team … and he seems like a surefire bet to leave next offseason assuming the franchise doesn’t offer him a contract extension. By this time next year we could be talking about the entire 2018 class being gone after five years.
The Derrius Guice picked seemed like great value at the time, especially after the Giants took Saquon Barkely No. 2 overall. Unfortunately for Washington, it proved to be a disaster, as Guice played just five games for the team due to various knee injuries and a string of off-field allegations.
Geron Christian, meanwhile, appeared in 24 games (only eight starts) in three seasons before he was released after the team failed to trade him.
Time Settle is the last of the remaining picks who ever caught on with Washington. He flashed starting potential, but never got enough opportunities playing behind Payne, Jonathan Allen and 2016 fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis.
Settle signed with Buffalo as a free agent this offseason and fans are likely rooting he makes the most of the second chapter of his career … but two starts in four years while never playing more than 33% of the snaps, again, isn’t ideal.
Shaun Dion Hamilton played 46 games in three years, but managed 97 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
The 2018 class looked promising for a brief period of time, but it looks like an unmitigated disaster following Apke’s release. Assuming Payne isn’t long for the nation’s capital, the optic could become markedly worse down the road.
It’s almost impossible to wrap your head around the fact that the entire class could be gone by next offseason. That just doesn’t happen very often.