4 players the Commanders should hold off giving new deals in 2023

(Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Young
(Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Young /
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(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel – Commanders WR

No sooner had Ron Rivera agreed to become head coach in 2020, he went back to one of his primary playmakers on the Carolina Panthers for assistance in a different setting. Curtis Samuel was seen as a fantastic free-agent pickup at the time, which has been followed by an indifferent spell despite flashing on occasions.

There is no denying the skills Samuel brings to the table. He is a smooth route-runner from the slot that can take it to the house at any given opportunity, but he’s played second-fiddle to Terry McLaurin and the emergence of Jahan Dotson could mean targets decrease for the one-time Ohio State standout in 2023.

Much will depend on how the new offensive coordinator envisages Samuel’s role. The sooner that gets confirmed, the better Washington’s chances will be of making the necessary improvements on offense next season.

Samuel is out of contract in 2023 and is set to count $13 million against the Commanders’ salary cap next season. This is a hefty sum those in power could reduce with a new contract, but they are pretty flush with funds right now and can absorb this with minimal fuss.

If Samuel thrives in Year 3 with the team, then a contract is sure to follow next spring. But giving him one ahead of time does appear foolish in the grand scheme of things.