3 free agents the Commanders could extend on the cheap in 2023

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Efe Obada
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Efe Obada /
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(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Heinicke /

Taylor Heinicke – Commanders QB

Sam Howell looks set to start OTAs as the Washington Commanders’ starting quarterback. There is a belief within the organization that he could make significant strides next season, which was reportedly echoed by Eric Bieniemy during his lengthy discussions before putting pen to paper.

While hopes are obviously high for Howell – especially considering the impact Bieniemy had on Patrick Mahomes during his meteoric rise to stardom – what comes behind the former fifth-round selection is less clear.

Carson Wentz will be released with a cap saving of $26.17 million. There is also a decision to make regarding Taylor Heinicke, who is on the lookout for a new deal after catching the eye during his time under center in 2022.

Heinicke galvanized the Commanders midway through the campaign when Wentz went out through injury after a miserable start to the season. He was unfairly benched to give their marquee trade acquisition one more shot at redemption, which he failed to accomplish during a dismal two-game stretch before Week 18.

While Heinicke could command somewhere in the region of $7-8 million per year, this is relatively cheap for a backup option. The player also has proven capabilities to step in when called upon, which is always a highly sought-after trait in any understudy.

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