3 remaining salary-cap crunches the Commanders must make in 2023

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Charles Leno Jr. /

Commanders restructure Charles Leno Jr.

  • Cap savings – $4.07 million

Big changes are coming to the Washington Commanders’ offensive line this offseason. Eric Bieniemy and whoever they pick as their starting quarterback cannot afford suspect protection holding them back, so expect this to be addressed as a matter of extreme urgency during free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.

One could make a strong case for three or four new starters across the protection. However, keeping some semblance of continuity is also crucial, so releasing Charles Leno Jr. despite the $8 million in savings might not be in the team’s thought process.

Of course, this could all change. But Leno was the best of a bad bunch last season and could enhance his influence further with better players around him during the upcoming campaign.

Factoring everything into the equation, restructuring Leno rather than cutting him loose entirely seems the more likely scenario. Something that comes with an extra $4.07 million to spend on offensive line reinforcements or another position group of need.

The former seventh-round selection out of Boise State is also a strong leader within the locker room. This is what the Commanders need to ensure young rookies or new free-agent acquisitions adjust quickly throughout OTAs and training camp.

Next year, it’s a different story. As it stands right now, cutting Leno in 2024 comes with a cap saving of $12 million and just $2.25 million in dead money.

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