3 ways cash-strapped Commanders can free-up space before 2023 draft

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Commanders could extend and restructure Curtis Samuel

  • Cap saving – $7.29 million

Of all the players set to benefit from Eric Bieniemy’s presence within the Washington Commanders, wide receiver Curtis Samuel is right at the top.

Samuel’s dynamic capabilities with the football in his hands coupled with how impactful the player is in motion look tailor-made for the offensive system being implemented by Bieniemy in 2023. But everything must go well during the upcoming preparation period.

Samuel is also entering a contract year, which is further motivation for the one-time Ohio State standout. Ron Rivera’s connection to the player from their time together on the Carolina Panthers was a leading factor behind his switch in 2021 free agency, which has come with flashes of brilliance despite the lackluster production under center.

If the former second-round pick flourishes under Bieniemy, then expect his contract demands to also increase. This is a complication the Commanders could avoid by extending the wideout in the coming weeks and reworking his deal to provide immediate salary-cap flexibility.

According to Over the Cap, this course of action saves the Commanders $7.29 million in 2023, although much will depend on how the contract is worked. There are some durability issues where Samuel is concerned, but this might ensure they don’t end up paying more in the long run or perhaps prevent him from departing when the 2024 off-season arrives.