Commanders didn't pick up Chase Young's option
Aside from the ownership saga and the quarterback position, there's been no larger topic of conversation among the fanbase than Chase Young's status throughout the offseason. The Washington Commanders had a big decision to make with the defensive end, who was seldom seen last season after suffering a torn ACL that needed significant reconstruction and rehabilitation in equal measure.
It could have gone either way, in all honesty. But the Commanders opted not to pick up Young's fifth-year option at around $17 million, making him a free agent alongside fellow pass-rusher Montez Sweat in 2024.
While the argument for not triggering Young's contract cause is extremely valid, it doesn't change the predicament Washington might find itself in. Especially if the former Ohio State phenom suffers no further complications on the health front and performs to the level many anticipate.
In this scenario, paying Young and Sweat the going rate would be almost impossible. That's without taking into account the steep financial commitment already made to Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on the defensive line.
Had the Commanders taken a calculated risk with Young's option, it would have given them another year to work out a long-term deal while also having the option of structuring Sweat's contract to ensure both could remain around. But it was a fine line looking at the grand scheme of things.
It would be surprising to see Washington trade Young before the season. If the player cannot meet expectations over the opening few weeks, this might be a different story at the 2023 deadline.