3 winners (and 2 losers) from Commanders 2024 offseason overhaul

Jahan Dotson
Jahan Dotson / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

Loser No. 1

Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DL

The Washington Commanders were not in a position to be turning down gifts throughout the offseason in their current state. A prime example of this arrived during the 2024 NFL Draft when defensive lineman Johnny Newton fell out of the first round.

Adam Peters was probably not looking for another interior lineman so early in the college selection process. That said, Newton's game-wrecking capabilities meant the Commanders shifted course and made him the No. 36 overall selection.

Newton is dealing with some foot issues that could prevent him from making an impact early in the campaign. Once the player is at 100 percent, it would be a surprise if he wasn't given prominent reps within Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.'s creative scheme. Slotting him next to Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen on a three-man front comes with mouth-watering potential attached.

This surprising turn of events cannot be seen as anything other than bad news for Phidarian Mathis. The former second-round pick hasn't made any notable impact over his first two years with the franchise. Injuries haven't helped, but a huge effort is needed this offseason to remain part of Quinn's plans.

Mathis is a big body capable of clogging up space on the interior. Perhaps some better luck on the health front this summer can stand him in good stead, but the margin for error is slimmer than ever thanks in no small part to Newton's arrival.

Couple this with the Commanders opting to keep Allen rather than entertaining trade offers, and it's not hard to see why things look bleak for Mathis. He'll be in a fight for depth chart standing with John Ridgeway III, which could determine who goes through onto the 53-man roster depending on how many interior linemen Washington takes through onto their squad.

All hope is not lost for Mathis. But the Commanders got themselves a pretty good contingency plan if he cannot raise his performance levels accordingly.