4 Commanders on the hot seat entering 2024 free agency

These Commanders should be nervously looking over their shoulders.

Andrew Wylie
Andrew Wylie / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DT

The Washington Commanders got almost nothing from Phidarian Mathis over his first two seasons. Injuries have significantly dented the defensive tackle's ability to make a lasting contribution. Even when he was healthy in 2023, there seemed to be a lack of trust from previous head coach Ron Rivera despite the defense's struggles.

Mathis was seen as a strange pick when the Commanders took him No. 47 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Washington already had a stud defensive tackle tandem in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Many saw the former Alabama enforcer as a luxury they couldn't afford with so many needs elsewhere.

Adam Peters will not be adding any sentiment to his decision-making process this offseason. It seems as if Allen will be sticking around after being impressed with Washington's offseason hires. Payne's game should also come on greatly under Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. This leaves Mathis facing the prospect of being a backup at best once again.

The Commanders have enough financial resources to potentially bolster their defensive line depth in free agency. They desperately need edge rushers, but a situation could emerge where Mathis falls further down the pecking order after his minimal output since joining the team.

That might sound harsh given his luckless career start. But make no mistake, the Commanders are going to adopt a business-first model moving forward under Peters.