Charles Leno Jr. - Commanders OT
With Josh Harris' ownership group having their finger on the proverbial trigger ahead of some landmark changes, everyone within the Washington Commanders should be on high alert. This includes coaches and veteran players who could be deemed salary-cap casualties or unworthy of contract extensions.
Looking at the current state of affairs and the standard of opposition on Thanksgiving brings Charles Leno Jr. under the microscope. The established left tackle has been decent overall this season, but penalties are becoming a real problem the Commanders don't need right now.
Leno needs to be at the top of his game versus a Dallas Cowboys defensive front that can cause absolute havoc if early momentum is generated. Whether Micah Parsons lines up more inside or not is moot - the former seventh-round pick out of Boise State must provide effective blindside protection to give Sam Howell time in the pocket.
A poor effort with the national spotlight glaring could come with grave consequences. With $12 million in savings attached to a post-June 1 release designation where Leno is concerned this offseason, he's firmly on the chopping block in no uncertain terms.
This bears more significance when one considers the Commanders are currently No. 7 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Something that could mean a blue-chip left tackle from the college ranks is within reach.