4 Commanders players that can’t afford to start 2023 on a sour note

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Chase Young - Commanders DE

After two years of relative unavailability and inconsistent on-field production, Chase Young is entering a crossroads campaign with the Washington Commanders in 2023. The defensive end didn't get his fifth-year option picked up this offseason, which only raises the sense of urgency further for someone who could be staring draft-bust status in the face with another disappointing season.

Not many predicted this would be Young's future before he became the No. 2 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. But the explosiveness and game-wrecking tendencies he put on full display at Ohio State have been seldom seen since his outstanding rookie campaign.

Young skipped voluntary OTAs, which sent out the wrong message to some. However, the player was working out with Von Miller in readiness for Washington's mandatory minicamp, so the Commanders will be hoping this approach reaps some hefty rewards when the regular season arrives.

The first thing Young must do is avoid further complications on the health front. If he puts a consistent run of games together, an upturn in numbers should follow on a defensive front that is littered with high-caliber performers.

Anything less than excellence and supreme fitness from Young in 2023 will come with grave consequences. If things don't go according to plan, he'll be looking for a new home next spring or might even be a trade candidate before the deadline.