4 Commanders players who cannot afford to regress in 2023

Curtis Samuel
Curtis Samuel / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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Charles Leno Jr. - Commanders OT

It's been an offseason of great change across the Washington Commanders' offensive line in 2023. Players have come in and some have left - with the prospect of more falling by the wayside entirely possible to free up funds on the team's salary cap.

The starting unit also looks far different according to the early indications at OTAs. New signings Andrew Wylie and Nick Gates hold prominent spots and there is a position switch for Sam Cosmi, so jelling quickly throughout the preparation period is of paramount importance.

One player absent from voluntary OTAs that remains the one constant is Charles Leno Jr. The veteran will once again be tasked with manning blindside blocking duties, which is stability the Commanders have sorely lacked across their protection in recent years.

While Leno isn't a world-beater by any means, he is decent enough and represents a supreme leadership presence within the locker room for good measure. The former seventh-round pick gave up eight sacks last season, but one could argue he was the best of a bad bunch along Washington's line.

Any regression from Leno next season is going to come to big-time ramifications. It would also make releasing the Boise State product to save $12 million heading into the final year of his deal an easy decision next spring.