4 Commanders players who are living on borrowed time in 2024

These players must have a huge 2024 season.,
Dyami Brown
Dyami Brown / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 4

John Bates - Commanders TE

John Bates was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Boise State. This came after Logan Thomas signed a three-year extension with the Washington Commanders.

Bates' role became evident quickly. He was drafted to be a good blocking tight end with the hope that he could be the successor for Thomas. The pass-catching part didn't work out, but the player is a capable in-line blocking presence who can also make an impact at the second level when opportunities arise.

During his three-year career with the Commanders, Bates has been a solid backup. He can come in and make good blocks with the odd completion thrown in for good measure. However, his contribution is nothing special all things considered.

He has compiled 75 receptions for 508 receiving yards and two touchdowns throughout his career. Bates' best receiving season was his rookie year when he had 20 catches for 249 yards and a score.

Each year Bates’ role seems to get smaller. The Commanders raised a few eyebrows with the signing of veteran free agent Zach Ertz, who reunites with Kliff Kingsbury in the nation's capital. Washington also took Ben Sinnott out of Kansas State in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, who's drawn comparisons to George Kittle and looks like a tremendous long-term option.

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Bates needs to prove he is good enough to be a consistent backup option for the Commanders. His blocking prowess is enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster once again. What comes after that is less certain.

It'll take a huge effort from Bates. Nothing but top-level production will do, especially considering Adam Peters extended very few free agents with association to the previous regime during his first offseason at the helm.