4 Commanders role players entering career-defining seasons in 2024

Chris Rodriguez Jr.
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If the Washington Commanders want to take their newfound momentum and turn it into an improved record in 2024, they need everyone pulling together. The coaches, the players, and the front-office personnel must be as one for this storied franchise to get out of the proverbial doldrums and back among the challengers. Nothing else will do.

It's hard to deny the more collective feel across the Commanders right now. Josh Harris, Adam Peters, and Dan Quinn have an aligned vision for the future. Players are firmly on board, freshly energized, and full of positivity ahead of the first campaign in this exciting new era.

That's a positive first step. But if the Commanders want to ensure they become one of the league's surprise packages next season, they need their established performers firing on all cylinders. Those further down the depth chart must also be ready to step up and make a lasting contribution when called upon. This is the hallmark of every contending team.

With this in mind, here are four Commanders role players facing career-defining seasons in 2024.

Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DL

Phidarian Mathis hasn't done enough to justify his second-round draft status over two seasons. Injuries played a significant part in that, but the defensive lineman didn't do enough last time around to inspire confidence.

Mathis' stuttering start means the jury is still out in terms of his involvement under the new coaching staff. The Washington Commanders selected Johnny Newton at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft to raise competition. This decreases the former Alabama star's margin for error heading into a pivotal Year 3 of his professional career.

His size, brute strength, and ability to take up space could be useful within Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.'s scheme. Mathis should make the 53-man roster. That doesn't detract from what a crucial season this is for a player who's gone through a rollercoaster up to now.

Hopefully, Mathis can divert from his potential draft-bust trajectory and thrive under Quinn's guidance.