Cornelius Lucas - Commanders OT
I also would have assumed before the season that Cornelius Lucas’ age - he’ll be 33 years old on opening day, 2024 - would have disqualified him from serious consideration as a returning free agent. But the Washington Commanders have done a miserable job developing any young offensive linemen of late.
The situation is so dire that re-signing a proven swing tackle, regardless of his age, seems far more attractive today than it did back in September.
Washington has been down this road before. Back in 2018, they had another aging veteran who gave them quality snaps as a backup swing tackle. They chose to let Ty Nsekhe leave through free agency because they thought they could develop a younger option. They were wrong.
Geron Christian Jr. Saahdiq Charles, and even Sam Cosmi were all given a shot at tackle. All were eventually moved. Fourth-round pick Braeden Daniels seems to be the latest in the line of failed experiments.
Nsekhe is still in the league at 38 years old. Though he has hardly played this year, he performed reasonably well for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022. Lucas is still better than any younger backup the Commanders have. He may be as good or better than the current starters.
As a pass protector, he probably is better, at least in short stretches. So he has gone from a player I thought had maybe a 25 percent chance of returning when the season began to at least a 50-50 chance.
Lucas has remained the same player while the rest of the team’s backup tackle options have regressed. I wouldn’t mind seeing him return one bit.