4 players Commanders can't risk sneaking on the practice squad in 2024

The Commanders would be taking a huge risk...
Cole Turner
Cole Turner / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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John Ridgeway III - Commanders DL

Adam Peters wasn't going to stand idly by with any position group during his first offseason as general manager. The front-office leader removed sentiment and raised urgency across the board. He gutted half the roster and replaced them with the characters needed to finally get this storied franchise back among the contenders.

The Washington Commanders didn't have a great need along their defensive line interior. Jonathan Allen looks rejuvenated after navigating an offseason of wild trade speculation. Daron Payne is a prime bounce-back candidate under head coach Dan Quinn. That didn't stop Peters from forming a contingency plan if things didn't go according to the script.

When Johnny Newton fell out of the first round and into the Commanders' lap at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, it was an opportunity Peters couldn't turn down. He promised to take the best prospects available regardless of need. This was the first prime example of his ethos in action.

Newton is dealing with some injury issues on both feet. Once he's fully healthy, Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. will find a way to get the disruptive force involved immediately. It won't come at the expense of Allen or Payne. This leaves others nervously looking over their shoulders heading into the summer.

Much will depend on how many interior defensive linemen the Commanders take through onto their 53-man roster. From the outside looking in, it might be a straight fight between Phidarian Mathis and John Ridgeway III thanks to Newton's arrival.

Mathis is the high draft pick who's dealt with significant injury issues and poor form since entering the league. Ridgeway's not been much better, so it'll be interesting to see how this dynamic shakes out when push comes to shove.

This is something other teams needing defensive line reinforcements will be monitoring closely. If the Commanders waive Ridgeway intending to bring him back onto the practice squad, another franchise will strike.