Nick Gates - Commanders OL
There wasn't much money to go around for the Washington Commanders this offseason. What little cash they had didn't get spent all that wisely. We've already discussed Andrew Wylie's inconsistent performance levels throughout the season. Nick Gates is another who failed to meet even modest expectations.
Gates came into the franchise as Washington's new starting center. Chase Roullier was released after suffering significant injury problems. It didn't take long to figure out this move was not going to go as anticipated.
To say Gates struggled over the first half of 2023 would be understating things. His protection and pre-snap communication left a lot to be desired. This left Ron Rivera with no option other than to bench the former Nebraska star in favor of the bigger, more dependable Tyler Larsen.
While Larsen didn't exactly set the world alight either, it improved slightly. Gates got another opportunity from a starting position when his replacement went down through injury. It was a decent enough finish to the campaign, but nowhere near what the Commanders envisaged when they prised him from the New York Giants.
Rivera's failure to prioritize the offensive line was one of the primary catalysts behind his demise. Gates is the latest in a long line of personnel choices that didn't pan out. Something the incoming regime needs to rectify as a matter of urgency.