Commanders gave up on key rotational pieces
The Washington Commanders gave up on key role players from their successful 2020 defense. Some of this was inevitable. But it now seems that Jack Del Rio and the other decision-makers had a grass is always greener mindset when it came to evaluating their own talent.
Ronald Darby, Jimmy Moreland, and Fabian Moreau were key contributors to the secondary in 2020. None were re-signed after the season.
Neither was Kevin Pierre-Louis. Key reserves along the defensive front - Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle - would depart over the next few seasons.
That kind of turnover is inevitable. On quality teams, new players are being continually identified and developed to step into the roles of departing veterans.
Draftees Jamin Davis, Benjamin St-Juste, and Phidarian Mathis were supposed to be those players. For whatever reason, none has so far lived up to their draft pedigree and are facing uncertain futures with further coaching alterations anticipated once the campaign concludes.
Mathis has been injured for much of his brief career and he is now beginning to look like a major blunder from the 2022 NFL Draft. I don’t blame Del Rio for that. But with regards to St-Juste and Davis, he does deserve criticism.