5 early Commanders cut candidates next spring at the 2023 midseason point

Logan Thomas
Logan Thomas / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could cut Charles Leno Jr.

  • Cap savings - $12 million (post-June 1 designation)
  • Dead money - $3.75 million

There is so much sentiment in football from a fan standpoint. It's easy to forget that is a business above all else and players are viewed by ownership as commodities rather than anything too deep.

Josh Harris' approach with his other sports franchises centers on analytics and making cutthroat choices in pursuit of progression. That's the same ethos he'll bring to the Washington Commanders and there will be no sentiment attached to any personnel moves as a result.

This will be especially evident if Harris goes with a different general manager or head coach. Upon further examination of the biggest savings that might make sense, veteran left tackle Charles Leno Jr. jumps out immediately.

Leno has once again proven his worth as the Commanders' most consistent offensive lineman this season. He's a supreme leader within the locker room and one of the most high-character individuals you'll ever meet.

But again, this is a business.

If the Commanders prioritize upgrading the protection in front of Sam Howell and draft a premium edge protector with their first-round selection, Leno becomes a very expensive backup unless he's shifted to another spot. Cutting him with a post-June 1 designation saves the Commanders $12 million, which is a lofty sum whichever way one looks at it.

The former seventh-round selection has given his heart and soul to Washington. Leno is also a hugely respected figure within the community, which makes this early cut tougher than most if it's something the Commanders end up doing.