5 potential Commanders candidates to replace Nick Gates

The Commanders are looking for a new starting center.
Nick Gates
Nick Gates / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Who could emerge as potential candidates to replace Nick Gates after the center was given his marching orders by the Washington Commanders?

Sam Cosmi will be lining up on the Washington Commanders' offensive line in 2024. That’s just about the only thing we can say for certain about the protection after the recent releases of Charles Leno Jr. and Nick Gates.

I believe Andrew Wylie will stick around. I mean, you can’t cut everybody. His price tag is reasonable, and he’s a tough, versatile veteran. Ideally, you would not need him as your starting right tackle, but first things first. The Commanders have more pressing needs to address along the line.

Who will be starting at center? That was supposed to be Gates’ job. He flamed out. Veteran journeyman Tyler Larsen - who had filled in reasonably well in previous seasons - didn’t fare much better. He is scheduled to be a free agent this summer, leaving the Commanders with no experienced player in the middle of their protection.

This has been a problem spot since Washington lost the man who was supposed to be anchoring the line, Chase Roullier, to injury in both 2021 and 2022. The list of fill-ins has been underwhelming. Keith Ismael was gone before he ever developed. Wes Schweitzer was much better at guard. Jon Toth? Nick Martin? Neither was here long enough to get a second cup of coffee.

The center is often the de facto leader of the line, tasked with keeping assignments organized. Finding a fix - not simply a stopgap - will be essential if the Commanders hope to build a quality, balanced offense. Whoever the quarterback is in 2024, it won’t matter much if he doesn’t have a reliable protector standing in front of him.

Here are five candidates to become the Commanders’ new center after Adam Peters made Gates surplus to requirements.