5 primary factors behind the Commanders offensive line's demise in 2023

The downward trend has some mitigating factors attached.

Nick Gates
Nick Gates / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Commanders' woeful free-agent signings

In 2020, Cornelius Lucas and Wes Schweitzer were godsends. A year later, Charles Leno Jr. was even better. That is not the case these days.

Schweitzer is gone. Lucas and Leno - who were reliable but never outstanding - are showing signs of age. In addition to ignoring premium talent in the draft, the Washington Commanders have done little via free agency to improve an aging offensive line.

Veterans Nick Gates and Andrew Wylie were supposed to help repair the line this year. So far, it has not worked at all.

The drumbeat to insert veteran Tyler Larsen or rookie Ricky Stromberg in place of Gates at center is picking up momentum. Wylie can play fairly well for stretches, but his physical limitations invariably seem to lead to penalties, pressures, and sacks at crucial moments.

I’ll repeat what I have been saying for the past two years. Sam Cosmi should be playing right tackle. Let him grow into the position. Unfortunately, there is no other player on the roster who can step into his spot at guard, so this move seems unlikely.

Sometimes it simply comes down to scouting. Washington chose Gates over Garrett Bradbury and Wylie over Daniel Brunskill. Those are not great players by any means, but they are cheaper and arguably better than the players the Commanders signed.