5 veteran Commanders players who may not make the final roster in 2024

Things are hanging precariously for these Commanders players.
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John Ridgeway III - Commanders DT

When they eventually sign 2024 draftee Johnny Newton, the Washington Commanders will have two first-round and two second-round picks topping the depth chart at defensive tackle. That in and of itself will make it hard for a less-heralded player like John Ridgeway III to stick on the final roster.

It would be different if Ridgeway had been a consistent playmaker in the multiple opportunities he has received over the past two seasons. But he has not. That sounds harsh, but it's what Adam Peters and the coaching staff will see upon examination of his game film.

Ridgeway has great size, and he has made a handful of plays on defense. However, the former fifth-round selection has shown a tendency to disappear for stretches. And he has probably been known more for a couple of ugly penalties than his tackles.

The interior lineman has benefitted throughout his short career from fortuitous timing with injuries. Ridgeway was claimed by Washington from the Dallas Cowboys after Phidarian Mathis went down during the first game of his rookie campaign in 2022. He's been around ever since without doing enough to firmly establish himself.

The mere fact that he was unable to make the Cowboys roster despite being a fifth-round draft pick was a red flag. However, with the injury to Newton this offseason and the need for Washington to err on the side of caution with the player's rehabilitation, Ridgeway may get another reprieve.

Part of this will depend on exactly what type of defensive scheme Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. intend to employ. If they stick primarily with the classic 4-3 front, Ridgeway may have a place, at least until Newton is fully healthy.

There is a flip side to this coin. If the Commanders opt for more hybrid fronts and 3-4 concepts, that could be bad news for Ridgeway.