6 former Commanders players who'll be missed the most in 2024

These absences will hurt the Commanders this season.
Kendall Fuller
Kendall Fuller / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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James Smith-Williams, Casey Toohill - Former Commanders DEs

James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill brought great depth to the defensive line. That's why they could both potentially be missed by the Washington Commanders in 2024.

The pass-rushing group is a lot worse going into 2024 than it was going into 2023. The losses of Montez Sweat and Chase Young are notable, but losing key depth pieces in Smith-Williams and Toohill are underrated elements of this equation.

Both of these players had high motors They contributed from a rotational basis, although their production when allocated prominent reps once Sweat and Young were traded was less pleasing.

Smith-Williams signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Toohill joined with the Buffalo Bills. The Washington Commanders' front office brought in some new pass rushers, including guys like Dorance Armstrong Jr., Dante Fowler Jr., and Clelin Ferrell.

However, this pass-rushing group isn't great. The losses of key depth pieces like Smith-Williams and Toohill mean others need to step up when called upon in 2024.

Charles Leno Jr. - Former Commanders OT

This departure was forced by Adam Peters. Charles Leno Jr. became a salary-cap casualty as those in power wanted to go younger at the left tackle position. Considering the need to keep rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels' blindside protected, it's a big gamble.

Leno was a solid performer and an impressive leadership presence within the locker room. He's not signed elsewhere as yet, but this is down to his recovery from hip surgery more than anything. Once he gets the all-clear to resume football activities, the former seventh-round pick should end up as a key rotational piece or a potential starter in the right system.

What the Commanders have planned for the left tackle position is anyone's guess. They picked up Brandon Coleman in the third round and will give him every chance to win the starting job in Week 1 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If not, veterans such as Cornelius Lucas and Trent Scott could fill the void.