7 Commanders players entering the last chance saloon in 2024

The stakes are high for these Commanders players.
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Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DL

To say it's been a less-than-ideal start to Phidarian Mathis' professional career would be an understatement. Some torrid luck on the injury front coupled with subpar performances mean he's in danger of being another high-end draft pick from the previous regime who couldn't meet expectations. Significant improvements are needed for the defensive lineman to carve out a role for himself under head coach Dan Quinn.

The Washington Commanders made life tougher for Mathis from the moment they selected Johnny Newton at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. This wasn't seen as a big priority thanks to the presence of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, but Adam Peters felt his slide was stood good of an opportunity to turn down.

Mathis has gone from a key rotational piece to fighting for his roster spot in the blink of an eye. Washington's coaching staff will be watching his progress closely throughout the offseason. If they feel like he's not doing enough or is being outperformed by someone like John Ridgeway III, he could be deemed surplus to requirements sooner than anticipated.

That might seem a little harsh on Mathis after such a luckless opening to his NFL journey. However, Adam Peters is taking all emotion out of his roster construction, which makes this a genuine possibility if he feels like it's the right thing to do.

Andrew Wylie - Commanders OT

If there was one questionable move made by general manager Adam Peters throughout the offseason, it centers on the offensive tackle positions. Brandon Coleman was drafted in the third round and is projected to be the starting left tackle despite concerns about whether he's better suited to the interior. The Commanders also stood pat on the right-hand side with Andrew Wylie, which became another contentious issue among the fanbase.

Wylie had some decent moments during his first season with the franchise. That said, his struggles when on an island were there for all to see - something that's reflected in the number of pressures and sacks conceded during an inconsistent campaign overall.

It didn't make much financial sense to cut Wylie after just one season thanks to the contract handed to him last spring. But make no mistake, Peters won't think twice about removing him from the equation if he cannot raise production in pursuit of giving rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels time to go through his progressions.

The onus is on Wylie to silence his doubters. If he flatters to deceive once again, the Commanders will have a new starting right tackle in 2025.