Could the Washington Commanders trade defensive end Chase Young to an AFC North playoff hopeful either before or during the 2023 season?
Chase Young appears to be a man reborn over the early stages of training camp. The defensive end is practicing without a knee brace and looks back to his explosive self, which is exactly the response wanted by the Washington Commanders after they declined his fifth-year option earlier this spring.
Young looks highly motivated to prove his doubters wrong in 2023. There is also plenty of added incentive for the player financially with a strong campaign under his belt next time around.
Any surge in production would be potentially complicated for the Commanders given that Montez Sweat is also looking for a big-money deal. However, there's a chance those in power could extend the pass-rusher before competitive action begins now that Josh Harris' ownership group is officially in charge.
Ravens linked with move for Commanders DE Chase Young
Of course, trading Young is another option - albeit an unlikely one. This hasn't stopped sections of the media from speculating the possibility, with Jarrett Bailey of USA Today Sports linking the former Ohio State star with a switch to the Baltimore Ravens via Total Pro Sports.
"There have already been murmurs about the former No. 2 overall pick being dealt. With Washington not picking up Young’s option, several teams have been rumored to be interested, including the Steelers and Ravens. However, with Pittsburgh extending Alex Highsmith, the likelihood of them going after Young is slim to none. That leaves Baltimore, and it would fit their MO like a glove. We’ve seen the Ravens bring in veteran pass rushers and defensive linemen before — Elvis Dumervil, Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Houston, and Calais Campbell — and they have a need at the position. Of course, other teams like the Colts or even the Bears could be in on the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year, but keep your eyes on Baltimore as a potential landing spot should Washington move him during the season."- Jarrett Bailey via Total Pro Sports
This would no doubt help the Ravens within a highly competitive AFC North. But the Commanders haven't entertained the notion of removing Young without giving him a legitimate opportunity to bounce back.
If they dealt Young for minimal compensation and he thrived, the consequences would be severe. There's also the option of franchise-tagging the player at $24.5 million if he proves worthy of such a whopping financial commitment.
Young's potential and the fact he began Washington's training camp in a dominant mood mean there's absolutely no chance the Commaders would consider moving on right now. Being regarded as sellers with their top stars is not the best first impression for Harris' group to be making, either.
If Young cannot produce the goods in the opening few weeks of the campaign, perhaps the Commanders would consider cutting their losses for the right price. But there's a different look in his eye this summer that would make it incredibly disappointing if he were to continue on the same worrying career path.
Hopes remain high where Young is concerned, even though the Commanders weren't willing to bet a cap hit of more than $17 million on it. And if all else fails, players with his sort of reputation always get another chance elsewhere.