Which Washington Commanders news stories are hitting the headlines as attention quickly turns to another dramatic week ahead?
Championship Sunday has arrived. Two mouth-watering games await to determine who'll be playing in the Super Bowl. For the Washington Commanders, this also represents the final day of waiting before receiving formal NFL clearance to interview head coaching candidates in person who are involved in postseason engagements.
It promises to be an eventful few days ahead as excitement builds among the fanbase. While we eagerly await further developments, the stories accumulating column inches include K.J. Henry being tipped for a 2024 breakout, the prospect of trading Sam Howell, a former player giving his thoughts on Washington's upcoming quarterback conundrum, and reaching the head coaching endgame.
Let's delve into each topic in more detail.
Commanders DE K.J. Henry poised for breakout
It took a while for K.J. Henry to get the opportunity for prominent reps during his rookie campaign. The defensive end had to bide his time while others above him on the depth chart were preferred, but there was a lot to like about the way he applied himself when introduced into the starting lineup.
The Washington Commanders had plenty of confidence in Henry after making two bombshell trades before the deadline. Jonathon Macri from Pro Football Focus saw enough to suggest the former fifth-round pick out of Clemson could be a breakout star in 2024.
"The Commanders traded away Chase Young and Montez Sweat mid-season, and they are slated to lose both Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams to free agency, leaving a once stellar edge group rather barren. Henry — a fifth-round pick out of Clemson — will be one of the remaining names this offseason and while he didn’t get a ton of opportunity as a rookie, his final year at Clemson was encouraging, where he posted an 84.0 pass-rush grade, 53 pressures and five sacks. Henry could be called upon to play a much larger role in 2024 for the Commanders."- Jonathon Macri, PFF
Much will depend on what moves the Commanders make to strengthen their pass rush this offseason. Things tailed off dramatically in terms of sacks gained after Montez Sweat and Chase Young departed, so reinforcements will arrive in some capacity. Whether that jeopardizes Henry's chances of making a sophomore splash remains to be seen.