Could the Washington Commanders be setting the wheels in motion to trade either Chase Young or Montez Sweat before the 2023 deadline?
Although attention is firmly on putting together a solid football product and potentially entering the wild card picture, there is one white elephant in the Washington Commanders' room right now. And for once, it has absolutely nothing to do with the future of head coach Ron Rivera.
We are a little over a week away from the 2023 trade deadline. Rumors are swirling around the league about which players might be on the move, which includes rampant speculation about the defensive end tandem of Chase Young and Montez Sweat.
Both players are out of contract in 2024 after the Commander declined Young's fifth-year option. Both are also playing at a high enough level this season to demand significant wealth on their next deals once the campaign concludes.
The Commanders have a huge amount tied up in their defensive tackle duo of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Therefore, a situation could emerge where those in power have to choose between Young and Sweat for a long-term extension.
Commanders have reportedly called teams to gauge trade market
Both could stick around in some capacity. However, the Commanders would be leaving that to chance and might decide to extract maximum compensation for one of their premier pass-rushers if the right offer comes along.
This was a sentiment echoed by Dianna Russini of The Athletic recently. The senior insider reported that the Commanders had made calls to gauge the market for Young or Sweat, leading her to believe one might be moved before October 31.
"Washington Commanders defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat both have contracts expiring after the season and could be on the trade block. I was told Washington has made calls to take the temperature of the market but is staying patient now, and that the next two weeks of play will shape the decision on their futures. The sense I get out of Washington is one of them will be on the move … if Washington can get the proper compensation."- Dianna Russini, The Athletic
It's been a hot topic for debate over the past few days. Russini's prediction that a trade will happen shifts the dynamic slightly, but much will still depend on how Washington fares over their next two contests versus divisional opposition when it's all said and done.
Which player they trade in this situation is also highly debatable. Sweat's production and ability to stay injury-free more often than not might give him the edge, but Young's return to health and outstanding production over the last five games make this an interesting discussion among fans and analysts alike.
The Commanders backed themselves into a corner, there's no getting away from that. Although they had good reasons not to trigger Young's option, not tying Sweat down to a long-term contract before this point is borderline malpractice considering his dependability.
If they end up trading one, how the Commanders got to this point will come under the microscope. Until then, one should expect to see plenty more news, rumors, and everything in between until the trade deadline passes.
Russini is one of the most respected insiders in the business. If she's laid her flag to the mast regarding a move coming to fruition, the chances of something happening are likely.
Watch this space…