Could the current buzz heading up to the 2023 deadline suggest the Washington Commanders have made their choice of which defensive end to trade?
There are a few hours left before those around the league are cut off by the 2023 trade deadline. Some frantic calls and negotiations are no doubt transpiring behind the scenes right now, with the Washington Commanders at the center of speculation sitting at 3-5 and going nowhere particularly fast.
All the talk for weeks has centered on the defensive end duo of Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Both edge rushers are out of contract in 2024 and with no new deals on the horizon, parting ways with one seemed like the most realistic outcome from some way out.
Which one would be sacrificed was the big talking point.
Buzz suggests Commanders look set to trade Montez Sweat
Sweat is Mr. Consistent and rarely misses time through injury. Young also looks back to his best this season, putting a consistent run of games together and increasing his numbers along the way.
Young is also the younger player - although he could cost more when it's time to begin contract negotiations. Looking at the current buzz from beat writers and the wider media, it seems as if the Commanders have made their choice.
Sweat will likely be leaving. Not Young.
Whether something can be worked out before the 4 p.m. deadline remains to be seen. The Commanders won't be giving Sweat away given his supreme gifts, which Ben Standig of The Athletic stated might be difficult to extract as Washington hasn't given permission for the Mississippi State product to negotiate a new deal with any willing suitor beforehand.
If they're intent on moving Sweat, letting him talk and hopefully work a new contract out might increase their chances of getting better draft compensation. Something Ron Rivera and others in positions of power seem reluctant to authorize.
This has been a contentious issue and a hot topic among fans. Many want Sweat to stay after everything he's done for the organization, but Young has that X-factor that could see him become one of the league's most dominant pass-rushers in the coming years.
Washington backed themselves into a corner here. Allocating so much money to Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne was the start, but they also chose not to extend Sweat when the money might have been a little more manageable, and not triggering Young's fifth-year option represented another stumbling block if he bounced back.
Josh Harris has already made one big move with his sports franchises in recent hours by trading James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers for a king's ransom. Could he sanction another superstar's departure as part of his long-term plan for prolonged success?
Only time will tell on that front. But buzz is everything at this late stage and based on that, it would be a shock if Sweat wasn't playing for someone else by the time 4 p.m. rolls around.
While it would be a huge loss on and off the field, the Commanders need to do something. That's just the nature of the business for teams languishing in mediocrity or worse.