Johnny Newton situation brings abrupt end to Commanders trade rumor

The Commanders would be wise to keep Jonathan Allen around.
Johnny Newton
Johnny Newton / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of analysts were scratching their heads when Johnny Newton fell out of the first round and into the Washington Commanders' laps at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. The formidable defensive lineman was seen as a lock to go relatively high during the selection event. We got a broader indication of why the player slid from head coach Dan Quinn at the team's rookie minicamp.

Quinn revealed that Newton has another foot injury that will require surgery. This comes shortly after the former Illinois star went through rehabilitation on a Jones fracture that prevented him from participating in pre-draft workouts. While pressing the panic button would be foolish, it probably indicates why the ferocious player had to wait until Day 2 to hear his name called.

Commanders cannot trade Jonathan Allen after Johnny Newton setback

The Commanders will take things slowly with Newton based on Quinn's comments via CBS Sports. They were confident enough in his long-term prognosis to end his alarming descent down the draft order, but putting too much pressure on his recovery has the potential to do far more harm than good.

"The foot that he had the procedure done is actually doing really well. So, he has an issue with the other foot. He'll get a procedure done in the next week and then get back started and get going with the process again. But, man, do we have high hopes for him. Like he is such a kick-ass competitor. So, in some ways when you have to get a procedure done, better to do it early, that this didn't happen in the end of August or in September where it sets you back. So, the fact that it's happening now, much better to get that organized first. I'm not giving any timelines for that. We'll get right into him getting the procedure and get started. Knowing him, this is one tough customer, so like it'll be likely slow down, than hurry up."

Newton's latest complication also draws a line under the reignited speculation surrounding Jonathan Allen's immediate future. It didn't take long for trade rumors to resurface regarding the Pro Bowler, who was unhappy last season but seems to have bought into the new regime's plans following a memorable offseason.

Adam Peters and Quinn have stated on countless occasions they wouldn't be moving Allen considering his importance on and off the field. That didn't stop the rumor mill from churning, especially after Washington took Newton. Another foot issue for the rookie should bring an instant halt to the trade talk.

There wasn't much - if any - substance attached to the speculation. But it would be pretty foolish of the Commanders to entertain offers for one of their most established figures when their heir apparent has another important rehabilitation process ahead. This would jeopardize their chances of making a better go of things next season at a time when there is more optimism than ever before.

Having the added security of Allen and Daron Payne as the team's starting defensive tackle tandem allows Newton the chance to recover and heal at his own pace. He'll be desperate to get back onto the field quickly and make his presence felt, but the Commanders' coaching staff must also keep the bigger picture in mind.

Trading Allen next spring cannot be completely dismissed. But for now, he remains an integral member of Quinn's new-look roster.