Revelations after the Washington Commanders traded defensive end Chase Young meant a fresh start was the best possible solution for all parties.
It looked for all the smart money as if the Washington Commanders had decided to move forward with Chase Young as their top defensive end. The franchise shipped Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears for what should be a high-end second-round selection a few short hours before the deadline, but it was clear from some way out during yesterday's drama that nothing was off the table.
As it turned out, Young was also traded to the San Francisco 49ers for nothing more than a compensatory third-round selection in 2024. If Sweat's price represented good value, what the Commanders accepted for the former No. 2 overall pick was on the lower end of projections.
Why would the Commanders remove Young from the equation cheaply when he was seemingly playing well? It was a hot topic among the fans once the news broke, but it didn't take long for people to start talking.
Commanders weren't entirely convinced about Chase Young
According to Ben Standig of The Athletic - citing trusted unnamed sources - the Commanders saw dealing Young as an addition by subtraction. This was down to accusations of playing hero ball and ongoing concerns about the lineman's durability after some torrid luck on the injury front.
"Viewing the trades together, Washington shrunk its chances of a turnaround in 2023. However, the team sees trading Young as a potential addition by subtraction, the source said. Even amid Young’s strong season, there are lingering concerns about his durability and on-field discipline, which is partly why Sweat was the more sought-after pass rusher in trade discussions this week, league sources said."- Ben Standig, The Athletic
This wasn't the only reporter to stick the boot into Young. Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle - again citing sources and unnamed Commanders' coaches - questioned the Ohio State product's commitment to the game in addition to his discipline when it came to team-first assignments.
"Young, according to several Washington coaches and other organizational sources, was viewed as an undisciplined player who developed bad habits such as deviating from assignments in an effort to make splash plays. His off-the-field priorities and commitment to his craft were often questioned, and he was viewed internally as a player who plateaued as a rookie."- Michael Silver, San Francisco Chronicle
While some fans criticized the timing of these revelations, nothing came out about Sweat - a model professional who did everything he could when on the field and put up high-level numbers consistently. That's why he commanded a second-round pick and Young was almost given away to any willing suitor.
This should serve as inspiration for Young to get his act together on a leading Super Bowl contender and prove his doubters wrong. But if these reports are accurate, then this sort of behavior isn't going to sit well with a no-nonsense defensive mind such as Steve Wilks.
The statement also ignores the grueling rehabilitation Young has gone through in recent years. That takes a significant amount of character and these sentiments aren't shared by his defensive teammates if the reaction on social media was any indication.
A fresh start for all parties involved represented the most logical solution if this was unfolding behind the scenes. We'll find out more as we go along, but we cannot look at Young's time with the organization with anything other than what might have been given how high expectations were before his arrival.
And if we're being honest, passing on Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert in favor of Young was Ron Rivera's first and perhaps most critical mistake.