'Unlikely' Commanders DE duo are traded, but don't rule it out entirely

Speculation continues to build with the trade deadline approaching.
Chase Young and Montez Sweat
Chase Young and Montez Sweat / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A respected insider stated that the Washington Commanders are unlikely to trade Montez Sweat or Chase Young before the 2023 deadline.

This time of year is one for rumors and hypothetical scenarios among the regional and national media. The trade deadline is always a hot topic of discussion, with teams either looking to sell off assets or aiming to add in the hope it can boost their chances of playoff success in 2023.

Realistically, the Washington Commanders are somewhere in between. Ron Rivera and his players still hold the belief that they enter wild card consideration despite a difficult run of fixtures to conclude the campaign, but the franchise also has some tricky contractual obstacles to overcome next spring that cannot be overlooked.

The two biggest names are Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Washington's stud defensive end duo is playing at a high level this season, which is a positive for Rivera right now but only decreases the chances of keeping them happy financially with both out of contract in 2024.

Commanders unlikely to trade Montez Sweat or Chase Young before deadline

Considering the money already tied up in defensive tackle tandem Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, it might take some creativity. Although with the salary cap going up annually, something could be worked out if all parties are willing.

Another touted scenario is that one is traded to ensure the Commanders get something back in return. This was a topic discussed by ESPN's senior insider Jeremy Fowler, who stated that although people around the league deem any move unlikely, that situation could alter depending on how Washington fares in their two divisional games over the next fortnight.

"Washington, as of now, very much sees both in its future. The Commanders' team strength is the defensive line. As one source told me, betting odds on one or both being dealt should not be great. So, my sense is they don't plan to trade them. But one AFC exec believes Washington would at least listen to offers and potentially consider them, which the source didn't completely shoot down. Which brings us to the state of Washington: Sitting at 3-3, the Giants and Eagles are on deck. The next two games could determine a lot. The sense after talking to several people is, if one were to be dealt -- again, huge if -- it's likely Young, in part because he's more inclined to play out the year and entertain free agency. Plus, he needs to play a healthy season. Sweat is considered a stronger franchise-tag or extension candidate at this stage."

Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

This is something we touched upon yesterday. If the Commanders beat the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles before the October 31 deadline, then trading anyone of substance away is an asinine notion. Should they lose both, the possibility becomes more realistic.

Much will also depend on the compensation involved if someone does come calling with an offer. The Commanders still feel like they have leverage, although that again could change with two straight defeats that would put than 0-3 within the NFC East.

Perhaps standing pat and letting the chips fall where they may next spring is the best course of action. Fans seem more divided on keeping Young than Sweat based on their overall body of work, but nothing should be completely dismissed with Josh Harris' ownership group taking stock of everything across the franchise.