Chase Young Rumors: What Could a Potential Trade Package Look Like?

Chase Young is unlikely to be traded, according to a recent report speculating his availability. But if he were, what could fans expect in return?

The Washington Commanders have already declined to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive end Chase Young’s rookie contract. He is entering his fourth season and coming off of a brutal knee injury (torn ACL and ruptured patellar tendon) that required more than 13 months of recovery before he finally returned to game action in December 2022. Young still has to prove he can be a defensive franchise cornerstone.

Now, Albert Breer has reported that while the Commanders are “NOT” shopping him and that he doesn’t appear to be available “at this time,” it is possible that if an offer was enticing enough, the Commanders could possibly listen.

Chase Young (99) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.
Dec 24, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (99) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

What a Chase Young Trade Could Look Like

There are a lot of qualifiers in that last sentence that basically sum up to mean Young isn’t going anywhere soon and isn’t available. Like any player, if a team was blown away by an offer, they would be fools not to entertain it. Look no further than when Miami traded Laremy Tunsil. So even that is not really news.

However, Young is a marquee player in name only. Injuries have limited his time on the field, and while he has been on the field, he hasn’t put forth the type of résumé that makes a player untouchable. If he were to be moved, there is some precedent.

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Star defensive players don’t typically get traded in their prime and under team control. But if Young continues to underperform or have a setback from his injury, his value will only further decrease. His age and name recognition, combined with a lackluster résumé, make it hard to determine precedent for a trade.

Here are three recent trade packages for dominant EDGEs in their 20s that could serve as an absolute best-case scenario for a potential Commanders return. Caution, Commanders fans, it only goes down from here.

Khalil Mack

In 2018, at 27 years old, Khalil Mack was three years older than Chase Young is right now. However, he was entering only his fifth season because he was 23 years old when he got drafted. He was traded from the then-Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears. In the previous three seasons, he had sack totals of 15, 11, and 12.5. In his rookie season, he had four.

But the 15 sacks in Year 2 alone are 75% more than what Young has had in his career. If you only include Mack’s first three seasons, the 30 sacks combined are more than three times the amount that Young has combined in his first three seasons. Mack was also named to two first-team All-Pro teams and won Defensive Player of the Year in his third season.

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Mack was traded for two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and a sixth-round pick. The Raiders also sent a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick back with Mack to Chicago.

If you use the third and sixth-round picks that went to Oakland, and the second and conditional fifth-round picks that went to Chicago to cancel one another out in value, Mack was essentially traded for two first-rounders. There is next to no chance Young yields that type of return at this point in time.

Jared Allen

Jared Allen was traded at the same point in his career as Mack was. In his rookie year, Allen had as many sacks (nine) as Young has had in his three-year career.

He added another 11 in Year 2 and then 7.5 in Year 3. In Year 4, he had 15 and was named to his first All-Pro selection. The Chiefs traded him in 2008, just before that year’s NFL Draft.

The Vikings gave up one first-round pick, two third-round picks, and swapped sixth-round selections with Kansas City in the trade. While this is less than the haul that the Raiders got for Mack, it is still much too rich for Young at this point in his career.

I cannot imagine a team giving up this much for a player with nine total sacks in three years. Plus, he was having a terrible sophomore season before he had a devastating knee injury and did next to nothing in the three games he played in his return.

John Abraham

I had to dig deep to find one more, but in 2006, John Abraham was traded from the New York Jets to the Atlanta Falcons in a three-team deal involving the Denver Broncos. This has some key differences from the other two, as Abraham played five full seasons with the Jets rather than four.

He was also on the block because there was a new staff coming in who wasn’t sure if he could play linebacker in the 3-4 defense used by rookie head coach Eric Mangini. However, Abraham’s early career success was obvious.

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In Year 2, Abraham put together 13 sacks, led the league in forced fumbles, and made his first All-Pro selection.

Ultimately, the Jets received just one first-round selection (29th overall) for Abraham. This is much closer to what a Young trade could yield, even though the comp is nearly 20 years old. Truthfully, this is still probably too much. At this point, Young isn’t close to the player any of these three pass rushers were at the time they were traded.

Don’t Expect Much for Chase Young

It seems unfathomable that a team would be willing to part with a first-round selection for a player with next to no production over three years and who is coming off of a devastating knee injury. If Young were to be traded before the completion of his fourth year, it’s likely Washington would receive a pick in the second-third-round range. At least, it should be once you get past the name recognition.

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