The Washington Commanders have hit the ceiling with this nucleus. They’ve been hanging around .500 since hiring Ron Rivera before the 2020 season.
With Washington’s organization in great turmoil beyond football, most believe Rivera will be back in 2023. As for the many other members of the coaching and personnel staff? TBD.
We explore it all, including the Commanders’ free agents, cut candidates, and team needs ahead of an important offseason.
Washington Commanders Offseason Preview: Need a QB
Washington’s offense has ranked in the bottom third of the league in terms of efficiency in each of Rivera’s three seasons, and it’s not because the offensive line stinks.
Rather, it’s been because his starting quarterbacks have been the likes of Kyle Allen, Alex Smith, Taylor Heinicke, and most recently, Carson Wentz and Sam Howell.
It’s no wonder, then, that the Commanders haven’t had a winning record. The defense did its part in 2022, ranking in the top 10 in several major categories.
It’s time for a change, and the Commanders seem poised to make one. But that’s easier said than done. Without a top-five draft pick and with modest salary cap resources, it’ll take some real creativity by Martin Mayhew to rebuild a broken quarterback room.
Commanders’ 2023 Salary Cap Space
According to Spotrac, the Commanders were under the 2023 salary cap by $19.4 million as of early January, giving them the 13th-most cap space in the NFL.
That figure reflects $13.8 million in dead cap and $6.6 million in rollover space. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.
The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.
Commanders Free Agents 2023
The following Commanders players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA; exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.)
- LB Jon Bostic
- LB Milo Eifler (ERFA)
- QB Taylor Heinicke
- LB Cole Holcomb
- LB Khaleke Hudson (RFA)
- C Tyler Larsen
- C Nick Martin
- LB David Mayo
- DE Efe Obada
- DT Daron Payne
- S Jeremy Reaves
- G Wes Schweitzer
- WR Cam Sims
- K Joey Slye
- G Trai Turner
- CB Rachad Wildgoose (ERFA)
- RB Jonathan Williams
- TE Eli Wolf
Defensive Tackle Daron Payne
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Five years, $71.1 million ($14.2 million AAV)
Overview: Contract year? More like career year. Payne emerged as one of the NFL’s best playmakers at his position in 2022, setting career highs in sacks, tackles for loss, quarterback hits, passes defensed, and even safeties. Assuming he’s not tagged, Payne will soon be paid like a top-10 defensive tackle.
Guard Wes Schweitzer
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Four years, $55.4 million ($13.8 million AAV)
Overview: At first blush, nearly $14 million annually might seem like a lot for a B-plus interior lineman. But then you remember that Elgton Jenkins just got $17 million annually, and it doesn’t seem that crazy.
Potential Cut Candidates
- QB Carson Wentz ($26.2 million in cap savings)
- CB Kendall Fuller ($8.5 million)
- C Chase Roullier ($4.8 million)
- TE Logan Thomas ($5.3 million)
- OT Cornelius Lucas ($2.9 million)
- DB Bobby McCain ($2.3 million)
Commanders’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason
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