The Washington Commanders’ decision not to pick up the fifth-year option on edge rusher Chase Young’s contract sets into motion a potential trade during the 2023 NFL Draft.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young got off to a hot start in his career. The former Ohio State star recorded 12 QB hits and 7.5 sacks in 2020, earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Unfortunately, a torn ACL midway through his sophomore campaign has set Young back. He’s played in a total of 12 games over the past two seasons, registering a combined five quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks.
Young’s contract option for the 2024 season was valued at roughly $17.5 million. Given that Washington is paying interior defensive linemen Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen big bucks, it made no sense to pick up the option. Add in the fact that fellow edge rusher Montez Sweat is set to play out the fifth-year option on his current deal, and that’s magnified further.
Sure, there are injury concerns as it relates to Young. He’s also now likely set to become a free agent next March. Even then, we’re talking about a still-young 24-year-old player at a prime position. There should be a nice amount of interest in his services. Below, we look at three teams that should take a chance on a Chase Young trade during the 2023 NFL Draft.
New York Jets
Fresh off acquiring four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers, New York is in win-now mode. It also boasts a pick in each of the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft despite pulling off that blockbuster.
The idea here would be for the Jets to offer up its second-round pick (43rd overall) and a future conditional pick to bring in Young. Veteran Carl Lawson has a huge cap hit of $15.7 million in 2023. The Jets can save north of $15 million against the cap by releasing him. Teaming Chase Young up with John Franklin-Myers and youngster Jermaine Johnson would give defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh a solid trio of edge rushers.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City’s decision to release Frank Clark creates somewhat of a hole out on the edge for the defending Super Bowl champions. They are going to rely on 2022 first-round pick George Karlaftis to do the heavy lifting. Underrated free agent acquisition Charles Omenihu also figures into the equation.
Even then, adding someone like Young to the mix would make sense for active general manager Brett Veach. He has not been afraid to pull off blockbuster deals of this ilk in the past. The trades for the aforementioned Clark as well as Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown in recent years adds another layer to this. Kansas City can offer up its second-round pick (63rd overall), another mid-round selection and a conditional pick in 2024 to entice Washington.
Related: Updated NFL trade rumors
San Francisco 49ers
After trades for Christian McCaffrey and Trey Lance, San Francisco is not slated to select until No. 99 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. This makes it hard to pull off a trade for someone of Chase Young’s ilk. That’s until we realize that Washington is in need of more quarterback help. Perhaps general manager John Lynch and the 49ers offer up Trey Lance and a late-round pick to get this done.
Lance has been on the trade block throughout the entire offseason. San Francisco views Brock Purdy as its quarterback of the future. Meanwhile, it has a major need out on the edge next to reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa. Imagine these two former Buckeyes stars teaming up together in Northern California. It would be a whole lot of fun.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.