The Commanders have made multiple additions at the center position this offseason, and they have resulted in the departure of a longtime starter. Chase Roullier is being released, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post (Twitter link). A team announcement has since confirmed the move.
Roullier will be designated as a post-June 1 cut, which will generate a dead money charge of $4.05MM in each of the next two years. The Commanders will save $8.4MM in 2023 and $10.2MM in 2024 by taking this route, however. The 29-year-old was due base salaries of $8.3MM and $8.7MM for the next two years, but no guaranteed money remained on his contract.
That left his future in doubt heading into the offseason, despite his strong performances when healthy. Roullier started 63 of 69 games across his six-year tenure in the nation’s capital, but was limited to just 10 games over the past two seasons. The former sixth-rounder suffered a fibula fracture in 2021, then was only able to play the opening two contests this past campaign due to an MCL tear.
The Commanders reacted to Roullier’s situation by signing former Giant Nick Gates in free agency. The latter has experience at guard, but is expected to suit up at center with his new NFC East team. At the draft, Washington also added Ricky Stromberg in the third round, leaving he and Gates in place to compete for the starting snapping role.
Roullier will wind up on the outside of that competition, but he could find a new home in the post-draft wave of free agency. The Wyoming product has been a consistent performer in terms of PFF evaluation during his career, earning a personal best grade of 83.7 in 2021 and a 76.8 rating in his most recent full campaign. If he is able to recover from his latest major injury, he could find himself back in a starting lineup before long.