Commanders Fallout: Falcons, Sweat, Ravens, Young, 49ers, Giants, Rivera

The Falcons joined the Bears in making a serious pursuit of Montez Sweat. They are believed to have offered a third-round pick for the contract-year defensive end. While Chicago’s second-round offer won out, Atlanta was prepared to go a step further. The Falcons look to have had an extension in place had they made a deal for Sweat, Jeremy Fowler of notes. Sweat went to high school in the Atlanta area, with Fowler adding the defensive end has family there and was on board with being moved to the NFC South team. Instead, it is the Bears who are trying to negotiate an extension with the fifth-year edge. Chicago will have a 2024 franchise tag in its back pocket if no deal is reached.

Once again struggling to pressure passers, the Falcons are tied for the the second-worst sack total in the league (15). Only the Bears’ 10 ranks below the Falcons’ output. Atlanta also lost Grady Jarrett for the season in Week 8, creating a steeper uphill battle. Here is more coming out of the Commanders’ defensive line-reshaping deadline day:

  • The Ravens also engaged in talks with the Commanders, with The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec indicating Chase Young was Baltimore’s target (subscription required). The Ravens’ 31 sacks lead the NFL, but they have been frequently connected to edge rusher additions in recent years. It is unclear what Baltimore offered Washington for Young, but it only took a compensatory third-rounder for San Francisco to win Tuesday’s second DE sweepstakes.
  • John Lynch held talks about both Sweat and Young with ex-lieutenant Martin Mayhew, who is in his third year as Washington’s GM. Lynch also talked to Giants GM Joe Schoen, per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows. Although it is unclear who the 49ers were pursuing from New York, the Giants having already traded Leonard Williams would have seemed to naturally pique teams’ interest. Lynch and Mayhew go back to their playing days with the Bucs, when both DBs played together for four seasons. Lynch was a 1993 draft choice, Mayhew a 1993 Tampa Bay free agent signing. Mayhew then spent time as a 49ers executive during the Lynch-Kyle Shanahan years. They began discussing Young two weeks ago, per Lynch. Young has passed his physical and will be en route to San Francisco, potentially set to suit up after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye.
  • Indeed, the Commanders did not let the narrow loss to the Eagles determine their path. Rather than open the floodgates following that defeat, Ron Rivera indicated (via NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay) the process that led to the trades began around 10 days ago. Ownership was believed to have played a major role in making these trades, putting Rivera and Mayhew in a seemingly difficult spot due to Young and Sweat being in position to help this year’s team and the current power duo in danger of being gone when it is time to make the draft picks. That said, Rivera said (via Finlay) all parties were onboard with the moves. This week could certainly have provided some ownership-front office tension, but Rivera will now move forward without the Commanders’ two edge-rushing pillars, who had combined for 11.5 sacks this season.
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