Commanders Release DE Shaka Toney

Shaka Toney was one of five players recently reinstated from a year-long gambling suspension. The defensive end and special teamer will not be with the Commanders in 2024, though; the team announced his release on Monday.

Toney had two years remaining on his rookie contract, something which distinguished him from the other players who were reinstated (C.J. Moore, Quintez Cephus, Rashod Berry and Demetrius Taylor) but are currently free agents. A fresh start under new Washington head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Adam Peters could have been in play for Toney, but instead he will join the others on the open market.

The 2021 seventh-round pick recorded 1.5 sacks during his rookie season. Toney added eight QB pressures in 10 games that year, but his defensive playing time took a step back in 2022. Playing primarily on special teams, the 26-year-old was held to just eight tackles. Last April, he received an indefinite ban stemming from one of several violations of the NFL’s gambling policies which was noted during the offseason.

Toney’s rookie pact tolled as a result of the suspension, and he was due base salaries of $1.06MM and $1.1MM over the next two years. Washington will not save any cap space with the decision to release him, but the team will incur a dead cap charge of only $23K in 2024, since that was the value of his signing bonus for this year. The Commanders will move forward with a new-look edge group which no longer features Montez Sweat or Chase Young but has seen a number of free agent signings and could include a rookie drafted this week.

A new agreement for Toney will no doubt come about only during the post-draft wave of free agency. His age could lead to interest from teams as an upside addition, but a lack of production along with the suspension will likely leave him taking a one-year flier this spring or summer.

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