Chase Young

Commanders Could Part Ways With GM Martin Mayhew

It appears to be a foregone conclusion that the Commanders will fire head coach Ron Rivera at season’s end. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports echoes that sentiment and adds that general manager Martin Mayhew could also be on the chopping block.

That is hardly surprising. While it made sense for new owner Josh Harris, who purchased the club in July, to give the power brokers that he inherited a fair evaluation period and to avoid a major shakeup less than two months before the start of the 2023 regular season, it likewise stands to reason that Harris would want to start afresh with his own choices at the HC and GM positions (especially in the wake of what is shaping up to be a sub-.500 campaign).

Our own Sam Robinson recently suggested as much, and a source told Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com that Harris wants to “get rid of the Daniel Snyder stench,” which would entail a total purge of both the front office and coaching staff. Harris, who is also the managing partner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, has reportedly expressed an interest in structuring the Commanders like an NBA team and has consulted with Sixers GM Elton Brand on the matter. Such a setup would apparently include, among other things, the possibility of giving the players a say in decision-making.

Mayhew, 58, enjoyed a long stint as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15 and subsequently held high-level executive positions with the Giants and 49ers before joining Washington in 2021 (one year after Rivera). Despite Mayhew’s GM title, Rivera has always had final say over personnel matters, and Jones suggests that if Mayhew is relieved of his duties after the season, Harris may opt for a hierarchy wherein the head coach reports to the general manager, who in turn reports to ownership.

The good news for Commanders fans is that the presence of Harris, along with a healthy salary cap situation and an ample supply of draft capital, have made the team’s HC and GM posts very desirable. As one executive told Jones, “everyone’s shooting for Washington,” and that should allow Harris to choose from the best available talent in the upcoming hiring cycle. Although Jones does not say so, it could also mean that Washington’s faith in second-year quarterback Sam Howell is shared by top head coach and general manager candidates.

There are several additional notes from the above reports worth passing along. We already knew that Harris drove the recent deadline trades of defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young, and that the club dropped its asking price on Young before sending him to the 49ers. According to Pauline, the team was especially motivated to move Young because it had grown weary of his propensity to improvise and freelance rather than operate within the defensive scheme.

With respect to the Commanders’ possible GM search, Jones says that an analytically-minded candidate could be particularly appealing to Harris. Indeed, as ESPN’s Seth Walder writes in a thread on X, it had been speculated that Harris would want more of a quantitative approach to personnel decisions, and to that end, the team has hired Eugene Shen as its Senior VP of Football Strategy.

Shen, who has previously worked for the Ravens and Dolphins and who served as the Jaguars’ VP of Football Analytics before leaving the team in 2022 to work in finance, will oversee all analytics and software development on the football side of the operation.

49ers Likely To Prioritize Extension For WR Brandon Aiyuk Over DE Chase Young?

The 49ers made one of the largest additions at the 2023 trade deadline by acquiring Chase Young from the Commanders. Given his status as a pending free agent, though, the possibility remains Young ends up being a half-year rental as the team turns to other players in need of a new deal in the offseason.

One of those is wideout Brandon Aiyuk. The 25-year-old is playing out the final year of his rookie pact in 2023, after the 49ers elected to exercise his fifth-year option. That decision tied him to a cap number of $14.1MM this year, and demonstrated the organization’s commitment to him in at least the short term. Reaching agreement on a multi-year pact will require a larger AAV figure, but such a move would represent a logical priority for the team.

Aiyuk has posted 831 yards and four touchdowns on 43 receptions this season. Those figures put him on track to surpass his career-best statline of 78-1,015-8 from 2022. The Arizona State alum comfortably leads the team in receiving, and he has developed into a key member of the 49ers’ vaunted skill-position group. For that reason, Matt Barrows of The Athletic predicts Aiyuk will be seen as a higher priority than Young in the event only one is retained for 2024 and beyond (subscription required).

As Barrows notes, Aiyuk has progressed from head coach Kyle Shanahan‘s doghouse to a major contributor on one of the league’s top offenses. The length of time which would be required to draft and develop an Aiyuk successor in 2024 or down the road could outweigh the risk of letting Young walk in free agency. The latter – brought in for a compensatory third-round pick – arrived in the Bay Area with high expectations given his status as a former Defensive Rookie of the Year and his health in 2023. Young posted five sacks in seven games in Washington, and he has added 1.5 in two 49ers contests.

Continuing that production will help his market with San Francisco or other interested teams. The former No. 2 pick is comfortable waiting until the offseason to discuss a new contract, something which would be quite challenging to afford for the 49ers. Young’s former Ohio State teammate, Nick Bosa, is attached to the most lucrative contract ever given to a defensive player ($34MM AAV), making it difficult to justify another lucrative investment along the edge. By contrast, the team’s top WR commitment is to Deebo Samuel, whose $71.5MM deal runs through 2025 (though no guaranteed salary exists on the final year of that pact).

The 49ers will have a number of key financial decisions to make this offseason, with Aiyuk and Young comprising only two members of their free agent class. For now, at least, the former could be considered the likelier of the two to find himself in the Bay Area next season.

Commanders Lowered Asking Price On Chase Young Prior To 49ers Trade

The 49ers were aggressive in pursuing an upgrade ahead of the trade deadline, and that effort resulted in the acquisition of Chase Young. The now-former Commanders edge rusher has increased expectations for an already talented San Francisco defensive front, but he was not added at the original asking price.

[RELATED: Commanders Owner Josh Harris Drove Trade Strategy]

Washington lowered the ask for Young before the 49ers deal was finalized, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The Commanders received a compensatory 2024 third-round pick for the former No. 2 selection. Schefter notes Washington initially wanted a package of a second- and fifth-round pick for Young, whose value was hindered by his injury history. While fellow edge rusher Montez Sweat yielded a Day 2 selection from the Bears, Young was moved at a comparative discount.

Throughout the lead-in to the deadline, it was clear the Commanders were willing to move at least one of their former first-rounders. Both Young and Sweat were set to see their rookie deals expire this offseason, though the latter has already worked out a lucrative pact in Chicago. Young, on the other hand, has expressed a willingness to wait until the spring to negotiate a new deal. His play in the Bay Area to close out the campaign will dictate his value with the 49ers or on the open market.

The 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year missed considerable time in each of the following two seasons, leading to the Commanders’ decision to decline his fifth-year option. Young managed to play seven games in Washington this season, though, and he made his 49ers debut in Week 10. The 24-year-old posted five sacks during his final weeks in the nation’s capital, increasing expectations for his reunion with former Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa.

With the latter having signed a record-breaking extension on the eve of the 2023 season, it will be interesting to see how willing and able the 49ers are to retain Young on a new deal. His performance in San Francisco will certainly affect his market value considerably, but it is noteworthy that, despite interest shown from multiple other teams, the Commanders were prepared to come a long way off their initial asking price to move on from Young.

Jaguars Pursued DE Chase Young

A compensatory third-round pick ended up being enough for the 49ers to acquire Chase Young from the Commanders, but as Washington listened to offers following its Montez Sweat trades, two AFC teams made pushes.

In addition to the previously reported Ravens pursuit, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz notes the Jaguars were in on Young before last week’s deadline as well. Considering Jacksonville’s offseason efforts and place in AFC playoff graphics, it is not too surprising to see the AFC South leaders as a buyer.

The 6-2 team had already acquired Ezra Cleveland from the Vikings, a deal that needed only a 2024 sixth-rounder (originally a Panthers pick) to complete. But the more telling trade matter here involved ex-Cleveland teammate Danielle Hunter, whom the Jaguars chased this summer. The Jags and Vikings were believed to be close to completing a swap that would have sent the Pro Bowl edge rusher to Florida. Minnesota instead held onto Hunter, reaching an August resolution that ended up making him less valuable in trades.

Minnesota received calls on Hunter, and it appears likely Jacksonville circled back on the NFL’s sack leader. But Hunter’s summer Vikings agreement prevents the ninth-year veteran from being franchise-tagged. With it becoming clear the surging Vikings would hold onto Hunter, Young became a key deadline piece.

The 49ers and Commanders, whose GMs both worked together in San Francisco and suited up as DBs together in Tampa, began talking about a prospective deal ahead of Week 8. John Lynch and Martin Mayhew finalized the exchange for a pick that will land at the end of the third round. It appears the Jags and Ravens were not ready to beat that, though it is not known if another third-round pick emerged in the sweepstakes. Odds are, it didn’t, given what it took to acquire Young, whom Commanders owner Josh Harris pushed to move despite Sweat already being dealt.

Jacksonville will head into the stretch run with Josh Allen anchoring its pass rush. The contract-year edge’s nine sacks rank fifth in the NFL, while his 26 pressures are tied for second. Travon Walker, however, sits second on the Jags with 3.5 sacks; the 2022 No. 1 overall pick has compiled 14 pressures. The Jags have not had their full pass rush available for long, though; both Dawuane Smoot and DaVon Hamilton were in-season activations. With Young set to finish out a contract year in San Francisco, the Jags will need to rely on their batch of Allen sidekicks heating up.

Young, 24, will debut for the 49ers this week. San Francisco’s depth chart lists the former Defensive Rookie of the Year as a starter opposite Nick Bosa. The prospect of the 49ers rolling out a Bosa-Young-Javon HargraveArik Armstead quartet is promising for Steve Wilks‘ defense, which also has the services of Randy Gregory, Clelin Ferrell, Javon Kinlaw and 2022 second-rounder Drake Jackson. Young was not aiming to discuss an extension in Washington, and it still sounds like he will cross that bridge after the season. The 49ers will need to decide on paying a fourth D-lineman (or tagging their newest addition) or letting him walk for a likely compensatory pick.

The trade the Jaguars did end up making does not look like it was for a player the team plans to start. Cleveland will settle in as a backup behind starters Brandon Scherff and Walker Little, Doug Pederson said (via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco). A 2020 second-round pick, Cleveland has been a starter for most of his career. He began this season as Minnesota’s starting left guard.

This will be an interesting transition for the relocating blocker, whose rookie contract expires at season’s end. The Jags moved Walker to guard this season, after he began the year at left tackle due to Cam Robinson‘s suspension. Little has missed the past three games, but Pederson is intent on plugging the third-year lineman back in at left guard. With Little returning as a backup in Week 8, it sounds like the Stanford product will be starting against the 49ers this week.

Poll: Who Fared Best At Trade Deadline

A week removed from this year’s trade deadline, every team will soon have its acquired talent in uniform. The 49ers, Lions and Jaguars made trades while in bye weeks; Chase Young, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ezra Cleveland will suit up for their new teams soon.

On this note, it is time to gauge the position every notable buyer and seller landed in following the deals. This year’s deadline featured two second-round picks being moved, though the teams that made those moves (Chicago, Seattle) have different timelines in place.

We have to start with the Commanders, who scrapped their yearslong Young-Montez Sweat partnership by making the surprise decision to move both defensive ends hours before the deadline. Although the team was listening to offers on both, it was widely assumed they would only part with one, thus saving a contract offer or a 2024 franchise tag for the other alongside well-paid D-tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. New owner Josh Harris looks to have made his bigger-picture plan clear, however, pressing upon the Commanders’ football-ops department to explore moving both.

Washington collected a second-rounder that likely will land in the 30s in exchange for Sweat, who was in a contract year at the time. It only obtained a compensatory third for Young, who drew interest from other teams (including the Ravens). For the first time in the common draft era, Washington holds five picks in the first three rounds. It cannot be assumed Ron Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew will be making those picks, but Harris has effectively forced his hot-seat staffers to make do this season without Young and Sweat, who have combined for 11.5 sacks this year.

The initial team to pounce on the Commanders’ sale made a buyer’s move despite being in a seller’s position for the second straight year. After trading what became the No. 32 overall pick for Chase Claypool, GM Ryan Poles signed off on the Sweat pickup. The Bears have struggled to rush the passer under Matt Eberflus, having traded Khalil Mack in March 2022 and Robert Quinn last October. While acquiring a veteran in a contract year injects risk into the equation, Poles had the franchise tag at his disposal. But the Bears made good use of their newfound negotiating rights with Sweat, extending him on a four-year, $98MM pact. Despite no Pro Bowls or double-digit sack seasons, Sweat is now the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid edge rusher. Though, the Bears’ long-term edge outlook appears rosier compared to its pre-Halloween view.

Mayhew, Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel have provided third-round compensatory picks for the 49ers, who have been the NFL’s chief beneficiary of the Rooney Rule tweak that awards third-round picks to teams who see minority coaches or execs become HCs or GMs. The team has more picks coming after the Ran Carthon and DeMeco Ryans hires. Using one to acquire Young seems like a low-risk move, given the former Defensive Rookie of the Year’s talent. Young has made strides toward recapturing the form he showed before his severe 2021 knee injury, and he is on pace for a career high in sacks.

The 49ers, who won last year’s trade deadline by landing Christian McCaffrey, will deploy Young alongside ex-college teammate Nick Bosa and the rest of their high-priced D-line contingent. The team will have a decision to make on Young soon; the free agent-to-be is not eyeing in-season extension talks, either. San Francisco could at least be in position to nab a midround compensatory pick, should Young leave in 2024.

The Young move came a day after the Seahawks obtained Leonard Williams from the Giants. That move cost Seattle second- and fifth-round picks. Williams is also in a contract year, but with the Giants picking up most of the tab, Seattle has the veteran D-tackle on its cap sheet at $647K. The former Jets top-10 pick has shown consistent ability to provide inside pressure, and the USC alum’s best work came in his previous contract year (2020). Gunning for another big payday, Williams joins Dre’Mont Jones in what is probably the best interior D-line duo of the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll era.

Seattle still surrendered a second-round pick for a player who could be a rental. Williams cannot realistically be franchise-tagged in 2024, with the Giants tagging him in 2020 and ’21, and he is not yet on Seattle’s extension radar. The Giants have already paid Dexter Lawrence and were planning on letting Williams walk. They passed on a comp pick for the trade haul, effectively buying a second-round pick in the way the Broncos did in the 2021 Von Miller trade. The Giants, who suddenly could be in the market for a 2024 QB addition, now have an additional second-rounder at their disposal.

While they made their move a week before the deadline, the Eagles landed the most accomplished player of this year’s in-season trade crop. Kevin Byard is a two-time first-team All-Pro safety, and although he is in his age-30 season, the former third-round pick is signed through 2024. The Eagles sent the Titans fifth- and sixth-round picks (and Terrell Edmunds) for Byard, a Philadelphia native, marking the team’s second splash trade for a safety in two years. Philly’s C.J. Gardner-Johnson swap turned out well, and Byard not being a pure rental could make this a better move.

Rather than turning to a fifth-round rookie, the Vikings acquired Josh Dobbs in a pick swap involving sixth- and/or seventh-rounders and saw the move translate to a surprising Week 9 win. Dobbs following in Baker Mayfield‘s footsteps as a trade acquisition-turned-immediate starter also made him the rare QB to see extensive action for two teams in two weeks; Mayfield was inactive in his final game as a Panther. The well-traveled Dobbs could give the Vikings a better chance to stay afloat in the NFC playoff race.

The Lions (Peoples-Jones), Jaguars (Cleveland) and Bills (Rasul Douglas) also made buyer’s moves at the deadline. The Bills gave the Packers a third-round pick, collecting a fifth in the pick-swap deal, for Douglas. They will hope the Green Bay starter can help stabilize their cornerback corps after Tre’Davious White‘s second major injury.

Who ended up faring the best at this year’s deadline? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this year’s moves in the comments section.

Latest On Commanders’ Trades, Sam Howell

New Commanders owner Josh Harris played a major role in pushing the Montez Sweat and Chase Young trades over the goal line. While Harris is believed to have made the push for Washington to trade one of its starting defensive ends and, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, explore moving both.

The team was not expected to trade both, but after the team dealt Sweat to the Bears for a second-round pick, calls kept coming in for Young. The Ravens pursued the former No. 2 overall pick, but it took only a third-round compensatory pick for the 49ers to acquire Young just before the deadline.

Ron Rivera was said to be onboard with this sell-off, though it is difficult to believe the fourth-year Washington HC was thrilled with losing his top two edge rushers as he attempts to make a case for a fifth season. But the Commanders did win their first game after the trades. Contractual resources will be allocated elsewhere in 2024, after a Young-or-Sweat decision — be it through free agency or the franchise tag — had loomed for years.

Rather than this being about acquiring Day 2 ammo to potentially trade up for a quarterback in 2024, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini indicates there is a “strong” belief within the Commanders’ building Sam Howell is the team’s franchise quarterback (subscription required). These picks will presumably be used to build around the 2022 fifth-rounder.

It is not exactly ideal for ownership to be driving major trades, though it does frequently happen. And it certainly cannot be assumed Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew will be around to make the picks come April 2024. Both David Tepper and Rob Walton signed off on coach firings within their first 1 1/2 years on the job. The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett after 15 games, and Tepper canned Rivera after 12 in 2019. Rivera, who led Washington to the playoffs in 2020 but does not have a winning season with the team, may be on the verge of seeing another new owner fire him.

Even as he entered the season on a hot seat, Rivera stumped for Howell this offseason. After the Commanders made an aggressive Russell Wilson offer and were connected to just about every available QB in 2022 — in a process that ended with the trade for Carson Wentz — they stood down this offseason, centering their QB plan around Howell. Although Jacoby Brissett signed a one-year deal worth $8MM, Howell was always expected to be the starter. After winning the job, the North Carolina product has shown flashes (and a propensity to take sacks at a concerning rate) but has not exactly cemented himself as the long-term starter — especially if the 2024 Commanders feature a new coaching staff.

QBR slots Howell 20th. He leads the league in completions and is tied for the NFL high in interceptions (nine). Howell has completed 66.6% of his passes, at 7.0 yards per attempt, and posted 14 TD throws. Howell’s second half of the season could determine the team’s plans with the Sweat- and Young-obtained picks. For now, however, the plans are for Howell to stick around as the starter. These blueprints often change, and no team knows this better than the Commanders. Washington started seven Week 1 QBs from 2017-23. Only the Chargers (1987-93), Browns (2013-19) and Colts (2017-23) match this turnover rate in the Super Bowl era.

The Commanders started Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams at defensive end Sunday. Sweat made his Bears debut, after agreeing to a $24MM-per-year extension; Young is set to begin his 49ers run in Week 10. Washington will build its defensive line around Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne‘s big contracts, but the exits of both Young and Sweat will create a key need for the 2024 offseason.

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 ESPN.com 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.

Commanders Trade DE Chase Young To 49ers

The Commanders indeed made Chase Young available following the Montez Sweat trade, and they will send him to one of the NFC favorites. The 49ers are acquiring the former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reports.

This marks San Francisco’s third high-profile defensive line addition this year. The team gave Javon Hargrave a big-ticket deal in March, and the Broncos sent over Randy Gregory a few weeks ago. After two sluggish defensive outings, the 49ers are not stopping there. Barely an hour before the trade deadline, Young will follow Sweat out of Washington.

[RELATED: 49ers Pursuing Bears CB Jaylon Johnson]

Young will fetch the Commanders a 2024 third-round pick from the 49ers, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. It will come from the 49ers’ endless supply of NFL-awarded compensatory picks — for seeing minority staffers hired as HC or GM elsewhere — according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Bears sent the Commanders a second-rounder for Sweat earlier today.

This will reunite Young with former Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa and add to one of the most star-studded defensive lines in recent NFL history. The 49ers also have veteran defensive tackle Arik Armstead in place. The prospect of a Bosa-Armstead-Hargrave-Young D-line is imminent, which stands to bolster a team coming off two upset losses.

For the Commanders, this constitutes a rebuilding step. Although the 3-5 team has not made Jonathan Allen available and will keep the veteran defensive tackle alongside the recently extended Daron Payne, its prized D-end duo is gone in a day. The Commanders did not pick up Young’s fifth-year option in May, putting both he and Sweat in contract years. While it would have been logical for a coach on the hot seat to push to keep both players, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reports ownership played a major role in these trades being completed.

Others in the Commanders’ building wanted the team to retain the young defensive ends, Russini adds, but ownership looks to have led the way here. It was assumed either Sweat or Young would be franchise-tagged in 2024, but Washington has instead cleared the decks for Day 2 draft capital. Considering where Young was as a rookie, this represents an underwhelming return. But the former No. 2 overall pick missed half of the 2021 season and almost all of 2022 due to the ACL tear and patellar tendon rupture he suffered in November 2021. It has taken him a while to rebuild his value, and the former Heisman finalist will finish out his attempt to do so in San Francisco.

Through seven games (six starts) this season, Young has five sacks and nine QB hits. The talented edge rusher has shown much better form compared to the previous two seasons. On that note, Young was believed to be uninterested in extension talks this year. It will be interesting to see if this bet on himself will carry over to the Bay Area, as the 49ers likely will want him as more than a rental. San Francisco will have the option of franchise-tagging Young in 2024. With Brock Purdy‘s rookie contract in place, the 49ers may attempt to do what the Commanders would not: have four D-linemen signed to big-ticket contracts.

While the 49ers will be giving up a third-round pick, the team had two selections in Round 3 of next year’s draft already. Having continually seen their minority assistant coaches and front office staffers earn HC or GM jobs elsewhere, the 49ers have collected a handful of third-round picks under the revised Rooney Rule. They have two more coming in 2024, via the Titans’ hiring of Ran Carthon as GM and Texans hiring DeMeco Ryans as HC. This stream of third-round picks goes through 2025, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

San Francisco is also expected to pick up a compensatory third-rounder in exchange for the Broncos signing Mike McGlinchey to a top-five right tackle contract. The team could add another third-round comp pick if Young leaves, but it would seem the 49ers would prefer this not be a true rental add.

49ers D-line coach Kris Kocurek has been credited with leading emergences of various Bosa sidekicks — from Arden Key to Samson Ebukam to Charles Omenihu. The well-regarded position coach will work with a higher-end talent in Young, with Gregory now in place as more of a rental. Despite Gregory’s Broncos-built deal running through 2026, none of the money on that $14MM-AAV pact is guaranteed beyond 2023. The 49ers are also paying Gregory the veteran minimum, with the Broncos responsible for the rest.

John Lynch had said the 49ers planned to roll over most of their NFL-leading cap-space number to 2024. Young will only be attached to a $1MM base salary through season’s end. The 49ers will retain much of their cap space, though a chunk would need to go to Young — via an extension or tag.

As the 49ers will attempt to use this acquisition to bounce back from their two disappointing defensive showings, the Commanders will see their second Eagles defeat this year key what could be an awkward transition. Rivera is squarely on a hot seat, having not produced a winning record yet in Washington. This would be the second time the former NFC champion HC would be fired by a new owner, with that happening in David Tepper‘s second season (2019). Sweat and Young’s exits will certainly weaken the Commanders, even with ex-seventh-rounder Casey Toohill having four sacks as a backup.

The Commanders have never made five picks in the first three rounds of a draft previously (h/t ESPN’s Field Yates), with the George Allen era and Robert Griffin III trades headlining past hurdles on this front. In Harris’ first months as owner, the team will have this opportunity. Of course, it will risk seeing Sweat and Young play their best years in other NFC cities.

Commanders Taking Calls On Chase Young

Already unloading Montez Sweat in what may well have amounted to a numbers crunch, the Commanders seemingly have the franchise tag ready for Chase Young. That said, Young has come up in trades as well.

Despite the Sweat trade making the organization’s choice clear, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport indicates Washington is also taking calls on Young before today’s 3pm CT deadline. These calls have transpired since the Sweat trade, pointing to a potentially shocking move in which Washington trades both its defensive end starters. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson confirms Washington is still listening on Young.

This has long been classified as an either/or call, with the Commanders making the choice to extend Daron Payne two years after reupping Jonathan Allen. Four big-ticket extensions on one D-line did not make much sense, even with a rookie-QB contract on the books, but three has never been considered out of the question. Washington moving Young as well would effectively signal a reboot after four years of Sweat and Young coexisting. The two, however, mostly coexisted on the team’s payroll; Young missed much of the previous two seasons after suffering a severe knee injury in November 2021.

Teams called the Commanders about Young prior to today’s Bears blockbuster, though Sweat was believed to have generated the first offer. The Bears also contacted the Commanders about Young, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, but they have made their D-end move. It would be interesting to see if the Falcons — also a reported Sweat suitor — move into the mix for Young, now that the Commanders appear open to starting over at defensive end.

It is not known if the Falcons are circling back to the Commanders to pursue a D-end upgrade, but the Patriots have at least inquired what it would take to land Young, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe tweets. This comes as the Pats have discussed Josh Uche with teams. Like Young, Uche is in a contract year. New England has Matt Judon on its books through 2024, though with no veteran-QB salary on the payroll, the team could be envisioning a slot for another highly paid edge rusher. An acquiring team could also use the franchise tag. The 2-6 team not known for big payments does not make too much sense as a buyer, but neither did the Bears, who now have exclusive negotiating rights with Sweat until March.

Young, 24, has bounced back from the severe knee trouble that sidetracked his career. In seven games thus far, Young has five sacks and nine QB hits. Those numbers each top his nine-game 2021 sample. As a result of this return to full strength, Young is not believed to be eager to do an extension before his rookie contract expires at season’s end.

The former Defensive Rookie of the Year also arrived during Ron Rivera and DC Jack Del Rio‘s stay, whereas Sweat was a Bruce Allen-era draftee. That said, Washington picked up Sweat’s fifth-year option and declined Young’s. The former No. 2 overall pick’s past knee trouble has him on course for free agency in 2024, though the Commanders will have the tag available. That is, if they keep him through today’s deadline. The team dealing away both defensive ends would also be an ominous sign for Rivera, who is on the hot seat after a 3-5 start.

Washington has not made Jonathan Allen available, and while the team has Phidarian Mathis as a third D-tackle option of note, no notable investments are here beyond Sweat and Young. Former Eagles seventh-rounder Casey Toohill does have four sacks this season, however. Still, scrapping the Young-Sweat tandem altogether would be one of the most notable decisions the franchise has made in many years.

Latest On Commanders’ Deadline Plans, DE Montez Sweat

The Commanders saw their record drop to 3-5 on Sunday, potentially giving the team extra incentive to move on from one or more of their players on expiring deals. A surge in deals sending numerous contributors out of Washington should not be expected however.

[RELATED: Commanders Will Not Trade Jonathan Allen]

ESPN’s John Keim reports that the Commanders are unlikely to have a “fire sale.” The team has had a number of close losses, and the landscape of the NFC could keep them in contention for a wild-card spot depending on how the second half of their season goes. Still, it comes as no surprise that defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young have frequently come up in trade talks.

The former in particular has received the most interest, with a third-round pick reportedly on the table from the Falcons. Ben Standig of The Athletic reports that one team has offered a third-rounder which would become a second-round selection in the event Sweat signed an extension. Whether or not that team is Atlanta is unclear, however. Overall, Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano confirms Sweat is likelier than Young to fetch a notable trade haul given the latter’s injury history.

Both former first-rounders are pending free agents, and many have questioned Washington’s willingness or ability to retain each of them on lucrative second contracts. To no surprise, the Commanders declined Young’s fifth-year option and decided to evaluate his health in 2023 before making a long-term commitment. The former Defensive Player of the Year has had a strong season to date, though.

The same is true of Sweat, who is playing on his $11.5MM option this year. The 27-year-old (as well as Young) has been the subject of trade inquiries for months, Keim adds, due to his unresolved contract situation. In Sweat’s case, that is not for a lack of desire on the team’s part to work out an agreement. The Commanders wanted to extend Sweat this past offseason, one in which the organization’s purchase by Josh Harris put a halt on contract and staff matters.

The Mississippi State product has racked up 6.5 sacks this year, giving him a strong chance of surpassing his career high (9.0, in 2020). A number of teams could be in the market for help along the edge, but the possibility of receiving a third-round compensatory pick in free agency in the event he departed will give Washington reason to command a high price in any Sweat trade. The Commanders are prepared to keep both of their starting edge rushers in place beyond tomorrow’s deadline, but interest in Sweat in particular will no doubt remain high before then.