The Washington Commanders are heading into the 2023 season with renewed optimism. The team finished 8-8 last season, but the sky is the limit, especially with a ball-hawking defense led by Chase Young.
The former Ohio State defensive end Young said he feels “night and day” different from last season. The ex-number two overall pick has struggled with injuries, but performed well when healthy.
A healthy Young could bolster a Commanders defense that did not rank among the NFL's top units in 2022. Young is still looking to prove himself, and this season could be his best chance.
“Since I came in the game, I was in the game to prove myself,” Young said to reporters on Tuesday. “So I'm not really thinking anything different. Going out there and playing my game.”
Young's chance might not come in Washington, however, according to a report from NFL insider Albert Breer. His fifth-year contract option was declined this off-season, and he was mum when asked about his thoughts on it Tuesday. Rumor has it that the Commanders may look to trade him this offseason.
“Teams coming out of the spring thinking they need more help may make trade calls on Young (it seems unlikely the Washington brass would move him ahead of a must-win year, but I know they’d be open to listening), and there’s a pretty surprising number of accomplished pass rushers still on the market,” Breer wrote.