When Chase Young entered the NFL he brought with him a ton of hype. The former number #2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was considered the best overall prospect in that class. He was a record-breaking sack machine for the Ohio State Buckeyes who had all the intangibles. In his first year with Washington Young finished with 7.5 sacks and secured the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Since then injuries and lack of production have caused some to claim Young is overrated. While some of that chatter may be justified, is Chase Young really on the trade block? Let’s examine that further and see if the signs are there.
Chase Young suffered a grade 3 ACL injury in 2021 that kept him out of much of the 2022-2023 season. When he returned he wasn’t the same dominant force we were accustomed to seeing. He seemed to still be favoring his leg and lacked the explosiveness we saw during his rookie campaign. It’s understandable as this was a significant knee injury that can take time to heal.
Back in April, the Washington Commanders decided to decline Young’s 5th-year option which raised some eyebrows. You can look at this two ways. The Commanders want to motivate Young and see if he bounces back next season. The other is the ownership factor which has yet to be official. It’s possible the Commanders are waiting for the new ownership group before making any decisions on the future. Head Coach Ron Rivera has stated more than once that the team is in a holding pattern until new ownership takes over. Either way, this decision has caused several different trade rumors to pop up. Could the Commanders make the move?
Potential Trade Candidates for Chase Young
Here’s the thing, it’s very likely the Commanders don’t trade Chase Young but that doesn’t mean teams won’t poke around. If a trade package is significant enough it may tempt Washington to make the move. They also have Montez Sweat who will be due a new contract soon and they may not be able to keep Sweat and Young.
The Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs have all been rumored to be interested in Young. Of those teams, the Chiefs make the most sense. They are obviously a contender and lost stud DE Frank Clark this offseason. What could they offer the Commanders in return? An early-round draft pick is likely the answer but it needs to be high enough to get Washington’s interest.
I fully expect the Commanders to hold onto their star despite the trade rumors. According to Albert Breer, this is the likely outcome. Chase Young has turned some heads in OTA’s as it’s looking like he is completely healthy now and ready to prove his doubters wrong.