Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign Ex-Chiefs $10.2 Million Free Agent To Protect Jayden Daniels

Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign Ex-Chiefs $10.2 Million Free Agent To Protect Jayden Daniels

The Washington Commanders selected Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 choice in the 2024 NFL draft, hoping to improve their quarterback situation. After allowing the second most sacks per game last season, protecting Daniels must be a top emphasis for next season. Dallas Robinso of Pro Football Network believes the Commanders are the “best fit” for free agency offensive tackle Donovan Smith, who won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

The Washington Commanders missed out on a Round 1 or 2 offensive tackle, despite meeting several of their draft needs. Brandon Coleman, a third-round pick from TCU, is expected to defend Jayden Daniels’ blindside. However, some draft analysts see him as an NFL guard.

“While Donovan Smith isn’t a world-beater, he’s made 136 career starts,” Robinson wrote in his May 3 essay about the greatest landing spots for remaining free agents. “He battled injuries with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2023 but still appeared in 12 regular-season games before starting four playoff games on the way to a Super Bowl title.”

Smith has a market value of $10.2 million, according to Spotrac, making him a candidate for the Commanders as they still have $43.4 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap.

Penalties an Issue for Donovan Smith

Despite playing only 12 games for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, Smith received the 11th most penalties at his position, according to PFF. Limiting penalties was one of the Washington Commanders’ few successes in 2023, with the seventh-lowest average in the NFL.

Examining “why he’s still available,” Bill Barnwell of ESPN noted on March 20 that his penalties have been a problem for the past four years. Barnwell also mentioned his neck ailment as a possible worry.

“Smith has 29 over the last four seasons, which ties him for the third-most of any player,” Barnwell noted in a blog post. “No. 1 is former Chiefs colleague and fellow lineman Jawaan Taylor, which should demonstrate that penalties alone cannot prevent players from winning the Super Bowl. Smith is 30 and missed the final five games of the regular season with a neck ailment before returning in the playoffs, so there may be some medical issues surrounding him as well.”

When Smith was healthy, he had a pass block victory rate of just under 91%, according to Barnwell. That placed 18th out of all tackles.

Washington Commanders Still Need OT Help

Smith might aid the Washington Commanders, who still need offensive tackle help. Smith allowed only two sacks on 749 offensive snaps and earned above-average pass-blocking grades from PFF in all but one season since 2016.

On May 2, Ben Standig of The Athletic reported that despite Brandon Coleman was drafted, there are still concerns about the tackle alternatives.

“Despite the third-round selection of Coleman, a 6-foot-4, 313-pound team captain with 4.99 40-yard speed and over 1,600 snaps at left tackle, questions about the left tackle alternatives got louder following the draft.

“He joins Lucas, a steady swing tackle the past four seasons, in an important position battle,” Standig stated in an email. “Fans, having already expressed some valid and overwrought concerns with Wylie on the right side and knowing that protecting Daniels is a significant priority, are growing more anxious.”

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