Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign Ex-Chiefs $11.2 Million OT

Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign Ex-Chiefs $11.2 Million OT

In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Washington Commanders selected Jayden Daniels with the second overall choice, perhaps improving their quarterback situation. After giving up the second-most sacks per game the previous year, Daniels protection must be a top focus for the upcoming campaign. As a free agent, Dallas Robinso of Pro Football Network determined that the Commanders were the “best fit” for offensive tackle Donovan Smith, who won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs the previous season.

“The Washington Commanders did not acquire an offensive tackle in Rounds 1 or 2, despite having numerous needs filled in the draft. Jayden Daniels’ blindside will be guarded by third-round pick Brandon Coleman, but several draft experts thought the TCU graduate should have been an NFL guard.

“Although he’s not a world-beater, Donovan Smith has made 136 career starts,” Robinson said in his May 3 piece examining the ideal destinations for the free agents still available. “In 2023, he struggled with injuries while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, but he managed to participate in 12 games during the regular season and start four playoff games en route to winning the Super Bowl.”

Smith has a market value of $11.2 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

Smith was punished the 11th most in football at his position by PFF last season, while playing in just 12 games and missing games for the Kansas City Chiefs. One of the few things the Washington Commanders excelled at in 2023 was limiting penalties; they averaged the seventh-fewest in the NFL.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN noted on March 20 that his penalties have been a problem for the last four seasons, looking into “why he’s still available.” Barnwell mentioned another possible worry, which was his neck injury.

“Smith has tied for the third-most points of any player with 29 over the last four seasons,” Barnwell noted. “No. 1 is fellow tackle and former Chiefs teammate Jawaan Taylor, so there should be evidence that penalties by themselves cannot prevent guys from winning a Super Bowl. Smith, 30, may also have some health issues because he missed the last five regular season games due to a neck injury before making a comeback in the postseason.

According to Barnwell, Smith had a pass block win percentage of little under 91% while he was healthy on the field. It was the eighteenth-best tackle of all time.

Washington Commanders Still Need OT Help

Smith might be of assistance to the Washington Commanders, who are currently in need of offensive tackles. Smith played 749 offensive snaps and gave up only two sacks. He also had above-average pass-blocking evaluations from PFF in all but one of his seasons since 2016.

Although they selected Brandon Coleman, Ben Standig of The Athletic stated on May 2 that there are still uncertainties regarding the tackle possibilities.

Despite the third-round selection of Coleman, a 6-foot-4, 313-pound team captain with a 4.99 40-yard time and more than 1,600 snaps at left tackle, concerns about the left tackle alternatives intensified after the draft.

“He joins Lucas, a steady swing tackle the past four seasons, in an important position battle,” Standig wrote. “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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