Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign $11.2 million OT As Free Agent To Guard Jayden Daniels

Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign $11.2 million OT As Free Agent To Guard Jayden Daniels

With the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, the Washington Commanders acquired a potential quarterback upgrade in Jayden Daniels. Next season, Daniels protection must be a top concern after allowing the second-highest amount of sacks per game the previous year. According to Dallas Robinso of Pro Football Network, the Commanders are the “best fit” for offensive tackle Donovan Smith, a free agent who won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs the previous season.

“Although the Washington Commanders filled many of their needs in the draft, they missed out on a Round 1 or 2 offensive tackle. Third-rounder Brandon Coleman will get a shot at protecting Jayden Daniels‘ blindside, but some draft analysts viewed the TCU product as 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.

According to Barnwell, Smith has scored 29 goals in the last four seasons, tying him for the third-most among all players. “First place goes to former Chiefs teammate and fellow lineman Jawaan Taylor, thus it should be evidence that a guy can win a Super Bowl despite receiving a penalty alone. There may also be some medical worries around Smith, who is thirty years old and missed the last five games of the regular season due to a neck issue before making a comeback in the postseason.

According to Barnwell, Smith’s pass block victory percentage when he was healthy on the field was slightly under 91%. Among all tackles, that came in at number 18.

Washington Commanders Still Need OT Help

Smith might be useful to the Washington Commanders, who currently need an offensive lineman. With the exception of one season since 2016, Smith’s pass-blocking grades from PFF have been above average. He only gave up two sacks in 749 offensive snaps.

Ben Standig of The Athletic reported on May 2 that even though Brandon Coleman was selected, there are still uncertainties over the tackle possibilities.

Even after 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, was selected in the third round, concerns about the left tackle alternatives intensified.

“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.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *