The Washington Commanders are going through a lot of drastic changes, both on and off the gridiron. With hopes to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020, they will need to have a lot of unsung members of their roster step up this year.
However, some of those rostered players are absorbing a huge amount of cap space for this season and who are holding the team back from further success.
Carson Wentz, QB
It is never a good sign when the cap hit for a player is more than his overall salary for that season. The Commanders had to absorb Wentz’s massive contract, which sits at $28.2 million against the cap for 2022.
According to OverTheCap, that ranks 11th for all quarterbacks around the NFL. While Wentz has shown flashes in Philadelphia and Indianapolis that made him the 2nd overall pick back in 2016, he has not shown it at a consistent rate to warrant his high salary.
Wentz's cap hit vanishes after the season, so the Commanders are only on the books for the 30-year-old for this upcoming season if the team opted to move on from him in the offseason. However, he has one of the worst contracts because he is being paid a lot for mixed results on his current contract.
Curtis Samuel, WR
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Samuel was an exciting player to watch for the Carolina Panthers and was a dream signing for Commanders fans everywhere. His first season in burgundy and gold was not what everyone had hoped.
His deal, which is currently guaranteeing him $10 million this year, is a giant road block for a team that needs its best players to step up big time. Samuel registering 27 yards on six catches in just five games last year and needs to be healthy for that contract to pay off.
If the wide receiver’s contract was to be extended, it could free up $7.2 million, but first he needs to play like the player he was with the Panthers for that to happen.
Samuel isn't guaranteed any money after 2022, but given his production on his current deal, he has one of the worst contracts on the team.
Cornelius Lucas, OT
Lucas signed a two-year, $3.07 million contract with Washington this past season and while he can contribute on the offensive line, his trend with injuries don’t bode well for the Commanders, who have given 1.27% of their entire cap space to Lucas, according to Spotrac.
His current cap hit, which is at $2.6 million, may not seem like a lot, but compared to other left tackles around the NFL, it may be an overpay. Players like New England’s Isaiah Wynn, Philadelphia’s Andre Dillard and Houston’s Tytus Howard have lower cap hits. That money could have been allocated better by the Commanders front office
The Commanders would love for these three players to play to their highest potential and help the team compete for a division crown. However, it all comes down to if they can and if it is worth the money they are being given.