2023 is a big season for Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young. The No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft entered the league with a bang, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, but he has been unable to replicate that level of performance since.
In nine games in 2021, Chase Young managed to record only 1.5 sacks after picking up 7.5 as a rookie. He played in only nine games that season before suffering a devastating knee injury that has derailed his career.
After extensive rehab, he was able to get on the field for three games in 2022. But, he made virtually zero impact in a limited role. That was part of the reason why the Commanders opted to decline the fifth-year option on his rookie contract earlier this offseason.
Now set to become a free agent in 2022, Chase Young has extra motivation to play well this season. He is essentially auditioning for teams around the league that he is healthy and capable of producing at a high level once again.
The Commanders would certainly love to see a bounceback from the Ohio State product, but they are in a tough spot. After handing out lucrative long-term deals to Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat being up for one as well, Chase Young may not be in their long-term plans.
That is part of the reason why Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report has put Chase Young at No. 1 in his 2023 NFL Trade Block Big Board. He named the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens as potential suitors and both would make a lot of sense.
Chicago desperately needs some pass-rushing juice on their defense. They had a league-low 20 sacks last season with 4.0 from rookie safety Jaquan Brisker leading the team. Chase Young would give them a potential young building block in the front seven as they look to move out of their rebuild.
The Ravens are looking to contend but two of their top pass rushers from last season, Justin Houston and Calais Campbell, moved on. Chase Young could form a nice trio with Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo long-term in Baltimore.
If either team is willing to offer an early Day 2 pick, the Commanders would have to think long and hard about accepting a deal. Getting some draft capital in exchange for him now is better than watching him walk in free agency, receiving nothing in return.