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NFC East News: Washington Commanders decline fifth-year option for pass rusher Chase Young

Important news from an NFC East rival.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

It is the 2023 offseason. In fact, it is just one day before the 2023 NFL Draft.

As it is the offseason though and the one in this specific year that means that it is time for teams to choose whether or not they want to exercise the fifth-year options on players who they drafted in the first round three years ago. Just last week it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys are picking up the fifth-year option on wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.

Why wouldn’t Dallas pick up Lamb’s option? He has been an incredible player for them and looks to have an even brighter future with the team. Sometimes things just make sense.

Other instances are not always so clear. While CeeDee is an open and shut case for the Cowboys, pass rusher Chase Young is not necessarily a slam dunk proposition for the Washington Commanders. Washington selected Young with the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and sometimes that price tag can be enough for a team to pick up the option.

Not in this case. Washington is choosing not to do so.

While Chase Young is extraordinarily talented the reality is that he has only played in 27 of 50 possible games since entering the NFL. In fact he played in only three this past season. He has had an unfortunate run with injuries, but that is all a part of the evaluation when it comes to things like this.

It looked like Washington had found something special during Young’s rookie season, which led to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but he played in 15 games during that campaign when Washington won the division (with a 7-9 record mind you) and has only appeared in 12 since. It is hard not to fault the team for not picking up the option here even considering all of the math.

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