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3 potential Commanders’ trade targets to fill positions of need

The Washington Commanders will have plenty of holes to fill in 2024. The good news is that Washington holds the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft and has more salary cap space than any other team in the NFL.

Adding to the excitement for Washington fans is there’s a new sheriff in town. The Commanders fired Ron Rivera after four lackluster seasons and hired general manager Adam Peters. Peters, the former assistant GM for the 49ers, was the most wanted GM candidate available.

In addition to Peters, Washington hired former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as the new head coach.

The Commanders can’t fill every hole this offseason, but there are multiple ways to address some of those needs. Washington could also look to the trade market for reinforcements, as some of the top free agents don’t always make it to the open market.

Bleacher Report recently previewed the offseason with a trade guide for all 32 NFL teams. There were three trade scenarios listed for the Commanders. We’ll look at each one and assess if it’s possible or not for Washington.

49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/baltimore/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Baltimore Ravens;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Baltimore Ravens</a> wide receiver <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/27540/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Odell Beckham Jr.;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Odell Beckham Jr.</a> (3) is unable to make a catch next to San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward (7). Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Ward has one year remaining on a three-year, $42 million contract he signed in 2022. He’s been excellent for the 49ers, but could San Francisco look to move him if it doesn’t think they could re-sign him? Peters knows Ward well, and he’d know if this is a risk worth taking. The salary wouldn’t be a problem, as the Commanders have plenty of cap space, and top cornerbacks are being paid more than Ward in 2024. Bleacher Report says a possible third-round pick to the Niners for Ward. That seems high for Peters, who will build through the draft. Ward would be an excellent addition, though.

Patriots EDGE Matthew Judon

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Judon was an excellent player before he tore his bicep in Week 4 and missed the rest of the 2023 season. He has one year remaining on a four-year, $56 million contract he signed in 2021, which he has outplayed. In his first season with New England, Judon finished with 12.5 sacks. He followed that up with 15.5 sacks in 2022. He had four sacks in four games before his injury last season. The negative with Judon is he will be 32 this summer and coming off a major injury. But, for Quinn, who gets the most out of pass rushers, Judon seems like a perfect buy-low target (in terms of compensation) to help rebuild Washington’s defensive end room in 2024.

Trading for someone like Judon could be a better option than signing someone in free agency, where it’s expected the top pass rushers will be franchised.

Jets guard Laken Tomlinson

New York Jets guard Laken Tomlinson (78). Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets guard Laken Tomlinson (78). Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders need a left guard. Laken Tomlinson is a left guard. He’s been a good left guard and has missed one career game in nine NFL seasons. But trading for a 32-year-old guard doesn’t make a lot of sense for Washington. This is a position you fill within or through the draft, with other more pressing needs in free agency. Remember, Washington could draft or sign a right tackle and kick Andrew Wylie inside at left guard, where he is better anyway.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire