The Washington Commanders had a busy Wednesday afternoon. After appearing to lose running back J.D. McKissic to the Buffalo Bills, the Commanders reportedly offered him the same money he was getting in Buffalo and he decided to stay.
On the heels of that surprise came news that the Commanders had cut three players: left guard Ereck Flowers, safety Deshazor Everett, and defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, which saves them $19 million against the cap.
Ioannidis was not expecting to be released, and Alan Herman, Ioannidis' agent, wasn't expecting it either — especially in light of a conversation Herman says he had with a team representative. Herman told the Associated Press that he and his fellow agent, Jared Fox, were lied to by Commanders senior VP of football administration Rob Rogers when they spoke to him during the NFL combine.
“They looked us straight in the eye, Rob Rogers, and Rob basically said to Jared and myself: ‘Absolutely not. We have no thoughts of releasing Matt Ioannidis,’” Herman told The Associated Press. “We don’t particularly care to be lied to to our face. I don’t like when someone lies to my face.
“They took him out of the free agent market now for two days. That puts us now at a disadvantage because other teams have paid other defensive linemen contracts, and (Ioannidis) hasn’t been able to take advantage of that. That’s not the way you conduct business in the National Football League.”
Those are some spicy words to throw around, but it's likely a reflection of how he and Ioannidis feel. Ioannidis has been with the Commanders since they drafted him in 2016. He's been around long enough to see four different quarterbacks come and go, and he's played under two different head coaches and one interim head coach. Releasing players is part of the calculus of the game, but it's hard to blame Ioannidis for feeling some kind of way after having the script flipped on him like that.
But to be fair to the Commanders, the conversation between Herman, Fox, and Rogers happened before the team traded for quarterback Carson Wentz, who comes with a cap hit of over $28 million this season. That's a pretty significant chunk of cap space, and the surprise of being able to retain McKissic probably forced Washington's hand. Unfortunately for Ioannidis, conversations aren't contracts, and he's now looking for a new team for the 2022 season.