Commanders’ $72 Milllion DT Part of Wild Trade Proposal to NFC East Foe

Jonathan Allen and Fletcher Cox

Getty Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

The writing might already be on the wall for Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.

After Allen expressed his displeasure playing for a losing franchise toward the end of Washington’s 4-13 campaign in 2023, a series of moves seem to indicate that Allen won’t be with the franchise for much longer and Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine put forth a “shocking” trade proposal that would send Allen to one of the Commanders’ most hated rivals — the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Inter-division trades are somewhat rare, but they come together every now and then. Most of the time, it’s a case where the deal just makes sense for both parties,” Ballentine wrote. “We all know how much value the Eagles place on the defensive line. They aren’t likely to pass on any opportunity to make their pass rush elite. Adding a player like Jonathan Allen, who is a speculative trade chip the Commanders should look into playing, would certainly qualify.”

Allen, 29, has two more seasons left on a 4-year, $72 million contract extension he signed in 2021.

Commanders’ Moves Might Indicate Moving On

Just looking at the moves the Commanders have made recently when it comes to the interior defensive line seem to indicate Allen could be expendable.

“The tea leaves in D.C. don’t necessarily bode well for Allen. They handed Daron Payne a four-year $90 million extension this offseason then used an early second-round pick on Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton,” Ballentine wrote. “With a new front office and coaching staff taking over, they might not be as willing to pay out the final two years of Allen’s four-year, $72 million extension he signed two years ago. He carries cap hits of $21.4 and $23 million in those two years.”

Payne is another defensive tackle, like Allen, and Newton is expected to become a rotation player and eventual starter once he returns from a second Jones Fracture surgery on his foot.

Trading for Allen would seem to be a pretty cynical move on the part of the Eagles, who drafted a defensive tackle in the first round of the NFL draft in 2022 (Jordan Davis, No. 13 overall) and in 2023 (Jalen Carter, No. 9 overall).

Neither player has shown they can be a star yet — Davis has just 2.5 sacks through his first two seasons but started all 17 games in 2023. Carter played in 16 games with 1 start and had 6.0 sacks as a rookie in 2023.

From Ballentine: “The Eagles have Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter, but Davis is a part-time player as a run-stuffing nose tackle. Philly’s defense was at its most terrifying with Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox in the middle.”

Major Upgrades for Commanders’ Defense

The Commanders invested heavily in their defense in the offseason after having the NFL’s worst defense in 2023 — they also brought in a defensive-minded head coach with Dan Quinn, who won a Super Bowl as defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington drafted one player who looks like he could be a plug-and-play starter in Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristil and signed four free agents who will step in and be Day 1 starters in linebackers Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu, defensive end Dorance Armstrong and safety Jeremy Chinn.


Read More