Commanders Agree Deal to Replace Nick Gates With Cowboys Free Agent: Report

Nick Gates

Getty The Washington Commanders agreed a three-year deal to replace C Nick Gates with a Dallas Cowboys free agent.

Dan Quinn and the Washington Commanders have wasted no time replacing center Nick Gates, after agreeing a three-year deal with Dallas Cowboys’ center Tyler Biadasz in 2024 NFL free agency.

He agreed terms on Monday, March 11, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, who reported the contract is worth $30 million.

Acquiring Biadasz represents a much-needed upgrade over Gates, who struggled in 2023 after arriving from the New York Giants, before being released on Friday, March 1. The Commanders need upgrades all across the offensive front following a season when the line gave up 65 sacks.

Biadasz is the second former Cowboys lineman the Commanders have agreed to sign. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. is also expected to reunite with Washington head coach Quinn, who called defenses in Dallas for the last three years.

Tyler Biadasz an Obvious Upgrade for Commanders

The Commanders paid solid money to get an obvious upgrade over Gates. Biadasz has proved accomplished in pass protection for the Cowboys during the last two seasons, per numbers from PFF Commanders.

Those are solid metrics, but Biadasz is more effective knocking open holes for the rushing attack. The proof comes from a positive 68.1 run-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus, higher than a 63.4 mark against pass-rushers.

Some of his best plays came in the ground game. Like when Biadasz pulled into space to lead the way for Tony Pollard against the New Orleans Saints in 2021, a block highlighted by NBC DFW’s Pat Doney.

The play showcased Biadasz’s underrated move skills, something Gates didn’t possess. Being able to move the center into space should help Commanders’ offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury develop a speed-based running game that attacks the edges of defenses more often.

Kingsbury will still appreciate how Biadasz can exert some brute force at the point of attack on inside runs. It’s what the 26-year-old did when Pollard rumbled up the middle to score against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11, with Kevin Gray Jr. applauding “the combo block by Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin.”

Having Biadasz over the ball will improve a running game that had a league-low 359 attempts last season. It’s the first step toward fixing a 2023 line that simply didn’t hold up on the ground or through the air.

Nick Gates Faltered in 1 Year With Commanders

Gates proved a liability in pass protection by allowing five sacks, 21 pressures and six quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus. He was also flagged for a quartet of penalties.

Putting Gates into the lineup was supposed to create a bigger, more physical front. Instead, the 6-foot-5, 312 pounder struggled to establish a stable line of scrimmage.

Washington’s problems in the trenches weren’t all down to Gates, but he faltered, even though right guard Sam Cosmi thrived. Pairing Cosmi with Biadasz and a more agile and powerful right tackle will at least secure one side of a line in need of major surgery during free agency.

Those necessary renovations would also provide a secure platform for the rookie quarterback the Commanders are expected to select with the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

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