Players report: July 26 (rookies and veterans)
First practice: July 27 (full schedule)
Location: The Park | Ashburn, Virginia
Subplots to track:
- All eyes will be on Carson Wentz, the former Eagles quarterback coming off a disappointing end to his one-year stint with the Colts. But Wentz did post a passer rating over 90 for the fourth time since Philly took him second overall in 2016; only 10 quarterbacks have recorded more such seasons in that span. Plus, he’ll now be working with arguably the best receiver he’s ever had in Terry McLaurin. If Wentz can show even a glimpse of his form from 2017, when a knee injury prematurely ended an MVP-caliber season, the Washington offense could be much improved.
- The Commanders are going through a changing of the guard this offseason. After losing former All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff and Ereck Flowers, the team brought in former All-Pro Andrew Norwell and five-time Pro Bowler Trai Turner as replacements. These seem like good investments by the organization in the interest of providing sustained protection for Wentz and stability in the run game for rising star Antonio Gibson.
- The young pass-rushing duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat must recapture that 2020 magic. Two seasons ago, Young, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and Sweat combined for 16.5 sacks while Washington ranked second overall and second against the pass. Young was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Last season, though, Young missed eight games with a torn ACL, and Sweat missed seven games. Washington fell from sixth in the NFL in sacks in 2020 (47) to 17th (38), and the lack of pressure generated by the defensive line caused the secondary to completely fall apart. Need proof? The team finished last season dead last in the NFL in passing TDs allowed (34) after ranking second in that category in 2020 (21).