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Why Steelers Trading For Commanders EDGE Chase Young Isn’t Very Plausible At All


There have been reports of late that the Washington Commanders might be interested in trading edge rusher Chase Young at some point this offseason. On the heels of that, and quite predictably, several fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are wondering if the team might deal for the former first-round draft pick of Ohio State. With that seemingly being a talking point right now with the fandom, let’s look at the plausibility of the Steelers trading for Young.

For starters, let’s look at seemingly the root of the report related to Young possibly being traded by the Commanders this summer. It seems to have been generated by Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

“Teams coming out of the spring thinking they need more help may make trade calls on Young (it seems unlikely the Washington brass would move him ahead of a must-win year, but I know they’d be open to listening), and there’s a pretty surprising number of accomplished pass rushers still on the market,” Breer writes.

Well, that’s certainly not much to go on. Would Washington listen to trade offers? More importantly, would it trade him if the right offer surfaces? I suppose one could answer yes to both questions.

Now, let’s look at Young’s current contract situation, via Over the Cap. For starters, the Commanders chose not to pick up Young’s fifth-year option for 2024 earlier in the offseason so that means he’s now set to play out the final year of his rookie contract this season. Young is scheduled to earn a fully guaranteed base salary of $1,010,000 in 2023 in addition to a fully guaranteed roster bonus of $4,313,219. That roster bonus, however, is reportedly not due until August 5, which means that if the Commanders were to trade Young, they would likely do so before that date, so they are not on the hook for it.

If any team were to trade for Young before August 5, they would need to be prepared to pay him $5,323,219 in 2023. That would be his cap charge for 2023 as well. That’s quite an expensive amount to pay Young if he was not going to be a starter on whatever team did trade for him. The Steelers certainly wouldn’t trade for Young with those sort of earnings attached.

Additionally, Young could wind up being just a one-year rental at that price if not signed to an extension by whatever team might trade for him. Young would be foolish to sign an extension right now with any team with him only playing in 12 total games the last two seasons. He’s going to need to prove himself again before he gets any lucrative long-term contract offers. That’s why 2023 is a very important season for him.

Moving forward, what kind of trade compensation would the Commanders even want for their former first-round draft pick? One would think at least a third rounder. However, with Young heading for unrestricted free agency in March 2024, giving up a third-round selection for him seems a bit pricey, unless a team knew it was going to be able to retain him past the 2023 season.

Quite honestly, and assuming Young doesn’t demand to get out of Washington this summer, he and the Commanders might both be best served to stand pat with each other. A solid 2023 season for Young in a system that he’s quite familiar with, could result in him either receiving the franchise tag from Washington next offseason, or him having a solid shot at cashing in on a lucrative long-term deal next March as an unrestricted free agent. In short, Young staying in Washington for 2023 seems like the likeliest outcome, unless the Commanders were to get a trade offer they just couldn’t turn down.

In closing, I will be surprised if Washington deals Young prior to Week 1 of the 2023 regular season. I’ll be even more surprised if the Steelers traded for Young if he winds up being dealt. Such a scenario just isn’t very plausible.

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