Commanders Deemed Top Landing Spot for Patriots 2nd-Round Pick Safety - Sport News

Commanders Deemed Top Landing Spot for Patriots 2nd-Round Pick Safety

The Washington Commanders allowed the most points per game in 2023, allowing 30.5 points per game. Allowing 30.5 points per game was in large part due to the defense allowing 262.2 passing yards per game, the most in the NFL. To improve the secondary, Alex Kay of Bleacher Report listed the Commanders as a top landing spot for New England Patriots safety Kyle Dugger.

Kay views the Commanders as a potential destination for the former 2nd-round pick due to having the need for a safety and $43.9 million in cap space.

“Washington ranks second in available cap space with $43.9 million, and it should have no issue spending some of that to bring Dugger in on a long-term deal. New head coach Dan Quinn was a defensive-minded hire who could make the most of Dugger’s playmaking skills. Upgrading the safety spot should be a priority for Washington’s new regime. Neither Percy Butler nor Darrick Forrest—the team’s projected starters—have flashed as much upside or skill as Dugger early in their respective careers.

“While the Commanders did add another high-ceiling defensive back in Jeremy Chinn this offseason, Dugger’s versatility and consistency should appeal to them. Dugger could flourish in the nation’s capital, anchoring a secondary that needs all the help it can get as the team rebuilds.”

Commanders Have Rebuilt Their Defense This Offseason

The Washington Commanders hired a defensive-minded head coach in Dan Quinn, the first step in improving a defense in the bottom half of nearly every statistical category in 2023.

Quinn, the former defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, led a defense that led the NFL in takeaways in 2021 and 2022. The Cowboys also had a top-five scoring defense in 2022 and 2023.

On top of making Quinn the head coach, the Commanders’ offseason moves have heavily focused on that side of the football. The Commanders have added Bobby Wagner, Dante Fowler Jr., Frankie Luvu, Jeremy Chinn, Dorance Armstrong, and others.

While the offseason moves have been impressive, landing the New England Patriots safety would add another talented defensive player to the long list of players the Commanders have added.

What Dugger Would Bring the Commanders

Dugger is a defensive player viewed as “what many modern defenses seek,” according to Chad Graff of The Athletic.

“Dugger, a 2020 second-round pick from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, improved slowly through his first few seasons. He nabbed two pick sixes in a standout 2022 season, but 2023 wasn’t quite as good.

“He offers precisely what many modern defenses seek, with the size of a linebacker and the athleticism to drop deep as a safety. The Patriots used the transition tag on Dugger, giving them the ability to match any offer, but they will not receive compensation if they decline to match an offer.”

As Graff writes, the New England Patriots used the transition tag on Dugger, so the Patriots could match any offer if the Commanders offered him a contract.

Dugger, 28 years old, allowed 478 yards on 64 targets in 2023, the most allowed in his career. Prior to the 2023 season, Dugger allowed fewer than 370 yards in every other year of his career.

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