Commanders Replacing Antonio Gibson With Anthony Lynn Favorite - Sport News

Commanders Replacing Antonio Gibson With Anthony Lynn Favorite

The Washington Commanders didn’t wait long to replace running back Antonio Gibson in 2024 NFL free agency, after agreeing a two-year deal with Austin Ekeler. He’s a favorite of Commanders’ run-game coordinator Anthony Lynn.

Former Commanders RB Antonio Gibson to sign with the Patriots

Former Los Angeles Chargers’ standout Ekeler intending to sign “a two-year deal” with the Commanders was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday, March 11.

The contract is worth up to $11.43 million, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Agreeing a contract with Ekeler is a timely move, just hours after Gibson agreed to join the New England Patriots for the next three years. Gibson struggled to reach his full potential in Washington, but Ekeler is a legitimate dual-threat playmaker who produced some of his best football on Lynn’s watch with the Chargers.

If he can stay healthy, Ekeler will be a useful runner and receiver for new Commanders’ offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. Those attributes make Ekeler a likely RB1 ahead of incumbent Brian Robinson Jr.

Putting Ekeler into the starting lineup would provide an early boost for a rookie quarterback. The Commanders are likely to select a potential franchise signal-caller with the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Ekeler will help the first-year passer adapt, the way he did for Justin Herbert with the Chargers.

Austin Ekeler Thrived for Anthony Lynn

Lynn’s rushing schemes brought out the best in Ekeler. Particularly during the 2019 season. That was the year Ekeler rushed for 132 times for 557 yards and added 993 through the air from 92 catches.

The former undrafted free agent also scored 19 touchdowns two years later, good for joint-most in the league, after Lynn left for the Detroit Lions. Ekeler’s level of production gives him a great chance to revive his career on Lynn’s watch.

He was at the top of his game, but multiple ankle injuries slowed Ekeler after 2021. The 28-year-old averaged a mere 3.5 yards per rush last season.

Although his numbers dipped, Ekeler could still produce big plays on the ground and through the air. Like when he broke free for 55 yards against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

Lynn will feel confident about getting more runs like these from Ekeler. He spotted player’s potential back in 2017 and worked well with Ekeler during four positive years.

Reuniting the pair means the Commanders have not only replaced Gibson. They’ve upgrade him.

Commanders Upgraded Antonio Gibson

Gibson was a converted wide receiver whose versatility and pass-catching skills were never fully unlocked by the Commanders. Things should be different with Ekeler, who was targeted 108 times on Lynn’s watch in 2019.

Ekeler made the most of a high volume of targets thanks to reliable hands and impressive catch percentage, according to NFL on CBS.

The other quality that makes Ekeler a highly effective receiver is a knack for producing yards after the catch. He’s averaged above 10 yards after catch three times in his career, including 10.1 in 2023, per Pro Football Reference.

Ekeler’s 51 receptions last season were still three more than Gibson’s career-high 48 catches. It’s why Ekeler should become a go-to target for a rookie QB, the way he was when he snared 54 of Herbert’s passes in 2020.

Herbert connected with Ekeler 107 times in 2022, so it’s easy to envisage the veteran running back being a feature of the Commanders’ passing game in a way Gibson never was.

Related Posts

Mike McCarthy’s seat is scalding hot after new Bill Belichick report

Remember when the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world and brought back Mike McCarthy for another season after the humiliating wild card loss to the Packers? That feels like ages…

Packers re-sign Fort Valley State alumnus Emanuel Wilson

Emanuel Wilson may prove to be a key depth piece for the Packers’ young core as they rise to the top of the NFC in contention for…

Packers Host Under-the-Radar Quarterback For Visit

The Green Bay Packers already have their long-term answer at quarterback, but the team is bringing in former UTEP QB Gavin Hardison for a visit ahead of the 2024…

Packers Projected to Land Josh Myers Replacement

The Green Bay Packers could be replacing center Josh Myers this offseason, and one of the options to upgrade the position could be in the first round of the…

Cowboys Trade Proposal Adds Top 10 Pick for Draft Haul

There is no question that the Cowboys need to add to their current roster, which is thin on the offensive line, thin on the defensive line, thin at wide…

Packers Projected to Give $12 Million to Unproven Draft Pick

The Green Bay Packers have a difficult decision to make regarding cornerback Eric Stokes before the start of the 2024 season. Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay gave out projections for every…