Cut Carson Wentz, Bobby McCain as future eye captains

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The Washington leaders released quarterback Carson Wentz and defensive back Bobby McCain on Monday, freeing up nearly $29 million in salary cap space just weeks before free agency began and paving the way for the team’s young talent.

Although both moves were expected, they marked the end of a short era in Washington. Wentz, who was acquired by the team in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts last year, has only started seven games due to a finger injury. The leaders were 2-4 when he had surgery and Taylor Heineke took over.

Wentz returned as the starter in Week 17 for a game against the Cleveland Browns that sealed his fate. Washington was 7-7-1 when Wentz took over for Heinecke and threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in a loss that knocked Washington out of playoff contention.

Shots, bags and shouts usher Carson Wentz into an unknown future

As part of their trade to Wentz, the Chiefs traded their 2022 second-round picks to the Colts and forgo the 2022 third-round game and 2023 third-round picks. Wentz only had a year of guaranteed money left on his contract, so Washington was able to make a clean split without taking dead money—or money that could be counted against their cap—after one season.

For the first time in his career, Wentz will be a free agent. In this offseason, he will be searching for his fourth team in four seasons, a sharp drop from the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft.

With Heinicke poised to hit free agency as well, the leaders will, at least for now, turn to Sam Howell, a fifth-round pick in 2022 who is the team’s only starting quarterback in 2023. Howell will enter camp as expected starting, but coach Ron Rivera has indicated He said he hoped to add a veteran player in some capacity, and new offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy agreed there was a need for competition in the quarterback.

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“I’m excited about the chance to get to know the kid,” Benemi said of Howell. “But more than anything else, you always want to create competition. You want to make sure we get the best out of the people who have been in this particular position.”

What do you expect from the attack leaders Eric Bienemi

McCain’s exit is largely due to the emergence of Darrick Forrest, a 2021 fifth-round pick, who has proven to be a vital part of the secondary leaders in 2022 after playing mostly special teams as a starter. Forrest recorded a team-high four interceptions, as well as two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 88 tackles.

McCain’s play at free safety, combined with performance by Benjamin St. Just in cornerback, prompted Washington to convert McCain to the third-ranked safety in Washington’s “Buffalo” nickel deal. McCain’s versatility has given the team flexibility in how it uses its defensive backs, and as Washington reconfigures its secondary running back again, adding more positional flexibility will be a priority.

The Chiefs have always appreciated defensive backs who can play at multiple points and can switch during a game or even a series—players like safety Cam Curle, who played primarily linebacker last season, and Kendall Fuller, who can play both inside and outside. .

The 2023 recruiting class is fairly deep on defensive backfield talent, and some analysts predict Washington will add defensive running backs in the first rounds. But the team’s needs extend to many positions, including offensive linemen, tight end teams, linebackers, and of course, quarterback.

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For Rivera and the captains staff and coaching staff, work starts in earnest this week, at the NFL Scouting Association in Indianapolis — the same place Washington decided to trade for Wentz a year ago.

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