COMMANDERS DITCH LOGAN THOMAS AND CHARLES LENO, SAVING ALMOST $14M!

By Lew Gould

Continuing to move on from veteran contracts, the Commanders will be without Logan Thomas in 2024.

Washington is releasing the experienced tight end, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports.

Already entering Friday positioned in the top three in cap space, the Commanders are freeing up more room. Absent any post-June 1 maneuvers, the team will pick up nearly $14 million between the Thomas and Charles Leno cuts. Thomas was due to make $5.34MM in his contract year.

Thomas, 32, completed a unique comeback in Washington. Ron Rivera gave the former quarterback a chance to vie for the starting tight end job. A Virginia native who played quarterback at Virginia Tech, Thomas saw QB time for the Cardinals as a rookie in 2014. After years off the radar, he eventually completed the task of shifting to tight end, producing a career-best season in 2020. That eventually keyed a significant raise. Thomas signed a three-year, $24MM extension during the 2021 offseason. Injuries intervened on this contract, which had one season remaining. Tight end can be added to the Commanders’ need areas going into Adam Peters‘ first free agency in charge.

In 2020, Thomas caught 72 passes for 670 yards and six touchdowns. Each mark remains a career high, with a major injury — an ACL tear sustained in December of that year — impacting him going forward. While Chase Young was unable to begin the 2022 season on time, Thomas did. But he struggled to show the same form. The former QB was better last season, totaling 55 receptions for 496 yards. As a new regime comes in, however, more Rivera-era parts will be stripped.

Set to turn 33 in July, Thomas was due a $500K roster bonus on March 17, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan tweets. That is not a significant amount, but with Dan Quinn and Kliff Kingsbury coming in, keeping an aging tight end on an $8.29MM cap number seemed like a tough ask.

Among Washington tight ends, John Bates caught the second-most passes (19) last season. But it is safe to expect Peters to target a new starter. After all, the team will have upwards of $80MM in cap space to find one. Dalton Schultz represents a name to watch here, considering his Cowboys tenure overlapped with Quinn’s. Hunter Henry, Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki, ex-Kingsbury pupil Zach Ertz and the recently released Jonnu Smith are other notable names available.

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