Washington Commanders fans were shocked to see not only Montez Sweat traded before the NFL deadline on Tuesday, but 2020 No. 2 overall pick Chase Young as well.
Young landed with the San Francisco 49ers for a reported compensatory third-round pick, bolstering a defensive front that was already wreaking havoc on teams this season. In fact, many viewed it as a steal, because the Niners only had to give up a third-rounder, compared to Sweat’s second-round pick price with the Chicago Bears.
However, the San Francisco Chronicle reports Young as someone coaches and others within the organization viewed as “an undisciplined player who developed bad habits such as deviating from assignments in an effort to make splash plays.”
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Chase Young, #99 of the Washington Commanders, shakes hands with head coach Ron Rivera prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField on September 11, 2022, in Landover, Maryland. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
“His off-the-field priorities and commitment to his craft were often questioned, and he was viewed internally as a player who plateaued as a rookie,” the Chronicle’s Michael Silver wrote.
Young is finally healthy this season after dealing with a torn ACL late in the 2021 season, which had him play just 12 games in the past two campaigns. He has five sacks, 15 tackles (six for loss) and a pass defended in seven games this season. Young’s five sacks were second on the Commanders, only behind Sweat’s 6.5.
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Yet, Young is going to be a free agent when this season comes to an end. While the Commanders signed defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne to lucrative extensions, Young’s fifth-year option was not picked up by the franchise. It would’ve guaranteed him $17.452 million next season – a price they clearly didn’t believe he was worth.
Will the 49ers believe he’s worth a long-term extension?
It obviously depends on his level of play in this second half, which is expected to result in a playoff berth.
Defensive end Chase Young, #99 of the Washington Football Team, defends on the field during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on October 31, 2021, in Denver, Colorado. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Since it’s reported to be a compensatory pick that was sent to the Commanders, Young’s departure in free agency would likely result in the 49ers getting another one of those third-rounders, which comes at the bottom of the round, back.
Simply put: GM Jon Lynch doesn’t have much to lose with Young’s addition.
Of course, the 49ers will hope that Young’s demeanor on and off the field is not one of a rookie, but rather a young, hungry veteran hoping to get the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl title.
That’s the only thing that matters for a San Francisco squad that has dropped the past three games, as quarterback Brock Purdy goes through the first true adversity of his young NFL career.
Chase Young, #99 of the Washington Commanders, warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 14, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
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With the 49ers on a bye this week, Young has ample time to get acclimated to his new team that includes an old Ohio State teammate, Nick Bosa, on the defensive line.
Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.