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3 Washington Commanders trade targets before training camp

Andrew Buller-Russ

Is Carson Wentz the solution to help the Washington Commanders finally take the major leap we were expecting to see last year? If general manager Martin Mayhew truly believes so, he shouldn’t hesitate to get involved in the trade market, seeing if he can add another piece or two before the year gets underway.

It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster deal. Sometimes teams realize their rookies are more prepared to play than they initially thought. And other times contract negotiations go awry, leading to bad blood, and eventually, a trade. The Commanders could take advantage of some of these scenarios over the next few weeks.

Lets take a look at three potential trades the Commanders could pull off before training camps get underway.

Related: NFL analyst predicts Washington Commanders will start 0-8

Washington Commanders trade for Mike Gesicki

NFL: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
  • Commanders trade: Logan Thomas, future third-round pick, 2024 fifth-round pick
  • Dolphins trade: Mike Gesicki

The Miami Dolphins have brought in some offensive weapons for Tua Tagovailoa this offseason, with Tyreek Hill stealing the headlines. Yet, one of their young pass-catchers, Mike Gesicki is set to play on the franchise tag, and the team’s not in position to sign him to a long-term extension before the July 15 deadline.

  • Mike Gesicki stats: 73 receptions, 780 receiving yards, 2 TD catches

There’s been no indication the Dolphins want to trade their starting tight end, but it’s possible the right offer could entice them. For now, Gesicki’s set to play on the tag, yet he could very well be on the move.

For the Commanders, it never hurts to place a call, seeing how available he might be. Gesicki’s field-stretching ability only adds another athletic option on an already exciting pass-catching corps. Only Gesicki’s not hyped up on potential, he’s already the real deal.

Still just 26, Gesicki would be a more consistent threat than Logan Thomas. They have the same 6-foot-6 size, but Gesicki ran the 40-yard dash a tenth of a second faster, and he’s five years younger than Thomas. Whether it’s his hands or pure ability, Gesicki is a clear upgrade as a receiver and he grades similarly as a blocker according to Pro Football Focus. If available, Gesicki would be a solid trade target for Washington.

Related: NFL insider suggests ‘no extension is coming’ for Washington Commanders’ Daron Payne

Ron Rivera tries to get the most out of Devin Bush

Syndication: The Enquirer
Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC
  • Commanders trade: Cornelius Lucas, fourth-round pick
  • Steelers trade: Devin Bush

Devin Bush hasn’t lived up to his draft position since being selected 10th overall three seasons ago. The Pittsburgh Steelers declined hid fifth-year option, meaning he’s set for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season. Clearly not too attached to his future, Bush could likely be had for the right price.

After suffering a torn ACL in 2020, Bush really struggled in 2021. Trading for him would be banking on the hopes of the soon to be 24-year-old linebacker finding his footing under the guidance of Ron Rivera.

Bush didn’t have the same burst initially after his injury, ending up with just two tackles for loss after bursting out on the scene with nine TFLs as a rookie. We’ve seen him be a playmaker in the past, and if he can return to form, the Commanders might have their middle linebacker of the future.

Related: 2022 NFL defense rankings: Huge shakeups for top 20 defense before training camp

Commanders bring in Jessie Bates

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
  • Commanders trade: Taylor Heinicke, future third-round pick, 2023 sixth-round pick
  • Bengals trade: Jessie Bates III

Did the Washington Commanders do enough to address a pass defense that allowed more touchdowns than any other team a season ago? That’s the mindset here with the trade for Jessie Bates. Kamren Curl is a fine option, certainly capable of starting at safety again, but Bates is an upgrade in pass coverage.

But Bates can do it all, he’s not just a coverage safety. Like Curl, he also isn’t afraid to lay the hammer down and pop the ball loose. In all, Bates has forced 12 turnovers in his four years as a pro, with 10 interceptions and two forced fumbles. He also averages 102 tackles per season. Seriously, this guy’s the complete package.

Like Gesicki, the Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been able to come to terms on a long-term extension for Bates, a team captain. They’ve also already drafted his potential replacement taking safety Daxton Hill in the first round. Maybe Bates could find his way to the trade block. If so, Ron Rivera’s Commanders would be a good fit.

Related: Contract discussions between Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals ‘appear bleak’