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Commanders 2023 season review | Safety

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The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team unless referenced by a direct quote.

The Washington Commanders are just a few weeks removed from the 2023 season, which resulted in a disappointing 4-13 record. The franchise is headed in a new direction this offseason with the No. 2 overall pick and plenty of available cap space for new general manager Adam Peters to work with.

Over the next few weeks, Peters, and eventually the new head coach, will go through the roster to determine what moves, if any, should be taken to bolster each position. Though we don't have any say in how the new front office will mold the team going forward, will look back at how each group performed last season, breaking down top performers and looking ahead at where they could go next.

Next, we'll focus on the safeties.

On the roster

  • Quan Martin: 16 games (5 starts), 46 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 pass breakups, 1 sack
  • Terrell Burgess*: 12 games (1 start), 25 tackles
  • Kamren Curl*: 16 games (16 starts), 115 tackles, 5 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack
  • D'Angelo Mandell: Reserve/Future
  • Darrick Forrest: 5 games (5 starts), 29 tackles
  • Jeremy Reaves*: 5 games, 6 tackles
  • Percy Butler: 15 games (13 starts), 64 tackles, 8 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble

* Entering free agency

Top performers (per Pro Football Focus)

  • OVR: Kamren Curl: 66.6
  • RDEF: Percy Butler: 71.2
  • TACK: Terrell Burgess: 79.2
  • PRSH: Quan Martin: 90.7
  • COV: Kamren Curl: 67.8

Stats to know

  • Curl has been one of the Commanders' best defensive weapons since he was drafted back in 2020, and while his PFF grades were down compared to previous years, he still received the fifth highest grade on that side of the ball. He recorded 115 tackles -- a career high that was eighth among all safeties -- to go with five pass breakups.
  • Martin was targeted 26 times and allowed 22 catches as a rookie. He'll want to improve upon that number in Year 2, but Martin did do a good job of allowing explosive plays aside from the blowout to the Miami Dolphins. More than half of the 285 yards Martin gave up came in that game. In all other games, however, Martin only gave up 139 yards, 71 of which were after the catch.

Questions to know

-- What's next for Curl: As stated before, Curl has been an important part of the Commanders' defense for the last four years. He has more tackles than any other Washington player in that span, but his versatility, knowledge and leadership have been boons for the team. Now, Curl is entering free agency and is likely going to be one of the top players on the market at the position. The team does have the cap space to re-sign him, but the new regime will need to decide how he fits into whatever system they want to implement on defense.

-- Can Martin continue developing: It was hard to pin down Martin's exact role early in the season. There was no doubt that he was a talented player, and the team tried to utilize that by putting him in multiple spots. But as the season wore on, Martin began to settle in and put together some solid performances. In the last five games, Martin recorded 31 tackles, 16 of which were solo. Martin's versatility is going to be an asset going forward, and if he continues to develop, he could end up proving that he is worthy of the second-round pick the team used on him last April.

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