Wednesday , October 5 2022

Agent for released Matt Ioannidis says Washington Commanders ‘lied to our face’ about plans for veteran DT

The Washington Commanders‘ release of defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis freed up necessary salary-cap room but angered his representatives, who said they were lied to about his status last month.

Ioannidis’ agent, Alan Herman, told ESPN that Washington senior vice president of football administration Rob Rogers told him the team wasn’t going to release Ioannidis.

“We don’t particularly care to be lied to our face,” Herman told The Associated Press. “That’s not the way you conduct business in the National Football League.”

Washington announced it had released Ioannidis, as well as veteran guard Ereck Flowers and safety Deshazor Everett, as part of a series of moves that combined to create $18.9 million of cap space.

The Commanders had tried to trade Ioannidis in the past week, a source told ESPN, but with him entering the final year of his contract, they were unsuccessful.

The move surprised Herman.

“When someone tells you two weeks ago that he’s solid as a rock, would it take you by surprise?” Herman told ESPN. “Give us a heads-up; free agency is coming and we want to make sure the player lands on his feet. Granted, [general manager] Martin Mayhew called and apologized. I’ve dealt with Rob for years and this is the first time I’ve ever had a situation like this with him. Always professional.”

According to multiple sources, Washington’s plans changed last week after the team acquired quarterback Carson Wentz and his $28 million cap hit for this season. One source also said his understanding was they were told Ioannidis was safe “at this time.”

“It just takes our player out of the market for three days, and that’s the troubling part of this,” Herman said. “If you’re even thinking about doing it, then give us a heads-up so we can prepare.”

Herman said five teams had already called about Ioannidis within the first hour after his release.

The Commanders, as reported earlier this week, also are releasing safety Landon Collins, which will save them another $6.6 million when the move becomes official.

Washington needed to free up room after acquiring Wentz, a move that left the team with about $5 million in cap space prior to the releases. But some of these moves likely would have been made anyway.

By cutting Ioannidis, Washington lost more depth along the defensive front — an area of strength the past two seasons. Another reserve, Tim Settle, will sign a two-year deal with Buffalo on Wednesday.

According to a source, Washington made a last-second effort to keep Settle but could not match a deal that averages up to $4.5 million per year.

The Commanders still have four first-round picks starting along the front with tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne and ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young.

Ioannidis, a fifth-round draft pick in 2016, recorded 24.5 sacks in 73 games with Washington. But 16 of those occurred in 2018-19. He missed 13 games in 2020 and had 2.5 sacks in 16 games this past season.

Washington traded for Flowers last spring, swapping seventh-round picks with Miami. Flowers started 16 games. He also played for Washington in 2019, signing as a free agent and moving from tackle to guard. He then signed a three-year deal with Miami.

Washington also must replace perennial Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff, who is signing a three-year deal with Jacksonville.

Everett was involved in a Dec. 23 car accident that killed his girlfriend, Olivia Peters. Everett has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. According to the Loudoun County (Virginia) sheriff’s department, an investigation found that Everett was driving 90 mph — twice the legal limit — when he crashed.


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