- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Washington Football Team signed defensive end Chase Young to his rookie contract Thursday, a deal worth four years, $34.6 million. The No. 2 overall pick’s contract includes a $22.7 million signing bonus.

Young announced his signing on social media.

“Time to leave my legacy,” Young tweeted, including a picture of himself signing the deal.

Fifth-round linebacker Khaleke Hudson also announced he signed his rookie deal, meaning the team has its entire 2020 draft class under contract as the rookies reported Thursday to the team’s facility for training camp. Before they’re allowed in the building, players must pass consecutive coronavirus tests, taken 72 hours apart.

On Wednesday, Washington signed its six other rookies: running back Antonio Gibson, left tackle Saahdiq Charles, wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, center Keith Ismael, defensive end James Smith Williams and safety Kamren Curl. 

Young is the highest pick in the draft to have signed his rookie deal thus far. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, taken first overall, has yet to agree to terms with his club. 

A pass-rushing force out of Ohio State, Young is expected to help transform Washington’s defense. The 21-year-old was one of the nation’s best pass rushers in 2019, using a blend of speed and power to register 16½ sacks.

Young, who grew up in Maryland and went to DeMatha Catholic High School, was the consensus No. 2 pick in the draft — and many experts regarded him as the best overall player from this year’s class.

“To me, when you draft a guy like that … you’re trying to impact the team” coach Ron Rivera said of Young in April. “I’ve been involved with the first pick, and now I’m involved with the second pick. In both cases, I believe we’ve taken the guy that will impact not just his position group, not just the linebackers, not just the [defensive backs], but I think the entire football team.”

Washington selected a total of eight players in this year’s draft. Its first draft under Rivera, the team emphasized finding versatile players who could fit in multiple spots that Rivera needed. Of the eight, three have a likely chance to start Week 1: Young, Charles and Gandy-Golden. 

The rookie class, along with the rest of the team, will need to earn their spots in training camp, but those three figure to see the most playing time among the rookies early.

Washington, for instance, has a huge hole at left tackle after trading Trent Williams this offseason, and Charles could fill the need if he beats out Cornelius Lucas and Geron Christian for the spot. Likewise, Gandy-Golden has a chance to emerge as the starting receiver opposite Terry McLaurin — especially after second-year wideout Kelvin Harmon tore his ACL last month. Young also figures to start, given his talent.

The other members of Washington’s rookie class have the potential to still see the field, even if it’s in a limited capacity. Coaches were particularly high on Gibson, hailed as a “Swiss army knife” capable of making an impact in the backfield and in the passing game.


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