Commanders hoping to keep Slye by issuing free-agent tender


Washington appears keen to lock in its kicker for the 2022 season.

The Commanders issued a restricted free agent tender to Joey Slye worth $2.4 million, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Issuing Slye the RFA tender means that he can still negotiate with other teams. Washington now has “right of first refusal" on any offer Slye might accept with another team, but it won’t get any draft pick compensation if he does leave for another team, according to Pro Football Talk. The Commanders can match any offer Slye is given over the rest of free agency.

Washington also tendered exclusive rights free agent Brian Johnson two days before the Slye deal so the team will enter training camp with two kickers and have them compete for the starting role in Week 1.

The Commanders went through a kicking carousel last season after releasing Dustin Hopkins following seven seasons of service in D.C. Chris Blewitt appeared in two games and made just two of his five field goal attempts. Johnson stepped in for three games and nailed both of his field goal attempts, including the game-winner in Las Vegas in December.

The clear-cut favorite to retain the kicking role at year’s end, though, was Slye. In six appearances in Burgundy & Gold, Slye hit all 12 of his field goal attempts and nine of his 10 extra point attempts. The only XP he missed came against the Seahawks in November after it was blocked. Slye injured his hamstring on the return attempt by Seattle’s Rasheem Green.


So, the two most successful kickers of the Commanders’ 2021 campaign -- Johnson and Slye --will return to camp later in the summer to vie for the roster spot. That’s a better situation than the team endured last year when it was forced to use four kickers in 17 games.