The Washington Commanders can take several lessons from Super Bowl LVI. The most obvious one, of course, is that the quarterback matters.
The Rams mortgaged more of their future for Matthew Stafford last offseason, and Joe Burrow has turned the Bengals from a perennial laughingstock into a potential juggernaut in the AFC just two years after getting drafted.
It wasn’t a pulse-pounding game by any stretch, but the final six minutes were a doozy and it was pretty cool to see Aaron Donald finish off the game with a pair of highlight-reel plays to finally get his first Super Bowl ring.
There was a ton of talent on the field Sunday, and it wouldn’t hurt if Washington looked to add one (or two) of them this offseason.
With both Los Angeles and Cincinnati set to have myriad free agents, here are a handful we’d like the Commanders to recruit to Landover.
3 Super Bowl free agents for Commanders
3. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
The Commanders don’t exactly have a need for an edge rusher, but this past season proved it’d be smart to have insurance behind Chase Young and Montez Sweat, who combined to play just 19 games for different reasons after they aimed to set the teammate sack record before the year.
The one plus side of the duo’s absences is that Washington got an extensive look at James-Smith Williams.
The 2020 seventh-rounder didn’t light up the stat sheet, but his 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, five QB hits and 11 pressures was solid output for someone who didn’t get regular playing time until after the bye.
If the Commanders include Sweat in a blockbuster trade for a quarterback, they’ll suddenly be in the market for another pass rusher. Assuming they’re not ready to take the kids gloves off Casey Toohill and Shaka Toney, plucking Ogbannia Okoronkwo off the free agent market would be a quality pickup.
Okoronkwo managed just two sacks and six QB hits this season, but that can be attributed to a lack of playing time after the Rams traded for Von Miller at the deadline to upgrade their already-dominant defensive line.
The important thing is Okoronkwo impressed in his limited reps. Having played just 23.3% of the snaps over his first three seasons, the 26-year-old will cost pennies on the dollar, which is pretty intriguing given his upside.