3 under-the-radar free agents Commanders should target
By Evan Pascal
3. Jayon Brown
Washington’s defense had high expectations last year that were not lived up to. Veteran Jon Bostic had a season cut short due to injury, Cole Holcomb was inconsistent at times, and rookie Jamin Davis rarely saw the field. This year’s linebacking group will need another piece to bring the team to another level of production. Washington will most likely look for someone in free agency or the draft.
Someone that could step in and make an immediate impact is Jayon Brown from the Titans. When Brown entered the league in 2017, he immediately looked the part. He was one of the better coverage linebackers in the league and showed amazing athleticism. He followed up his strong rookie season with two more strong years. However, he then began to be plagued by injuries including and head, shoulder, and groin injuries. He missed games in each of the past three seasons including a healthy week 18 scratch in 2021–not a great sign.
Still, Brown is one of the most athletic off-the-ball linebackers in the league and could join Davis and Holcomb to make one of the fastest units in the NFL.
Washington was near the bottom in pass defense last season and rarely played its linebackers in passing situations. Brown would step in and be the best coverage linebacker on the team the first day he walks into the building. If he can find a way to stay healthy, he makes this group a lot better.
Additionally, the team recently cut “safety” Landon Collins after the two sides could not agree on a paycut. Collins played down in the box as a “hybrid” for the majority of the season as he struggled as a true safety. He played well down the stretch and was a big factor in the team almost making a late season push for the playoffs. Nonetheless, Collins is gone and another athletic player will have to come in and take that role.
Brown is undersized though, and often gets caught on blocks and checks out of plays. He will need the right system and play calls to accel. He has so much raw potential and ability though that Washington should consider bringing him in.
Still young, Brown (27) has a lot of time to keep maturing as a player as well. Having former linebackers Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio as coaches only helps too. The team is still trying to figure out what it will get from Jamin Davis, but it might be beneficial to him to learn from and work with a similar player like Oluokun.
What other moves do you think the Commanders should make this offseason? Let us know in the comment section below and continue to follow all things Commanders here at Riggo’s Rag.