Commanders tried claiming ‘popular’ defensive lineman off waivers
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders‘ 90-man roster for the offseason is nearly finalized. The veteran free-agent market is still alive and well, so further pickups and subsequent releases are possible in the coming weeks.
Who knows? The longer Landon Collins remains unsigned, the more likely it is Washington considers bringing him back on a cheaper deal. After all, the Buffalo nickel role remains unfilled and the linebacker rotation as a whole lacks any semblance of depth so Collins’ return would be a sight for sore eyes.
Another personnel group that could use some reinforcements? The defensive line, whether it be defensive tackle or defensive end. While Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Chase Young and Montez Sweat form one of the most formidable starting units in the NFL, the depth behind them doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Clearly aware of this, the Commanders tried claiming three-year pro John Cominsky off waivers only to see him land with the Lions, who had top priority.
Though not a huge loss in the bigger picture, it speaks volumes that ESPN’s Field Yates called Cominsky one of the most popular players he can “ever recall” on waivers, as eight (!) teams reportedly tried to claim him.
The Commanders were reportedly one of eight teams who tried claiming defensive lineman John Cominsky off waivers.
A fourth-round pick of the Falcons in 2019, Cominsky was due for an increased role next season following the exits of edge rushers Dante Fowler and Jonathan Bullard befe he got released in a surprise roster shuffle last week.
The 26-year-old will likely have a tougher time carving out snaps in Detroit, which just used the second pick on Aidan Hutchinson, so Washington is likely kicking itself the Lions had top priority in the waiver pecking order.
Cominsky’s potential hasn’t yet translated to the NFL. He was the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year in 2019 at Charleston (West Virginia) and was invited to the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine as a result.
Despite Cominsky’s lack of production as a pro, the Commanders could’ve used his versatility. In his last full season (2020), he played 397 total snaps; 47 as a nose tackle, 160 as an outright defensive tackle, 137 lined up over an opposing tackle and 144 lined up on the DL on the outside of an opposing tackle.
Adding Cominsky would’ve given Washington needed insurance on its defensive line, joining free-agent pickup Efe Obada, James Smith-Williams and Daniel Wise as the team’s lone reserve options who can fill multiple positions up front.
Could submitting a claim on Comsinky foreshadow future moves? If that situation does present itself, let’s hope their target isn’t nearly as popular as the former Falcon because coming up short to the waiver priority is never fun.