4 free agents who could spark Commanders after two straight losses
By Jerry Trotta
1. Alexander (AJ) Johnson, LB
The Commanders have a ton of problems on defense right now. While the secondary might be their main concern, the linebacker position has produced zero consistency with Cole Holcomb looking like a shell of the stud he was in 2021.
Jamin Davis, meanwhile, has shown flashes, but nobody would argue he’s set the world on fire and David Mayo got exposed by the Lions each and every time Washington got cute and subbed him in to stop the run.
Signing Johnson would really anchor what is currently a lousy rotation. The former longtime Bronco didn’t enter the league until he was 27 years old but quickly established himself as one of the game’s most underrated linebackers.
After winning the starting job in 2019, Johnson posted a 88.5 player grade from Pro Football Focus that ranked third amongst all linebackers. He followed that with a 65.4 grade the following season that placed 22nd at the position.
PFF’s grading system isn’t without flaws, but a simple eye test is all you need to realize Johnson’s the full package at linebacker. He suffered a torn pec six games into last season, but he should be fully recovered and ready to help contribute.
Honorable mentions: Sheldon Richardson (DT), Blake Martinez (LB), Linval Joseph (DL) and Ndamukong Suh (DL).