4 former Ron Rivera players who could join Commanders in 2023

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter Jr. /

Commanders could sign Jermaine Carter Jr.

If the Washington Commanders decide more is needed at the defensive second level, then it could see Ron Rivera look at Jermaine Carter Jr. as he gets set to enter free agency for the second-straight year. The linebacker spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns last season, but whether he’s done enough to generate widespread interest from others around the league is another matter.

Carter got a big opportunity with the Carolina Panthers in 2021 when elevated to the starting middle linebacker role. But he was unable to meet expectations in the wake of Luke Kuechly’s bombshell retirement and wasn’t offered a new deal.

Nobody would expect Carter to fill starting duties for the Commanders – especially if Cole Holcomb is retained. But he is a solid enough depth chart piece that can also contribute to Washington’s special teams unit in this scenario.

This is another move that’s unlikely to cost anything more than the veterans’ minimum, which frees up extra resources for key areas such as the offensive line and secondary. Carter also knows what Rivera’s demands are, which would obviously smooth any transition.

Whether it’s something that can help the Commanders improve is debatable. But much like the situation with Greg Van Roten, it’s a rotational option that can give the locker room an extra sense of motivation.