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 /
3 of 4
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Commanders could sign Shaq Thompson

This option is intriguing. But it’s entirely dependent on what develops between Shaq Thompson and the Carolina Panthers in the not-too-distant future.

Thompson is still playing at a high level and is the unquestioned primary leader within Carolina’s locker room. However, the former first-round pick stands to count a whopping $24.46 million against the salary cap on the final year of his deal, which has to come down one way or another.

If the Panthers release Thompson, it comes with a cap saving of just over $13 million. Something that would put the Washington Commanders and others around the league on red alert.

Adding Thompson to Washington’s linebacking corps would be a major asset. He also looks like a good scheme fit for Jack Del Rio’s system and would have no trouble establishing himself as the leading communicator thanks to his vast experience.

The Commanders wouldn’t be alone in coveting the player. This is the sort of veteran every contending team could benefit from, so Thompson’s previous connection with Ron Rivera might tip the scales in Washington’s favor if the opportunity comes along.

Carolina will attempt to keep Thompson around – perhaps on an extended deal that can be backloaded. If not, then they’ll have no choice other than to cut ties with one of the last remaining players from their Super Bowl 50 run.