3 major priorities for the Commanders in 2023 free agency

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /
2 of 3
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Martin Mayhew /

Commanders must spend wisely

Daron Payne’s lucrative contract extension couldn’t have come at a better time for the Washington Commanders. Not only did it tie down one of their core defenders long-term, but it also gave them additional salary-cap space heading into free agency for good measure.

According to Spotrac, the Commanders now have $25.5 million available before the legal tampering period. They do have their draft class to sign, but this represents a chance to get some immediate contributors into the building if the right opportunities come along.

The Commanders need to spend wisely. One doesn’t have to look far throughout franchise history to see how their big money moves have failed more often than not, so getting value with well-structured deals is among the team’s biggest priorities.

Being reckless is no longer an option. But it does look like the Commanders are now doing business correctly with Dan Snyder banished to the shadows ahead or relinquishing power completely in the not-too-distant future.

Martin Mayhew, Ron Rivera, and Marty Hurney are experienced enough to handle this situation correctly. But given what’s at stake in 2023, they cannot afford to sit on their hands in the pursuit of challenging their NFC East rivals next time around.