Grading the Commanders first three signings in 2023 free agency

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Andrew Wylie
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Andrew Wylie /
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How did the Washington Commanders emerge from a busy first few hours of the legal tampering period ahead of free agency in 2023?

It was a relatively slow start to the legal tampering period when 12 p.m. hit on Monday. But the blue touch paper was lit soon after with some eye-catching transitions agreed around the NFL.

The Washington Commanders went a little under the radar as expected. They planned to be shrewd with the money available and their initial moves dictated as much despite getting some additional resources thanks to Daron Payne’s lucrative contract extension.

There will be many more moves to come as the Commanders look to give themselves extra freedom before the 2023 NFL Draft. But it was no shock to see those in power strengthen their offensive line as a matter of extreme urgency.

With this in mind, we took an in-depth look at and graded the Commanders’ first three moves of the early free-agent negotiating period in 2023.

Signing No. 1

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Danny Johnson /

Commanders re-signed Danny Johnson

  • Two-year deal: $2.75 million guaranteed

The Washington Commanders kicked off the legal tampering period by getting an extension worked out with defensive back Danny Johnson. Something that represented a relative bargain for a player who shone in a rotational role last season.

Grade: B

There could be a bigger role for Johnson next season depending on what other cornerback reinforcements are acquired during free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft. But this is a cost-effective way to boost depth if nothing else.