3 major observations from Commanders early free-agent moves in 2023

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) Cody Barton
(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) Cody Barton /
2 of 3
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Cody Barton /

Commanders got deeper at crucial positions

As stated previously, the Washington Commanders were never going to acquire any free agent for major money this offseason. Their largest financial outlay came with a current roster member after stud defensive tackle Daron Payne got the franchise tag before signing a lucrative $90 million deal that also comes with $60 million guaranteed.

This was the biggest task that the Commanders got done with minimal fuss. However, it does not detract from how well they’ve managed to improve depth with their initial moves across a number of problematic position groups during the legal tampering period.

The offensive line, linebacking corps, and cornerback room all look better today than they did before negotiations were permitted to begin. This was done with minimal cost, which leaves room for a few more moves before the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around.

These aren’t world-beaters by any stretch. But someone like Cody Barton represents a hungry, athletic presence that could potentially become a productive starter with a smooth transition into Jack Del Rio’s defense.

Barton is a supreme tackling presence with natural instincts that enable him to be around the football consistently. The former third-round pick does struggle in coverage on occasion, but a zone system should suit. Considering the money involved, it’s a nice pickup that could prove fruitful.