3 Washington Commanders players set for reduced roles in 2023

James Smith-Williams
James Smith-Williams / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Danny Johnson - Commanders CB

Even though the Washington Commanders couldn't muster enough consistency within their cornerback room in 2022, the production of Danny Johnson left many reasons for encouragement. The defensive back enjoyed the finest campaign of his professional career by a considerable margin, looking assured in coverage and more than holding his own in the face of stiff competition.

The Commanders rewarded Johnson with a new two-year, $5 million deal that included a $1.75 million signing bonus and $2.75 million guaranteed this spring. Something the player was richly deserving of after giving up just 53.8 percent of targets and a measly 54.1 passer rating when targeted in 2022.

While this could be the springboard for bigger things for Johnson, the Commanders strengthened their cornerback options during the opening two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Emmanuel Forbes already looks like a genuine star during early offseason workouts and Quan Martin has his sights set on operating as the team's nickel option with a strong training camp.

Johnson won't be giving up his spot without a fight. But if the former undrafted prospect out of Southern cannot make his presence felt, then he's unlikely to see the 44 percent of defensive snaps attained during the previous campaign.

That might be a little harsh based on Johnson's performances last season. However, head coach Ron Rivera is in no position to be sentimental with Josh Harris' ownership group watching intently.