Commanders cannot ignore the value of free agency
Building through the draft never goes out of fashion in the NFL. It's often ordained the proper way to fix a losing team, while free agency is sneered at as a quick fix for the short-sighted.
The Washington Commanders are no strangers to this conceit. When Scot McCloughan became general manager in 2015, free agency was dismissed as something that landed a team with 30-something-year-olds who become problems.
It's a mistake to be derisive about such a fertile opportunity to improve a roster. The Commanders need more talent, regardless of whether it's of the youthful promise variety or the battle-tested aging type.
Dan Quinn and Adam Peters are armed with the funds to add proven commodities at key positions. This should enable them to target players used to winning and professional enough to embrace versatile roles.
You only need to look at this season's Super Bowl participants to see the value of free agency. The Kansas City Chiefs got excellent value from guard Joe Thuney and linebacker Drue Tranquill. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and cornerback Charvarius Ward have been cornerstones for the San Francisco 49ers.
A skilled pass-rusher like Danielle Hunter would help the Commanders replace Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen would instantly become the focal point of Quinn's defense. Gerald Everett would give the new QB1 a true playmaker at tight end.
Washington spent most of Dan Snyder's tenure being burned for splashing the cash in free agency. Smarter use of the veteran market can be a pillar of a Quinn and Peters-led turnaround.
Keeping their own free agents will also be important. Especially one particular homegrown success.