Which pending Washington Commanders free agents could be surprisingly re-signed under the new regime during the 2024 offseason?
Here’s one simple way to explain the Washington Commanders’ moribund 2023 season: Dwayne Haskins, Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Jamin Davis, Jahan Dotson, and Emmanuel Forbes.
Those are the last six players the Commanders have chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft. Due to trades, these selections occurred over the last five years. As you know, the first three were traded or released before the expiration of their rookie deals. The three more recent have all underperformed.
When a team continually misses on its first-round picks, it is bound to pay the price. That price is what they are then forced to shell out in the free agent market to make up for their draft failures. During Ron Rivera’s tenure, the Commanders have repeatedly scooped up cast-offs and retreads from other teams to assume roles both large and small. A few have worked out above expectations. Most haven’t.
The Commanders go into the 2024 offseason with 18 current players scheduled for free agency. All are unrestricted, meaning that they can sign with whatever team they choose. Washington has no leverage beyond whatever goodwill they may have garnered over the past few seasons.
They also have three exclusive rights free agents, two of whom have never played a down for the team, and the third who has been on the field for fewer than 30 snaps in his NFL career. None figure into the team’s plans in a significant way.
The common wisdom is that Washington will be interested in re-signing two of those, and will have conversations with several others depending on a few variables. Cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Kamren Curl should attract serious offers from other teams. But the Commanders are projected to have a lot of salary cap space and should be able to keep both around should they wish.
Washington’s secondary was torched in 2023. Fuller and Curl were their two best players. It seems likely the team would want to hold onto them.
The other 16 players would seem less likely to return. But several of them probably will be here next season. Excluding Fuller and Curl, let’s take a quick look at which of the team’s current free agents are most likely to still be Commanders in 2024.