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Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Emmanuel Forbes - Commanders CB

We all saw it. A.J. Brown obliterated first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes during two separate matchups against the Philadelphia Eagles. This knocked his confidence to the brink and Ron Rivera took him out of the firing line soon after.

With the floundering of Rivera's time with the Washington Commanders, he fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and a few others. He also chose to bench Forbes, a young and seriously talented cornerback who flashed tremendous abilities on several occasions during his first year.

Rivera, at the end of his time, was trying to salvage himself and place the blame elsewhere. In this scenario, it would not be out of the question to consider Forbes as having been collateral damage.

The entire defense was a problem. It was not fair to place the blame on Forbes. The pass rush was sometimes nonexistent, despite having Chase Young and Montez Sweat, who were both traded as part of Washington's pending rebuild before the 2023 deadline.

With new general manager Adam Peters allowing Kendall Fuller to sign for the Miami Dolphins in free agency, there is the possibility that he has watched enough tape to dictate that Forbes was, in fact, not the problem. Given the credentials of Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr., the former Mississippi State star could develop quickly.

Management has also brought in a few free-agent cornerbacks to help fill the room, but none are stars. This leaves space for Forbes - if he can use the previous season as fuel and motivation - the opportunity to play himself into a prime position. The best thing he can do is forget last season and use this as a clean slate entering Year 2.

If he can successfully do that and get back to his ball-hawking ways, Forbes has the athleticism and length to provide the Commanders with a No. 1 cornerback. There is no guarantee, but all hope is not lost by any stretch.

That being said, big things are expected from him.