Commanders could sign Isaiah Oliver
Isaiah Oliver is not a free agent. But there is some thought that he might be released by the San Francisco 49ers this offseason in a salary-cap move. If that happens, the Washington Commanders should put in a call.
Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. are very familiar with the 27-year-old corner from Colorado. The Commanders' new head coach drafted him in the second round for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. He was starting in his second season and was one of their starting corners when the other aforementioned coach arrived in 2020.
An ACL injury early in 2021 effectively put a halt to his progress in Atlanta. After he played out his contract, Oliver signed with San Francisco before the 2023 campaign.
Oliver logged more than 500 snaps on defense for the Niners this season. He finished No. 48 among all cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus' ratings.
Despite a shaky start in San Francisco, Oliver settled down to become a versatile slot corner, able to stay with quick receivers while also contributing the occasional blitz pressure. He has always shown solid cover ability, and a creative defensive coordinator could take advantage of his diverse skill set.
None of these players is likely to step right into the starting lineup and produce at a very high level. But all are young veterans who have a good history with Quinn, Whitt, or both.
With a lot of salary cap space, the Commanders may be tempted to pursue bigger names like Jaylon Johnson, who will command an enormous contract. Quinn may try to lure veteran Stephon Gilmore from the Dallas Cowboys. At safety, Antoine Winfield Jr. will be at the center of a bidding war. Kyle Duggar - whose play mysteriously fell off in 2023 - could be a good bet for a bounce-back season.
Going after one of those elite options should not preclude the Commanders from making a couple of good value signings to help rebuild a depleted secondary. Quinn and Whitt have done it before. I trust they will be up to the task this offseason.