4 winners (and 2 losers) from first wave of Commanders 2024 free agency

It's been eventful as expected...

Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Loser No. 2

Chris Rodriguez Jr. - Commanders RB

The Washington Commanders got some decent production from Brian Robinson Jr. last season. Rookie running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. also flashed when given carries. Many wondered whether this would be the preferred tandem moving forward if Antonio Gibson wasn't offered a new deal.

While there were benefits - both financial and from a continuity standpoint - to this scenario, an opportunity came Washington's way that those in power deemed too good to overlook. Anthony Lynn's previous connections led the Commanders to Austin Ekeler, who signed a two-year deal and should be a huge asset as a dual-threat weapon despite advancing in age.

Asking Ekeler to be an every-down back is asking for trouble. Fortunately, he doesn't need to be after Robnson took a significant leap forward in 2023 despite being underused in Eric Bieniemy's pass-heavy system.

Any hope Rodriguez had of surging up the depth chart after Gibson departed for the New England Patriots evaporated in the blink of an eye. The former sixth-round selection will likely be a complimentary piece once again behind Ekeler and Robinson in 2024. That's not the end of the world, but the Kentucky college product probably had bigger ambitions all things considered.

That said, if Rodriguez develops under Lynn's guidance and demonstrates the same work ethic that got him this far, he'll have a part to play. Even if this might not be the increase in reps he was targeting unless injury strikes.