5 big free-agent splashes the Commanders can still make in 2024

There's still room for more...

Justin Simmons
Justin Simmons / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could sign Xavien Howard

It's not just the safety position that could use another alpha capable of thriving within Dan Quinn's scheme. The Washington Commanders are also relatively light on cornerback options. Kendall Fuller has departed for the Miami Dolphins, which removes their best coverage presence and biggest influence from a leadership standpoint within the secondary.

The Commanders cannot afford to cough up so many big plays next season. That was one of the primary catalysts behind their defensive demise in 2023 - something that saw coordinator Jack Del Rio fired and Ron Rivera unable to make the adjustments needed thereafter.

Relying on an unproven rookie to fill the void is asking for trouble. The Commanders experienced this with Emmanuel Forbes last season. Even if the Mississippi State college product bounces back and Benjamin St-Juste also improves in a contract year, another veteran presence coming into the fold is of critical importance.

Xavien Howard fits the bill. He's still talented enough to potentially lock down one side of the field and turn chances into takeaways. We are a long way removed from his All-Pro campaign in 2020, but the Commanders would be getting an experienced performer and a ready-made replacement for Fuller in this scenario.

Much like the situation with Justin Simmons, Howard appears to be biding his time in pursuit of finding the best fit. Whether the Commanders want to wait around given their urgent approach to free agency so far is another matter.