What difficult decisions await new Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters during his first offseason with the franchise?
The NFL is expected to announce compensatory draft pick allocations in early March. If you are a fan of the Washington Commanders hoping to pick up an extra pick or two, don’t hold your breath.
They will not be getting any. Do you know who will? The San Francisco 49ers.
They’ll be getting three third-rounders and a total haul of five picks. Teams are limited to four based on players lost, but the Niners pick up an extra one tied to the loss of DeMeco Ryans and Ran Carthon.
The Philadelphia Eagles will be getting four picks in the first five rounds. Other teams getting at least one pick in rounds 3-5 include the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Rams. All of them made the playoffs this season. That would seem odd, given that these selections are awarded to teams that have lost good players through free agency.
The Commanders - along with most of the other cellar-dwelling franchises - will not receive any additional picks. The reason is simple. These are poorly run franchises that do not routinely draft and develop players to a standard that makes them coveted around the league.
That’s why Adam Peters is here. No team has worked this compensatory pick system better than the Niners over the last five years.
Now, to remain a competitive team - as most of the franchises mentioned above have been able to do in recent years - you must have a system in place that fills in gaps caused by free agency. You can be a good team with good players, but if you lose a bunch of them and don’t have a good pipeline of young guys waiting in the wings, you won’t remain good for very long.
In addition to hiring a coach and front office - in addition to preparing for the upcoming draft - one of the first things Peters has to do is evaluate the roster he has been left by the previous regime. We’re going to run through the five most difficult decisions facing the new general manager as he begins this task. Before we do that, let’s knock off a couple of important decisions, but not all that difficult.
The Commanders have three free agents who should generate a lot of interest around the league. I suspect that wide receiver Curtis Samuel will get several good offers and Peters will have to walk away from the veteran. Cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Kamren Curl strike me as being more in play. But I don't think these are hard calls.
If you’re Peters, you want to re-sign both players. The only question is how much the Commanders are willing to pay.
This means you just pick a number - for the sake of argument let’s just say that you offer Fuller three years for $39 million, and Curl four years for $23 million. You can tinker with the numbers and with the structure. NFL guys enjoy doing that. But the bottom line remains the same.
If they want to come back at your price, sign them. If not, let them go and most likely pick up a couple of compensatory picks down the road.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the five toughest decisions for Peters regarding the Commanders' current roster.