5 early free agents the Commanders must urgently target in 2024

The Commanders should have an abundance of salary-cap space to sign free agents.

Mike Evans
Mike Evans / Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders must target Jaylon Johnson

  • Cornerback | Chicago Bears

The Washington Commanders had high hopes for their secondary this season. However, it's been another underwhelming campaign from a group that cannot stop conceding big plays.

Benjamin St-Juste hasn't progressed as many hoped. The rookie duo of Emmanuel Forbes and Quan Martin need extra development, and Kendall Fuller could take this opportunity to land on a contender given he's out of contract next spring.

This makes finding upgrades to the cornerback options an essential part of Washington's planning under a new regime. Jaylon Johnson was reportedly granted permission to seek a trade by the Chicago Bears before the 2023 deadline, so the chances of him hitting the open market are high.

If Johnson becomes available, the Commanders would be wise to make a strong bid. His exceptional coverage ability has been consistent from the moment he arrived as a second-round pick out of Utah, which is reflected in the 59.4 passer rating when targeted he's conceding this season.

Landing a progressive defensive back entering his prime would be a major coup by the Commanders - one that would immediately improve their defense. But they are unlikely to be alone in their potential quest to land the player if the Bears opt to go in a different direction.