5 former Commanders players who are still surprisingly free agents

These former Commanders players are still looking for new homes.
Danny Johnson
Danny Johnson / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Byron Pringle - Former Commanders WR

Byron Pringle came to the Washington Commanders late in the 2023 offseason primarily because of Eric Bieniemy. The wide receiver had his best seasons with the play-caller during their time with the Kansas City Chiefs. He rarely got on the field in the nation's capital. However, he still managed more receptions than Dyami Brown and more yards than Jamison Crowder - two pass-catchers who are still with the club.

Pringle is 30 years old, which is classed as aging for a receiver. There’s little doubt that teams are looking for younger, speedier options. But explosiveness was never a big part of the player's game.

He has proven to be a tough playmaker throughout his career. Pringle is a good runner with the ball in his hands. Washington was simply incapable of getting the ball to him in 2023.

Given the trouble the defending champion Chiefs have had in fielding reliable receivers of late, don't be surprised if Andy Reid brings Pringle back at some point this season.

Charles Leno Jr. - Former Commanders OT

The other players on this list are backups. Each will probably have a roster spot at some point in 2024 to provide veteran depth. Charles Leno Jr. is different.

His best days may be behind him, but Leno can still be an effective starter at left tackle. This remains one of the most important positions on an NFL roster.

Leno was a bit of a surprise cut because he played fairly well last season. The blindside presence surrendered just three sacks in almost 900 snaps. His penalties were up a bit and he missed time due to both injury and the birth of his child, but he played about as well as his previous two seasons in Washington.

Sam Cosmi was the Commanders' best offensive lineman in 2023. Leno was second. Adam Peters felt he could upgrade the position, but some NFL team is going to be glad a veteran left tackle is still available once injuries hit in August.

Of these five players, Leno is probably the only one who might be currently unemployed by design. He is a quality player and an excellent locker-room presence. He will be in demand before the season if his hip surgery recovery goes according to plan.

There are always behind-the-scenes issues that affect a player’s status. Injury, personality, and personal preference can all be factors in whether a player gets signed. The public rarely gets any real insight into the situation.

For instance, I did not include one of Washington's higher-profile free agents, Logan Thomas, on this list. Quite frankly, his failure to catch on somewhere is not surprising.

He looked fairly spent in 2023. I always thought that Thomas would be an excellent coaching candidate when his playing days were through. But of course, I could be wrong.

It would be a surprise each of these five players discussed will at least get a shot with another team. None may be stars, but they are all too good to sit on the shelf for long.