5 free-agent linebackers for the Commanders to consider in 2023
By Jonathan Eig
Commanders should consider Javin White
Javin White lasted barely a week with the Chicago Bears. Although it was due to misfortunate more than anything else.
After brief stints with the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets, the Bears brought him in just as training camp was beginning in 2022. White promptly got hurt in the first preseason game and was released shortly thereafter.
From high school to college and the pros, White has transitioned from being a tall wide receiver to an oversized safety to where he is now – an undersized linebacker. He stands 6-foot-2 and plays at about 215 pounds. So far, in three NFL seasons, the player has scarcely played a competitive down.
So why would the Washington Commanders be interested?
Washington seems to want a buffalo nickel on the field. In recent years, it has become an obvious part of the defense, but the interest dates back at least as far as the drafting of Khaleke Hudson, who has always appeared to be more of a hybrid linebacker/safety than a true second-level presence.
If you look at White playing a similar role at UNLV, you have to consider whether he could grow into this type of position in the pros. It is important to remember that he was still essentially learning to play defense throughout his college years, and is still a very raw player.
But there is athletic ability on display. As a long-term project, he might offer some upside.
None of these players, with the possible exception of Deion Jones, is going to have a huge immediate impact on the Commanders. But at the very least, any one of them could provide good competition for the ragtag group currently playing behind Jamin Davis and Cody Barton.
Given the right circumstances, any of the aforementioned names could actually contribute to the Commanders on defense and special teams this season.