5 free agents the Commanders must target after 2024 minicamp

Veteran cornerback J.C. Jackson leads the group of five free agents the Washington Commanders must target after 2024 minicamp.
J.C. Jackson
J.C. Jackson / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

Minicamp couldn't change a few inviolate truths about the 2024 Washington Commanders. Truths like the team still need to plug gaps at cornerback and left tackle, although they aren't the only positions a few free agents would strengthen.

There's also room for a productive edge-rusher who used to be a feature in the nightmares of quarterbacks, but now needs the right rotation to help him succeed. The Commanders providing the supporting cast would be a win-win for a defensive line still lacking star power at their pass-rush spots, despite multiple fresh faces.

Ideally, Commanders' general manager Adam Peters will also stay on the lookout for further reinforcements at wide receiver. Fortunately, the cash-rich Commanders will find no shortage of short-term fixes still available on the veteran market.

Here are five free agents the Commanders must consider after the team's mandatory minicamp. Starting with a turnover-binging cornerback ideal for head coach Dan Quinn's feast-or-famine defense.

Commanders should consider signing J.C. Jackson

He once earned the moniker 'Mr. INT,' but J.C. Jackson's second tour with the New England Patriots didn't go to plan last season. His agent, Neil Schwartz, revealed mental health issues suffered by his client after the player was inactive for a game against the Kansas City Chiefs late in the campaign.

In all, Jackson appeared in just eight games for the Patriots, making a mere six starts. It was a far cry from the days when Jackson was a turnover machine who snatched 17 interceptions across the 2020 and '21 seasons.

He proved particularly opportunistic in man coverage, according to PFF NE Patriots.

That trait makes Jackson a terrific scheme fit for Dan Quinn. The latter trusted big-play corners in man coverage during his days running defenses for the Dallas Cowboys. Think Trevon Diggs leading the NFL with 11 takeaways in 2021. DaRon Bland topped the league charts with nine picks last season.

Jackson would be a natural ball hawk in Quinn and coordinator Joe Whitt Jr.'s defense. Giving the 28-year-old former Pro Bowler a chance to get back on track makes more sense than the Washington Commanders' staff reuniting with 33-year-old Stephon Gilmore.

That's not to say the Commanders still couldn't use a 30-something cornerback for a niche role.