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
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Commanders should consider signing Richie James

Jayden Daniels isn't lacking gifted outside wide receivers. Not when Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson will form a capable and potentially explosive partnership reacting to a QB1 with superior arm talent.

What's missing is an elusive, after-catch specialist who can make would-be tacklers miss underneath. Richie James showcased those skills in recent years, particularly when he tied for the team lead with 57 receptions for the Washington Commanders' NFC East rivals - the New York Giants - in 2022.

James wasn't nearly as active with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. However, he still showed off his quicks after the catch with plays like this 45-yarder against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The 28-year-old is a pocket-edition speedster who can get open from the slot or from out of the backfield. He has the versatility and scheme experience to be more of a factor than holdover Jamison Crowder or newcomers Olamide Zaccheaus and Damiere Byrd.

McLaurin and Dotson can win outside the numbers, while Dyami Brown can stretch the field vertically. The former third-round pick out of North Carolina made a positive impression at camp, thanks to connections with Daniels like this one highlighted by JP Finlay.

Daniels has also been building a rapport with third-round pick Luke McCaffrey. The former Rice standout plays with the grit to make tough grabs over the middle, but as Ben Standig of The Athletic pointed out, the young pass-catcher lined up outside more than expected during OTAs.

Perhaps McCaffrey's more of a physical mismatch near the sideline who will offer a brute force complement to McLaurin and Dotson's speed. If so, there'll be room for a wideout like James in the slot.

Adding a fifth option with a solid recent track record for production would complete a deep and versatile contingent of receivers for Daniels to target every week. A team-friendly deal for James would also cap an intelligent and necessary post-minicamp haul for a retooled team still needing to use free agency for help in key areas.