6 free-agent defensive tackles the Commanders could sign in 2024

The Commanders have two studs, but could they add another defensive tackle?

Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Which free-agent defensive tackles could the Washington Commanders target when the frantic recruitment period commences?

Defensive tackle should be a bounty of riches for the Washington Commanders. After all, riches are what the franchise has invested in the position through premium draft capital.

Starters Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are former first-round picks. Phidarian Mathis, a second-rounder in 2022, is next up on the depth chart. They form a high-profile trio that's promised more than it's delivered in recent seasons.

The underachievement at the position is why the Commanders should add at least one quality defensive tackle during free agency. Fortunately, general manager Adam Peters has plenty of options to choose from, options he can sort into three tiers, beginning with the elite players at the position.

Commanders elite options: Chris Jones and Christian Wilkins

It's not often two blue-chip game-wreckers are available at the same time, but Chris Jones and Christian Wilkins both being free agents is an opportunity the Washington Commanders can't miss.

Jones is the dream get, but dreams can come true when Adam Peters has $96 million to work with under the salary cap.

Dumping a chunk of that cash to sign Jones wouldn't be an ominous reboot of that time Albert Haynesworth came to town. Instead, the Commanders would get a proven disruptor who has consistently thrived at the highest level.

Jones showcased his big-game chops by smothering the pocket against the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, per Next Gen Stats.

What's most impressive is Jones' versatility. He can play tackle or defensive end, although a full-time switch to the edge didn't work. Nonetheless, he is the kind of roving pass-rusher Commanders' head coach Dan Quinn will love to move across the formations.

Wilkins is not as multiple as Jones, but big No. 94 is still a force at the heart of the trenches. He can rush the passer and clog running lanes at a high level, qualities that yielded nine sacks, 30 pressures, and 10 tackles for loss last season.

Signing either Wilkins or Jones would give the Commanders a tackle who's dominated the way Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were expected to once they entered the pros. A deal like this might also give Peters the green light to pursue a trade involving Allen.

If not, the Commanders could dip into the very good, but not great tier.