9 worst free-agent signings under former Commanders HC Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera made many mistakes in free agency...
Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Nick Gates - Former Commanders OL

There wasn't much money for the Washington Commanders to spend in 2023 free agency. Every cent counted, but allocating a large chunk of change to offensive lineman Nick Gates ended up being a grave error in judgment.

Gates started at the center position but was benched in favor of Tyler Larsen after an atrocious start to the campaign. Things got a little better down the stretch, but it was nothing to write home about. The former Nebraska college star couldn't put a consistent run of games together and was recently released after just one season.

He wasn't alone in vastly underachieving last season, but the Commanders are not going to carry any passengers incapable of making decent contributions under their new regime.

William Jackson III - Former Commanders CB

To say William Jackson III was an expensive mistake would be an understatement. The cornerback came into the franchise with a lofty reputation. He was a former first-round selection who played relatively well for the Cincinnati Bengals over four years. It didn't take long to realize this free-agent signing was going to be an unmitigated disaster.

Injuries and poor form meant Jackson was fighting a losing battle almost immediately. The Commanders had seen enough barely halfway into his three-year deal, eating some significant dead money by trading him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for minimal compensation.

Yet more health problems meant Jackson never saw the field in Pittsburgh. He's been out of the league ever since his release in 2023.