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
4 of 5

Cody Barton - Former Commanders LB

The Washington Commanders opted to let dependable linebacker Cole Holcomb walk in free agency. Fear not, Ron Rivera had a ready-made replacement lined up in the form of Cody Barton, who was coming off a career year with the Seattle Seahawks after a rocky start to his NFL journey.

Much like the situation with Nick Gates, it was clear from early on this wasn't going to pan out. Barton was off the pace and seemed incapable of getting in positions to make plays consistently. He had some decent efforts, but they weren't anywhere close to what Rivera had in mind.

Considering he played the position, Rivera's complete ignorance when it came to strengthening the defensive second level was an ongoing frustration. Barton is a free agent this spring and unlikely to return. Nobody will be shedding any tears about that.

Trai Turner - Former Commanders OL

One of Rivera's biggest flaws during recruitment was supreme loyalty to players he's worked with previously. Another fine example came with Trai Turner, the five-time Pro Bowler who'd enjoyed tremendous success under the head coach during their time together on the Carolina Panthers.

Turner was lackluster during his only season in Washington. It was a steep fall from grace after such a promising start to his NFL career. The former second-round pick accumulated 766 snaps on offense for the Commanders, giving up two sacks and conceding four penalties. Couple this with his lack of productivity on running downs, and it's not hard to see why this was another whiff from Rivera.