Analyst throws skepticism on Commanders free-agent departure

Curtis Samuel's move comes with skepticism attached...
Curtis Samuel
Curtis Samuel / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It seems as if a big opportunity is awaiting Curtis Samuel after the wide receiver left the Washington Commanders in free agency following three seasons with the franchise. The versatile weapon signed a lucrative deal with the Buffalo Bills - something general manager Adam Peters wasn't going to match as part of his vast roster revamp with the future in mind.

Samuel is currently the team's No. 1 pass-catcher. That might change during the 2024 NFL Draft, but Gabe Davis taking his chances elsewhere and Stefon Diggs being traded to the Houston Texans indicate that the former second-round pick out of Ohio State is going to be a focal point for the AFC East title holders.

Curtis Samuel named among worst signings after Commanders departure

Optimism is high surrounding Samuel taking another leap forward under an offensive coordinator who helped him reach 1,000 all-purpose yards with the Carolina Panthers in 2020. However, Ryan Fowler from The Bleacher Report didn't think this move was going to pan out as many anticipated.

The analyst named Samuel as one of free agency's worst signings, especially given Buffalo's departures. But again, he expects the organization to bring in a prolific pass-catcher with their first-round selection at No. 28 overall.

"It's not that Curtis Samuel won't produce or that he's a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, but everything requires context. With both Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs now gone, it's hard to believe GM Brandon Beane approached free agency with the mindset of just adding the parallel skill set of Samuel to pair with Khalil Shakir, two inside-out, smaller pass-catchers to be Josh Allen's top targets.

"Again, I expect both Samuel and Shakir to do well this fall, but making a move for a legitimate 'X' wideout to add to the perimeter in say a Tee Higgins would have made sense for Buffalo. The departures of Diggs and Davis point all signs toward Buffalo prioritizing a pass-catcher on Day 1 of the draft."

The Commanders seemed happy enough to let Samuel leave. This is something that became prevalent throughout the majority of Washington's established veterans whose contracts had expired. He was a decent enough player when healthy, but Peters feels like there could be a better - and cheaper - option or two to bring in via the draft once other pressing priorities have been met beforehand.

Several wideouts will be taken in the first round. The Commanders have bigger plans with their opening selection at No. 2 overall, but this is a deep enough class to find players capable of generating targets immediately across Day 2 and early into Day 3.

As for Samuel, he needs to get on the same page with Josh Allen quickly. Even the most elite wide receiver prospects sometimes take time to adjust, so he needs to become a dynamic, reliable piece to Buffalo's offensive puzzle under play-caller Joe Brady.

Otherwise, it's not hard to see what complications could emerge.