Commanders linked with aging pass-rusher to bolster 2024 chances

Could the Commanders add another edge rusher before the 2024 season?
Joe Whitt Jr.
Joe Whitt Jr. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Peters is not the sort of guy to sit on his hands. The Washington Commanders general manager deserves tremendous credit for the way he went about his roster revamp this offseason. That said, he'll know better than most this is just the start of putting his grand plans into action.

There is a growing level of confidence surrounding Washington's new regime and what they might be able to achieve. Some problem positions could complicate immediate improvements. But considering the mess left behind, Peters was never going to solve every complex issue in one fell swoop.

After trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the 2023 deadline, the Commanders moved swiftly in free agency to fill the void. Dorance Armstrong Jr., Clelin Ferrell, and Dante Fowler Jr. should be able to assist from a pass-rushing standpoint. There's also hope that K.J. Henry can build on a promising rookie campaign with further refinement under Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.'s guidance.

Commanders linked with veteran edge rusher Calais Campbell

While these moves were welcome, there's no guarantee how they'll turn out. More might be needed to help this unit, with Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points touting the benefits of veteran defensive end Calais Campbell coming into the fold for short-term relief.

"The Commanders should set their sights on bolstering their defensive front by signing veteran defensive end Calais Campbell. Known for his versatility and leadership, Campbell’s ability to disrupt opposing offenses would be a game-changer for Washington’s defense. At 6’8 and over 300 pounds, his presence on the defensive line is imposing. Campbell's veteran savvy would also be invaluable to the Commanders. Pairing him with the existing talent on the defensive line would create a formidable front capable of shutting down the run and pressuring the quarterback. His experience and tenacity make him an ideal fit for the Commanders’ aggressive defensive philosophy. In addition, his off-field leadership would be a boon for the locker room."

Enzo Flojo, Clutch Points

Campbell's credentials speak for themselves. He's gained 105.5 sacks during his career, is a six-time Pro Bowler, an All-Pro, and was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team. The former second-round selection is also a strong leadership presence to further raise intrigue.

The edge presence gained 6.5 sacks from 63 percent of defensive snaps last season with the Atlanta Falcons and was a stout force against the run en route to an outstanding 80.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. It's surprising to see him still sitting on the market, but this has a lot to do with age and the increased chances of falling off the proverbial cliff performance-wise.

He'll be 38 years old when competitive action begins once again. Campbell's got plenty of tread on his tires, which is putting teams off from taking the plunge despite his superb résumé. If he does plan on suiting up somewhere again, the player might want to wait around for a contender to come calling rather than an organization in transition like the Commanders.

Washington would benefit greatly from Campbell's experience. But it also appears Peters is willing to provide an opportunity for younger guys to flourish under more prolific coaches before deciding on any drastic measures.

Nothing should be dismissed, but it would be a shock to see Campbell in a Commanders uniform next season.