Commanders linked with trade gamble for underachieving cornerback

The Commanders have questions to answer at the cornerback position.
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Peters' roster construction went better than even the brightest optimist envisaged during his opening recruitment period with the Washington Commanders. That said, some glaring holes might hold them back when push comes to shove.

One of the biggest potential complications centers on the cornerback room. Washington solidified the interior by selecting Mike Sainristil at No. 50 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. His production with the Michigan Wolverines suggests he can make an immediate contribution. The Commanders also look solid on the backend despite not offering Kamren Curl a new deal before the promising safety left for the Los Angeles Rams.

Things are less certain on the outside. The Commanders believe Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes can make a better go of things under more accomplished coaches. Michael Davis should also help, but concerns surrounding last season's production with the Los Angeles Chargers mean this acquisition could go either way.

This is an ongoing assessment from Peters' perspective. If he feels like more is needed before Week 1 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers arrives, Washington's new front-office leader won't hesitate.

Commanders linked with daring trade for Akayleb Evans

Perhaps someone off the waiver wire will help once good players start getting released later this summer. Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points touted the possibility of Peters going down the trade route. The target? Akayleb Evans from the Minnesota Vikings.

"Last season, in 15 starts, Akayleb Evans struggled. He allowed over 70 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. He also missed 16 tackles and yielded a passer rating of 120.4. Despite these challenges, Evans' physical attributes and potential make him an intriguing prospect. With two years remaining on his rookie contract, Evans is a cost-effective option. However, with Shaquill Griffin joining the Minnesota Vikings, Evans might find himself lower on the depth chart. For the Commanders, Evans' arrival would inject youth and dynamism into their secondary. His capability to handle both man and zone coverage effectively would offer greater flexibility to the defensive scheme. Evans has shown a propensity for making plays on the ball. This could be pivotal in creating turnovers and shifting game momentum. As he continues to develop, Evans could evolve into a key defensive player for the Commanders. He could provide stability and reliability in their secondary for years to come."

Enzo Flojo, Clutch Points

Based on Evans' production last season, it's a big gamble. The Commanders don't need another indifferent performer susceptible to conceding big plays. But at 6-foot-2 with intriguing athleticism, this is someone who could thrive under the expert guidance of Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.

Quinn and Whitt have proven credentials to develop defensive backs. It's why confidence remains in players such as St-Juste and Forbes. Evans represents another work in progress, but the cost to find out one way or another isn't great all things considered.

Whether the Vikings are ready to give up on Evans after just two seasons is anyone's guess. The former fourth-round pick's flashed moments of quality, but they've been fleeting. Shaquil Griffin's arrival raises the stakes to improve despite the veteran not seeing much on-field time with the Carolina Panthers in 2023 following his late arrival.

It would be a shock to see the Commanders go down this route. However, the chances of Peters adding to the cornerback room before the regular season are high unless those around firmly cement their respective statuses.

Time will tell on that one.