Commanders urged to boost pass-rush before camp with veteran free-agent

The Commanders look light of legitimate pass-rushing options.
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Peters undertook a significant roster overhaul during his debut offseason as Washington Commanders general manager. The respected front-office leader moved with professionalism, purpose, and a willingness to collaborate. This was desperately needed and should stand the organization in superb stead moving forward.

There are still concerns. The Commanders' roster looks improved with the right blend of youth and experience. However, there's no telling for sure how things will unfold when competitive action arrives with so many new faces.

One of the biggest potential complications centers on the pass-rushing options. The Commanders signed three prominent veterans to offset the departures of Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the 2023 trade deadline. Whether they've done enough remains to be seen, but Peters has enough spare cash to make additional moves if the right opportunities present themselves.

Commanders urged to consider signing Carl Lawson

This was a subject brought up by Bryan Manning from USA Today Sports. The writer urged the Commanders to bolster their pass-rushing depth with veteran free-agent Carl Lawson, who remains on the market following his departure from the New York Jets.

"Carl Lawson remains unsigned. He is 29 and spent the past three seasons with the Jets. He missed the 2021 season and played well in 2022 but barely played last season. He had seven sacks just two years ago. Sure, Lawson may not replace Montez Sweat’s production, but he likely offers more as a pass rusher than Ferrell. Lawson could be signed on the cheap and give Washington a rotational edge rusher who is poised to show he can still play."

Bryan Manning, USA Today Sports

Big things were expected of Lawson after his high-profile move to the Jets. He was solid enough without ever taking off in 2022. Things turned sour last time around when a frustrating injury restricted him to just six games. It came as no surprise to see head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas go in a different direction.

This would be an intriguing addition. Lawson wouldn't cost the earth and has a big point to prove. Adding him to the rotation wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. After all, it's a role in which he thrived over his early career years with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Any potential incomings would be dependent on how those in power view Washington's younger edge rushers. K.J. Henry is someone who could contribute flashing promise as a rookie. Things are less certain with former seventh-round selection Andre Jones Jr. A big effort is needed during camp to cement his status under the new regime.

The Commanders might be happy with what they have. Dorance Armstrong Jr. and Dante Fowler Jr. come with already acquired knowledge of Dan Quinn's schematic concepts. Peters saw Clelin Ferrell's production increase with the San Francisco 49ers last season and brought him to the nation's capital in the hope this trend can continue.

Peters won't hesitate to acquire more reinforcements if he feels like it's the right thing to do. Lawson is one of the best remaining options available. Whether he's someone capable of fitting into Washington's new way of thinking under Quinn's expert guidance is another matter.