Commanders urged to gamble on high-risk veteran wide receiver

This would be a risky move...
Kliff Kingsbury
Kliff Kingsbury / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Adam Peters will know that more is needed if the Washington Commanders want to become a legitimate force. The new general manager did a tremendous job of removing poor performers and bringing in players he believes can fit into the franchise's new way of thinking. There's also plenty of salary-cap space for additional arrivals if the front-office leader sees fit.

The Commanders selected Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. He comes into the organization with franchise-altering potential, so those in power must ensure the Heisman Trophy winner has everything needed to formally announce himself on the professional stage as a rookie.

The more pass-catchers Daniels has, the better his chances will be. Washington added to its options by signing Olamide Zaccheaus and drafting Luke McCaffrey. They've also upgraded the tight-end position with Zach Ertz and second-round pick Ben Sinnott.

Commanders urged to consider Michael Thomas addition

These acquisitions are positive, but it shouldn't stop Peters from scouring the market for further assistance if the coaching staff recommends it. This was a topic discussed by Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points, who believes veteran wideout Michael Thomas should be a high-priority - albeit risky - target for the Commanders before Week 1.

"First on the list of must-target free agents is veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas. He is known for his precise route running and reliable hands. Thomas brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of elite performance. With a career marked by spectacular catches and clutch plays, he would provide the Commanders with a reliable and explosive option in the passing game. The addition of Thomas would not only elevate the receiving corps. It would also take pressure off the young quarterback, allowing the offense to diversify its attack. His leadership and mentorship would be invaluable to the development of the team’s younger receivers. This would create a ripple effect that could transform the offensive unit."

Enzo Flojo, Clutch Points

Thomas was widely regarded as the league's best short-to-intermediate route-runners once upon a time. He made two consecutive All-Pro teams from 2018-19 and was almost unstoppable at the peak of his powers.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone.

The former Ohio State standout endured some torrid luck on the injury front in recent years. He missed the entire 2021 campaign with an ankle complication and turned out in just 13 games in the two seasons after. Thomas gained 39 receptions from 64 targets for 448 receiving yards and one touchdown in 2023, but there was just something missing.

Thomas remains on the proverbial scrap heap after the New Orleans Saints went in a different direction. This would be a no-brainer a few years ago, but there are plenty of red flags attached to this potential move.

Dependability on the health front is the biggest concern. The injuries have also diminished Thomas' explosiveness out of his routes, which was a huge part of what made him so successful.

If the player is willing to accept an incentivized deal with no roster guarantees whatsoever, it's less of a gamble and could work to the Commanders' advantage. But looking at the signings made by Peters this offseason, it would be surprising to see Washington show any legitimate interest in Thomas.