Ranking the 10 best moves from dramatic Commanders 2024 offseason

It's been a memorable offseason for the Commanders.
Frankie Luvu
Frankie Luvu / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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9. Commanders signed Austin Ekeler

There wasn't much hope of Antonio Gibson getting a new deal with the Washington Commanders. The new regime didn't think much of Ron Rivera's roster construction and reacted accordingly. When the New England Patriots came calling for the running back, he was wise to accept their decent three-year contract offer.

The Commanders upgraded matters with the signing of Austin Ekeler. His powers might be waning, but the player remains one of the best pass-catchers out of the backfield and red-zone threats anywhere in the league. Something that could be a significant asset to Washington if there are no complications on the injury front.

Ekeler's presence should also help the likes of Brian Robinson Jr. and Chris Rodriguez Jr. take their respective games to new heights. Learning from such an established veteran will be a key part of their development. If everything goes according to plan, this could be a highly productive running back trio within Kliff Kingsbury's scheme next season.

8. Commanders drafted Mike Sainristil

The Commanders were in desperate need of cornerback help this offseason. Their need for the position became greater once veteran Kendall Fuller signed for the Miami Dolphins in free agency. More might be needed on the outside, but Mike Sainristil's presence in the secondary comes with significant intrigue attached.

Sainristil was a fast climber up draft boards after a standout college career at Michigan, where he won the college football national championship in 2023. The Commanders struck with conviction to land the defensive back at No. 50 overall and he'll immediately become their starting nickel option providing his transition throughout the summer goes smoothly.

While he's a little undersized, that isn't reflected in his production. Sainristil is sensational in coverage, is a willing presence against the run, and has the explosiveness to be deployed on blitz packages when the situation dictates. He's also got the experience needed to hit the ground running, which will be essential if the Commanders want to improve defensively in 2024.

7. Commanders hired Lance Newmark

Enhancing the structure behind the scenes was another important task for the Commanders this offseason. While Adam Peters has gained the majority of headlines - most of which are positive - his decision to lure Lance Newmark from the Detroit Lions to become assistant general manager also seems like a masterstroke looking at how things have unfolded in recent months.

Newmark played a leading role in Detroit's emergence from one of the league's basement dwellers into a legitimate postseason contender. He's a man of few words, but his actions have been a tremendous help to Peters as their relationship blossomed quickly.

If the same trend continues throughout the offseason and into the future, it would be a surprise if a general manager position wasn't awaiting Newmark at some stage. For now, the Commanders can reap the rewards of his contacts around the league and the front-office figure's exceptional input when it comes to player evaluation.