Way-too-early look at Commanders free-agent decisions in 2025 and 2026

It needs to be part of Adam Peters' long-term planning...

Jamin Davis
Jamin Davis / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders 2025 free agents

The Washington Commanders currently have 25 players scheduled to enter free agency in 2025. Eight, or possibly nine, will be unrestricted. They may receive a compensatory draft pick somewhere between rounds 3 and 7 if they were to lose a high-value player.

Five of the remaining players are restricted free agents (RFA) and 11 are exclusive rights free agents (ERFA). Those designations apply to younger players with limited tenure - usually practice squad individuals. The team exercises far greater control over their ability to sign with another franchise.

The wild card in these numbers is 2021 first-round draft pick Jamin Davis. The Commanders hold an option of extending him one additional year. After concluding the draft, that will be the first major roster decision Adam Peters needs to make. The linebacker either needs to be extended for his fifth year by May 2, or else he too will become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

At this point, Davis shouldn't be extended. Let him play out his rookie deal, and if he thrives, offer him a good contract next year. I am very curious to see if he improves under the tutelage of Dan Quinn and Ken Norton Jr. He was very poorly served by the previous coaching staff, and I have some hope that he could thrive under new leadership.

That is far from a given. The Commanders simply can’t extend an average NFL linebacker based on those hopes. You won’t have this answer by May 2, so I think Peters passes on the fifth-year option.

Sam Cosmi will become a free agent next March if no contract extension is worked out before then. Re-upping the offensive lineman is far more significant.

The Commanders will begin a major rebuild of the offensive line in free agency and the daft. The process has already begun with the release of starting left tackle Charles Leno Jr. Having a cornerstone like Cosmi locked in is an essential part of this plan. Right now, he is the only reliable player Washington has on the protection.

Cosmi’s position will figure into his negotiations. If he remains at guard, his price tag will be slightly cheaper than were he to move back to tackle. But Washington needs to reach a deal regardless of position or price.

The other unrestricted free agents in 2025 are more marginal. I would consider safety Darrick Forrest to be the next most significant. Assuming he shows no ill effects from the shoulder injury which cut short his 2023 season, the Commanders might want to work out a deal with him.

Benjamin St-Juste and John Bates may have a future in Washington, but they are not major priorities at this point. Older veterans like Tress Way and the recently signed Zach Ertz don’t figure to be here after this season, though that could change if they prove to still have some tread on the tire.

There are several intriguing younger guys like Armani Rogers and Tariq Castro-Fields (RFAs) and Mason Brooks, Bening Potoa’e, and Alex Akingbulu (ERFAs) who the Commanders can hold onto without significant commitment. But unless one of them has a real breakout season in 2024, no action needs to be taken.