LB Jordan Kunaszyk, who is primarily a special teams player, was re-signed late this week.
Since the end of Washington’s season on Sunday, the team has announced a number of player transactions including future contracts and activations from reserve lists.
Just prior to the end of the season, Washington had 35 players under contract for the 2022 season; with the extension of left tackle Charles Leno, that number climbed to 36.
With this week’s transactions, the roster count for 2022 has climbed to 49 players, though most of this week’s additions likely fall into the category of practice squad players and marginal NFL talent. A few names, however, stand out.
At running back, Jonathan Williams has been re-signed after looking pretty good in very limited duty in Washington’s final five games. Williams had 17 rushes and 4 pass receptions, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 7.0 yards per reception, showing speed and explosiveness on the field. As a college junior, Williams was considered by many observers to be the 2nd best college running back in the country behind Ezekiel Elliot. Jonathan Williams’ career got derailed, however, in August of 2015 when he fractured his left foot. Prior to that Jonathan Williams was considered one of the best running backs around. Post-injury, his career had been moribund, absent a brief flash of excitement in a five-day stretch of 2019 with wins against two division rivals as a member of the Colts, until he saw the field with Washington at the end of this season.
During the 2021 preseason, I wrote a profile of Williams that was entirely dismissive of his future as an NFL player. He changed my mind with what he did on the field in December and January; Williams looked like a running back who belonged on an NFL field, and I’m pleased that he re-signed with the Burgundy Renegades for their inaugural season.
Cornerback Corn Elder is another player who saw very limited duty as a Football Teamer, but who has re-signed for 2022. Elder played for Washington in Weeks 16 & 17; against the Giants in the season finale he played 13 snaps and earned a grade of 72.3 from PFF.
Two Washington draft picks at wide receiver, Kelvin Harmon (6th round, 2019) and Antonio Gandy-Golden (4th round, 2020) will return and try to ignite their stalled NFL careers on a team that needs solid receiver depth.
One interesting player is FB/TE Alex Armah, who was signed by Washington after being waived by the Saints. Armah played in 9 games with New Orleans in 2021, and played two games with Washington, where he got 28 special teams snaps and 3 snaps in the offensive backfield. Coach Ron Rivera indicated that Armah’s positional flexibility as a fullback/tight end/H-back combined with his special teams play made him an attractive option for the Football Team in the latter part of the season when tight end depth was limited. I’m not sure how he’ll fare when he’s competing for a spot on a fully healthy roster, but maybe Scott Turner will be inspired by the chance to make use of a fullback.
David Bada, a German defensive lineman who came to the Football Team via the International Player Pathway program, has been with the team for two seasons, both of them spent entirely on the practice squad. As a 3rd year player in 2022, could there be room for him on the regular roster if Tim Settle goes in search of more playing time on a different team in free agency?
Clearly, the 2022 offseason roster discussion will focus on what the DC Golden Legends plan to do at quarterback. Other key positions will be middle linebacker and free safety; the team will also need to fix what’s been broken in the wide receiver group.
Washington has 6 draft picks, and (per Over the Cap) an estimated $54.9m in cap space available to build a division winning roster for Ron Rivera’s critical 3rd season as the Washington head coach.