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Three potential value free agent signings for the Commanders

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New York Jets v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

As of right now, Washington’s front office appears intent on protecting the potential 3rd and 7th round 2023 compensatory draft picks that it has in hand for having lost Brandon Scherff and Tim Settle this offseason. I applaud them on that front, as, historically, Washington has been one of the worst franchises in the league at generating and keeping comp picks, and, collectively, they can provide a substantial edge in talent acquisition.

This analysis presumes that Washington will take a fairly low key approach to the rest of free agency, adding quality depth at positions of need, but also taking steps not to break the bank or jeopardize those comp picks.

With the assumption that depth is the focus, I will hone in on three particular positions of need: Guard, middle linebacker, and free safety.

Guard

Having lost Scherff and Ereck Flowers in free agency, Andrew Norwell and Wes Schweitzer likely slide into the starting guard slots. Hope springs eternal that Saadhiq Charles can perform as swing guard at this point, but it would be nice to have at least one more reliable depth guard on the roster.

Chris Reed (LG) - Last season, with the Colts, the 30-year old Reed played 47% of snaps and allowed no sacks, giving up 3 penalties, and accruing a respectable PFF grade of 67.2. For comparison, Norwell’s PFF grade last year was 66.7 (he gave up 3 sacks and took 9 penalties in roughly twice the number of snaps).

Word on the street appears to suggest that perhaps Reed is looking for a starting job, but at least in DC he would have the chance to compete fairly for one. Last year he was paid $1.1M, and for an additional bonus, he spent part of 2019 with the Panthers, so presumably he’s a known quantity to John Matsko and Wentz.

Middle Linebacker

Ask ten Commanders fans what the weakest position on the team is, and 9 will say “middle linebacker.” And, they’ll definitely have a point. After the Jamin Davis experiment failed last year, it looks like Davis is slated for WILL, with Cole Holcomb at SAM. An experienced middle linebacker would be a welcome addition to the roster, and few teams are better at spotting and grooming LBs than the Ravens.

Josh Bynes (LB) - The 33-year old Bynes has been around the league for over a decade, and has played a lot of special teams and back up LB in that time. Last year though, he played on 50% of the snaps for the Ravens, accumulating 79 tackles and an impressive 74.8 PFF grade. At just over $1M last year, Bynes was a great value player for the Ravens,

Before last season, Bynes just wanted to sign with a team that was going to give him the opportunity to show his stuff. Might that be the Commanders in 2022?

“For me, it’s just to continue playing this game. Let me go out there and continue to show that I can play this game to the fullest potential. This’ll be my 11th season coming up, and I still have a lot left in the tank and I want to play as long as I can. I want a team to have faith in me knowing that I can go out there and play each and every game like it’s my last. And I showed that this past season in all 16 [games] and stood strong. I know I’m capable of doing that this coming season and going forward another season, so I just can’t wait to finally figure that opportunity out either with Cincy or with another organization in the next few weeks,” Bynes said.

Free Safety

With the re-signing of Bobby McCain, the starting free safety role is probably locked up, and Kam Curl has a stranglehold on the strong safety spot. That having been said, the Commanders can absolutely use depth at the position, particularly if that depth has additional versatility within the rest of the secondary.

PJ Williams (CB/S) - Williams has been with the Saints since he was drafted in the third round by them in 2015. At 29, he played around 49% of the snaps for the team last year and posted a solid PFF grade of 70. He was paid $2.3M last season. With the Saints having recently signed safety Marcus Maye to a hefty deal, it’s not clear how many more resources they’re interested in allocating to the position.

Williams has experience at outside corner and in the slot, as well as at free safety.

Poll

Which of these players would you most like to see added to the Commanders?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Reed (G)
    (294 votes)
  • 34%
    Bynes (LB)
    (394 votes)
  • 16%
    Williams (S)
    (183 votes)
  • 22%
    None of them.
    (257 votes)
1128 votes total Vote Now