The general rule is that every NFL team can carry 90 players in the offseason, but Washington has an exemption for David Bada, the German defensive lineman who came to the team via the International Player Pathway program, which means that the Commanders will bring 91 players to camp. As of Sunday, the team is at the 91-player limit, and cannot sign a new player without a corresponding move to create an opening.
There’s been a little bit of bottom-of-the-roster churn this week, with CB DeVante Cross, LB Jordan Kunaszyk and G Zack Bailey all getting their walking papers, while four additions have been made to the roster:
Veteran free agent
Update: Drew Himmelman was released on Wednesday with a failed physical designation.
Drew Himmelman is a 6’10”, 315 pound offensive tackle who was claimed off of waivers yesterday following his release from the Broncos. Himmelman was undrafted out of Illinois State a year ago, and spent his rookie season on the Broncos practice squad. He was listed as 3rd string right tackle on one Broncos depth chart from last year’s training camp that I saw. I have put him on the left side for no particular reason except to keep the chart balanced; Cornelius Lucas can play both sides, but has spent most of his career at right tackle. Saahdiq Charles can also provide tackle depth.
The numbers that appear beside some players’ names are 2022 cap hits per Over the Cap.
Please note that assigned positions and color coding are my own personal opinions. They do not necessarily represent the thinking of Washington’s coaches or front office, nor are they necessarily consistent with fan consensus. This chart represents my interpretation, and may not reflect the thoughts of other writers on Hogs Haven. Finally, when it comes to backup players, I don’t put much effort into making sure that they are on the right or left or behind the specific player that they backup. I mostly just try to fit everyone on the chart efficiently.
The other three roster additions comprise undrafted college free agents:
On Saturday, the team announced the signing of Will Adams, a DB out of Virginia State, a HBCU institution, who is expected to compete at safety or Buffalo nickel this offseason despite being a bit undersized at just 186 pounds (roughly the same weight as Jahan Dotson). I’ve got him listed on the depth chart at strong safety. What really got Adams on the radar of NFL front offices was his impressive performance at the Historically Black College & University Combine. As a local area player, he’ll have a lot of Washington fans rooting for him to establish himself in the NFL, though it’ll be a surprise if he can do more than earn a spot on the practice squad in 2022.
On Sunday, the team announced the signings of two other undrafted players.
The first is a cornerback, Niguel Hill. Hill is a local player from Baltimore who played for the University of Delaware Blue Hens. He played 2021 as a 5th-year senior, and was named All-CAA Second Team, started all 11 games, and finished with 30 tackles (4 TFL), one forced fumble, one interception and six pass breakups. He was also selected to the 2021 Fall CAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.
The other Sunday addition is LB Bryce Notree out of Southern Illinois, where he was a four-year starter — though he missed most of the 2019 season due to injury. In 2021, he started all 13 games and was the team leader with 91 tackles. He also had 4 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a pair of interceptions.
Salary Cap update
Per OverTheCap, the Commanders are estimated to currently have about $9.3m in available cap space.
With the application of the Rule of 51, the 8 draft picks selected by the Commanders in April’s draft will reduce available cap space by an estimated $3.9m.
The result is that, with its full training camp roster set, the team has roughly $5.4m in cap space available, which is just about the amount of contingency needed to sign players during the season as injury replacements.
That does not preclude the team from being active in free agency, however. An additional $11.88m in cap space will become available when Landon Collins’ release becomes official on June 1st.