Washington announced the signing of free agent WR/KR/PR Alex Erickson. He will come in and look like an early favorite to handle the Commanders returning duties this season. DeAndre Carter handled them last year, but he was allowed to leave in free agency, signing with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Erickson was an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin who was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2016 NFL draft. He played for them until 2020, before signing with the Houston Texans last year. He was cut and then signed by the Carolina Panthers.
Erickson has primarily handled punt returns over the last free seasons. His first 3 years saw him handling an average of 30 kickoff returns, but he has averaged 3 per season since then. He also averaged 23 punt returns over that 3 year span.
Erickson's best year as a wide receiver in the NFL was 2019 when he started 6 games. He had 43 receptions for 529 yards. Erickson has only scored 1 TD as a WR, and has not had a return TD in the NFL.
Washington did not re-sign Adam Humphries after adding him on a 1-year deal in free agency. They did draft WR Jahan Dotson, and will hopefully have Curtis Samuel back this season after injuries wiped out his debut year with Washington. Scott Turner has options for slot WR, but if Erickson makes the team it's more likely for his special teams ability, than his WR6/7 value on offense.
We have signed WR Alex Erickson— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) May 4, 2022
Welcome to the team, @ericksona86! pic.twitter.com/W9FFk0VR1G— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) May 4, 2022