Four Free Agents To Consider
The Washington Commanders roster is far from perfect, in fact, the team could benefit a great deal by signing a free agent or two. Thankfully, there are a few that can help almost instantly.
The Commanders made some smaller-scale, conservative moves during free agency earlier this year, but now that they have Terry McLaurin signed to a new deal, things could open up more.
Injuries have absolutely killed Anthony Barr’s last two years after six successful seasons in Minnesota (four of which he went to the Pro Bowl). Barr did play in more games last year than he did in 2020 after knee, and hamstring issues forced him to miss six games a season ago.
It’s clear that If there weren’t at least some concerns with his health that he would not still be a free agent. Truth is, at 30 years old it would be worth it to bring him in if nothing else just to kick the tires. If they like what they see he could probably be had at the league vet minimum at this point in the year.
Barr started 98 games across eight seasons with Minnesota in which he made four Pro Bowls, recorded 495 tackles (39 for loss), recorded 17.5 sacks, forced eight fumbles (recovered seven), intercepted five passes, scored a touchdown, and a safety.
The need for Landon Collins on the roster never stopped even after the number on his contract become an issue. Needing to create cap space, the team was left with little choice in the matter and had to release Collins who became a free agent after being designated as a June 1st cut this year.
Collins was originally signed to a six-year, $84 million-dollar deal that ended up putting $44.5 million in his pocket before he was released.
The team did select Louisiana safety Percy Butler in the fourth round back in the spring, but Butler will likely need some time to develop. Collins is tailor-made for a certain role in that defense that he started to play well at down the stretch last year despite missing four games due to injury
The reasons behind Collins’ release were all related to the numbers on his contract. A one-year deal would benefit both involved if the team could somehow convince Collins to come back at a much lower salary. With no teams interested in him enough to offer a contract during his time as a free agent Landon should feel humbled at this point.
At 28 years old Danny Shelton has already played in 100 NFL games, starting 72 of them since Cleveland took him with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 Draft. Now searching for his fourth team, Shelton has become that cheap vet who can fill space as a rotational guy. He’s not the guy you’d bring in as a starter for a stupid amount of money either.
In fact, Shelton played for the Giants last year on a one-year, $1.12 million contract and didn’t start a single game while appearing in 13.
The Commanders defensive line is their strength, but they had to watch one of their best rotational pieces walk away via free agency this year (Tim Settle) and then had to cut another in a salary cap purge (Matt Ioannidis). Shelton would fit in nicely in a rotational role that could help keep the whole unit fresh.
With free agency approaching, the Commanders were searching for an easy way to dump some contracts back in the spring as the salary cap tightened following the Carson Wentz trade.
After asking Ereck Flowers to take a pay cut on his $10 million a year deal he signed with Miami via free agency in 2020 (and being rejected), the team released him.
While they did sign free agent guards Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell, depth is a key factor in this team being ultra-competitive in 2022. Not to mention both those guys have had their issues with injuries along the way.
While he has never played well anywhere but Washington, Flowers should still be viewed as someone most definitely worth kicking the tires on if his asking price is near bottom dollar. After spending the last few months on the available free agent list perhaps he’s hungry to compete again.