Commanders to Replace Curtis Samuel With Eagles WR

The Washington Commanders are still active in 2024 NFL free agency, after agreeing terms with wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, who can replace Curtis Samuel.

Washington Commanders: Curtis Samuel scores first TD vs. Eagles

Former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles’ wideout Zaccheaus “agreed to terms with the Commanders” on Thursday, March 28, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Staying in the NFC East means Zaccheaus reunites with Commanders’ head coach Dan Quinn. The latter was still in charge of the Falcons when Zaccheaus signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2019.

His arrival in Washington will fill the void the created when Samuel signed a three-year, $24-million contract with the Buffalo Bills. While Zaccheaus is unlikely to match Samuel’s workload from last season, he’s a savvy and versatile veteran who’s a natural supporting act for Washington’s primary targets, Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

Olamide Zaccheaus Will be Useful Option for New QB

Zaccheaus is hardly an elite player at his position, but he’s still capable at multiple levels. The 26-year-old can stretch the field vertically, but is also comfortable working between the numbers.

He averaged 16.4 yards per reception for the Eagles, continuing a run averaging over 13 yards a catch every year since he entered the pros, per Pro Football Reference.

Zaccheaus gave an ample demonstration of his vertical talents by snagging this 29-yard touchdown against the Bills in Week 12.

The play owed a lot to Zaccheaus staying on the move and working back to scrambling quarterback Jalen Hurts. That’s a trait the Commanders will want from their receivers if they select a mobile signal-caller like Jayden Daniels, who’s a popular fit for the team in this year’s draft.

Using Zaccheaus from the slot will help new Commanders’ offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury replace Samuel. Hopefully, Kingsbury will make better use of the new man than his predecessors did of Samuel.

Commanders Wasted Curtis Samuel

Samuel signed in 2021 as a rushing and receiving playmaker, but he was never fully utilized, despite working again with head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner. Rivera and Turner had coached Samuel with the Carolina Panthers, when he’d caught 54 passes and run the ball 19 times in 2019.

A persistent groin injury and a hamstring problem blighted Samuel’s first season in Washington, but Eric Bieniemy replacing Turner in 2023 didn’t lead to a greater workload. Instead, Samuel’s targets fell from 92 in 2022 to 91, while he was given just seven rushing attempts.

Inconsistent usage wasted a roving source of big plays. It was a shame, since Samuel proved effective when given the chance, like for this scoring grab against the Falcons in Week 6.

Although he had his moments, Samuel joins running back Antonio Gibson, who joined the New England Patriots in free agency, as a dual-threat weapon the Commanders didn’t use enough.

Zaccheaus won’t be as dynamic as Samuel, but at least he knows key figures on this coaching staff, so he should be a factor in a talented, but underachieving receiver corps.

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