Two sneaky-good free agents for the Washington Commanders in 2024

The last-place Washington Commanders have lots of holes to fill. A league-high $96M in cap space should help, but they can’t pay top dollar for every free agent. Here are two that won’t break the bank.

Two sneaky-good free agents for the Commanders in 2024

EDGE Derek Barnett

With pass-rushers like Montez Sweat and Chase Young no longer with the team, the Commanders desperately need someone to get after the quarterback. New head coach Dan Quinn saw plenty of Barnett as an Eagle during the past three years as defensive coordinator for the Cowboys.

Barnett came to Philadelphia with high expectations after breaking Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee before being selected 14th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. But he disappointed with just 21.5 sacks in 72 games with the team. To be fair, he did help seal a victory in Super Bowl LII with a late-game fumble recovery from the Patriots’ Tom Brady.

Frustrated that he wasn’t being used properly in Philadelphia last season, Barnett requested a trade but the Eagles chose to release him instead. He was claimed by Houston where the 27-year-old quickly became a starter for the AFC South champions.

CB Adoree Jackson

Washington’s secondary was the NFL’s worst last year with 262.2 yards allowed per game through the air and that was before cornerback Kendall Fuller became a free agent. With the eight-year veteran likely to sign with another team, the Commanders could use a player like Jackson.

The seven-year veteran spent the past three seasons in New York after being drafted 18th overall by Tennessee in 2017. Injuries cost him 14 games as a Giant but he finished the 2023 season strong with a pick-six against the Eagles in Week 16 and a forced fumble against the Rams in Week 17.

Adding Jackson to a secondary with young cornerbacks like Emmanuel Forbes and Benjamin St. Juste would be a smart move for new general manager Adam Peters, especially at a projected cost of $6M per year.

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