4 Washington Commanders free agent targets for 2024

Author:
Sportsnaut

The Washington Commanders entered the 2024 NFL offseason well-positioned to take a massive step forward as a franchise. While the coaching search didn’t unfold quite as planned, NFL free agency is set to begin and several Commanders free agent targets can help this team improve significantly.

Washington is in a fantastic position, holding more cap space than just about any other team in the NFL. While the NFL Players Association report card highlights that there are still a few problems remaining, the Commanders are improving and money talks more than anything in the NFL.

  • Washington Commanders cap space 2024: $91.542 million

Before the start of NFL free agency, we present our top Commanders free agent targets for 2024.

Mike Onwenu, offensive line

We’re leading off our Commanders free agent targets with an emphasis on the offensive line. Last season, Washington allowed the sixth-most pressures (234) and seventh-most hurries (166) in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Whether general manager Adam Peters prefers quarterback Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye, this club needs to upgrade its pass protection.

Mike Onwenu, entering his age-26 season, is an ideal target for a few reasons. First, he’s one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the NFL with double-digit starts at right guard and right tackle. He’s the replacement for Andrew Wylie, while also offering the ability to kick inside to left guard. When the New England Patriots moved him back to right tackle in Week 7 last year, he allowed just 10 pressures and 1 sack in 426 pass-blocking snaps (PFF). He fits the Commanders’ timeline and would be an upgrade over Wylie.

Tyler Biadasz, center

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Money matters in NFL free agency, but so does familiarity. All things being equal, we’d prefer Connor Williams or Lloyd Cushenberry III as better options for Washington. However, the familiarity head coach Dan Quinn has with former Dallas Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz will likely matter.

Biadasz also offers the experience you want from your center when pairing him with a rookie quarterback. He started 53 games in the last four years in Dallas, recording nearly 4,000 snaps at center in one of the best offenses in the NFL. Before that, he was a multi-year starter and a leader on the Wisconsin Badgers offensive line. Biadasz might only be a slightly above-average center in terms of on-field performance, but his leadership and football IQ will matter a lot more for a reshuffled offensive line with a young quarterback. Plus, he might be willing to take a short-term deal, giving Washington the flexibility to move off him in two years.

Danielle Hunter, edge rusher

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

For Quinn’s defense to experience any form of success, he needs a defensive front that can create pressure without having to blitz. After trading away Montez Sweat and Chase Young, edge rusher is one of the most glaring Commanders team needs in 2024. While they can still go after a young pass rusher with upside, we’re focused on finding someone proven.

After struggling to stay on the field in 2021, Hunter has started 17 games in consecutive seasons and earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections. He tied his career-high in quarterback hits (22) for the second consecutive year this past season, while setting personal-best in tackles for loss (23) and sacks (16.5). He is also excellent at creating sustained pressure, posting the 10-highest PFF pass-rush win rate (15.8 percent) among qualified edge rushers. It will likely cost up to $22 million per year to land Hunter, but the 29-year-old edge rusher has earned that deal and his track record should make him Washington’s preferred option.

Geno Stone, safety

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders should prioritize re-signing Kam Curl, but he at least hinted that a departure in NFL free agency is on the table. If that happens, one thing every great version of Quinn’s defense has is a playmaker in the secondary. With the cornerback class a bit weak after Jaylon Johnson and L’Jarius Sneed were taken off the market, we turned our focus to safety.

In his first year as a full-time player with the Baltimore Ravens, Geno Stone snagged 7 interceptions with 9 pass deflections. When opponents threw in his direction, they posted just a 63.8 QB rating and averaged 8 yards per target. Stone turns 25 in April, so the Commanders would also be bringing him in for his prime years. Plus, with the market flooded with safeties at the position, Stone’s price might be driven down and that will allow the Commanders to spend even more at additional positions of need.

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