Washington Commanders Free Agent Signings 2023 – Washington Commanders Blog


Johannes germESPN Author4 minutes read

The free NFL agency is rolling, and we’re tracking every major signing, trade, and release of the 2023 offseason with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year begins March 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET, which means free agents can officially sign after that. The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft begins April 27 on ESPN.

Washington has reached an agreement with Daron Payne on a four-year, $90 million deal that guarantees $60 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday. Payne had received the franchise tag from the Commanders before settling on his new deal. The commanders later agreed to deals with former Kansas City Chiefs OT Andrew Wylie, ex-Giants OL Nick Gates and backup CB Danny Johnson.

Here’s a breakdown of all of the Washington Commanders’ NFL free-agent signings in 2023 and how each will impact the upcoming season:

Andrew Wylie, OT

Wylie will cost the Chiefs $8 million a year.Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire

Washington agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with former Chief Wylie.

What it means: Wylie can play both guard and tackle and Washington needs a starter in both places. It seems he will end up playing the right tackle. If that’s indeed the case, Sam Cosmi would go to the station. Regardless, signing Wylie solidifies her right side. He’s also someone new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who coached him in Kansas City, knows well. He knows what Washington gets. Wylie had one of his best games in the Super Bowl against Eagles pass rusher Hassan Reddick.

What is the risk: Minimal. Wylie will cost her $8 million a year, so it’s not extremely expensive and versatile. That always limits the risk. The only risk is when they’re not sure where Wylie and Cosmi fit in best. You have to pin them both in one place and release. But again, it seems Wylie will play the right tackle. Risk also comes when Cosmi can’t play right guard and is best at tackle. However, he is an excellent run blocker and should do well on the inside.

Nick Gates, O.L

Nick Gates was recovering from a leg injury he sustained in Washington in 2021 and played in 10 games last season.Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Former Giants OL Gates is signing with Commanders, according to a source.

What it means: Competition for the starting center. Chase Roullier, their longtime starter, has missed most of the past two seasons through injury and has a $12.42 million cap hit; He would save them $4.3 million against the cap if they were released. Gates has a reputation for being a tough, physical blocker – which is exactly what they want from the inside, especially in their running game.

What is the risk: Health. Gates was returning from a gruesome leg injury in 2021. He fractured the fibula and tibia in his left leg, which sidelined him for nearly 14 months. Seven surgeries were required. Washington has had a lot of health issues at center for the last two seasons and can’t afford anymore.

Danny Johnson, CB

Johnson has been a backup corner in Washington for the past two years.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

According to a source, Johnson has agreed to a two-year deal to return to Washington.

What it means: Johnson has done a good job as a backup corner over the past two years. Despite being cut ahead of the 2022 season, he eventually appeared in 11 games. He provides depth. Washington is looking to add more corners as the 2022 Commanders lacked depth, particularly to open the season. Johnson can play indoors or outdoors. With $2.75 million in guaranteed money, it suggests Washington values ​​him for that versatility.

What is the risk: As a backup, Johnson will need to provide more help on special teams, an area where he hasn’t worked out a consistent role. So if he doesn’t start, it’s hard to keep him active often. Because of this, Commanders need to keep strengthening the position with more depth and maybe another quality starter. There is no real risk; Johnson offers insurance if there are top three corner injuries.

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