The Washington Commanders have a significant number of players set to be free agents in 2022. Fortunately, almost all of them are bench guys or role players. With one of the better cap situations in the NFL, Washington is in a good position to improve their roster in free agency.
Washington Commanders free agents in 2022
Following the conclusion of the 2021-22 NFL season, the Commanders have 23 players with expiring contracts. 19 of them will be unrestricted free agents, two are exclusive rights free agents, and two are restricted free agents.
All players are unrestricted free agents unless stated.
Top Commanders offensive free agents
The Commanders have all but one of their most important offensive players locked up, but every roster needs depth and role players. To fill those spots, Washington will either have to re-sign the guys they already have or find replacements in free agency or the NFL Draft.
Let’s take a look at the most prominent free agents on offense.
Brandon Scherff | OL
After seven seasons with the Commanders, Brandon Scherff is set to hit free agency. Scherff is the Commanders’ best offensive lineman. He’s made the Pro Bowl every season other than his rookie year and his injury-shortened 2018 campaign.
The Commanders tried to extend Scherff last offseason and even looked to make him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. Instead, he played back-to-back seasons on the franchise tag. While he’ll turn 31 years old during next season, bringing Scherff back should be a top priority for the Commanders. However, the biggest obstacle will be his interest in returning.
J.D. McKissic | RB
In 2021, J.D. McKissic’s primary job was to annoy Antonio Gibson fantasy managers. All jokes aside, McKissic is a very nice player. He’s a perfect satellite back/RB2 to play behind a power runner.
As McKissic enters his age-29 season, the Commanders will need to decide whether he is worth bringing back. Gibson can undoubtedly be a three-down back, but the team thus far has been reluctant to use him in that capacity. McKissic is going to have a role somewhere. The most likely scenario is probably a two-year deal and a return to Washington, maintaining the status quo from the past two seasons.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Allen | QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick was supposed to be the Commanders’ starting quarterback last season. Instead, he fractured his hip in Week 1 and never returned. As a result, Taylor Heinicke took over as the starter with Kyle Allen backing him up.
I don’t see any world where the Commanders bring Fitzpatrick back. Most likely, they will either trade for or sign a veteran quarterback to either start or backup Heinicke. Additionally, they’ll probably throw a draft pick at a Day 2 or 3 QB as well. As for Allen, he’s a fine backup/third-stringer. Given that Allen is a restricted free agent, I expect the Commanders to retain him as QB depth.
Top Commanders defensive free agents
The Commanders have many defensive players preparing for free agency. Most, if not all, are not projected starters in 2022. That’s good news for the team’s spending plans as they can devote large sums of money to more big-time free agents.
Jon Bostic | LB
Jon Bostic played every game in 2019 and 2020 before injury limited him to just four games in 2021. By no means is Bostic an All-Pro type player, but he is, nonetheless, a solid producer at linebacker.
Bostic was involved in over 100 tackles in 2019 and 2020. Unfortunately, the combination of him being not a special player and the Commanders having more expensive free agents may result in him playing elsewhere in 2022.
Darryl Roberts, Bobby McCain, Danny Johnson, and Torry McTyer | CB
Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III are locked in as the Commanders’ starting cornerback duo. While none of Darryl Roberts, Bobby McCain, Danny Johnson, or Torry McTyer are priority re-signs, they represent almost the entirety of the Commanders’ CB depth.
All four of these guys are set to become unrestricted free agents. With $30 million in cap space according to Spotrac, the Commanders may try to bring back a couple of them on relatively cheap deals. If not, they should have no trouble finding similar production in free agency or the NFL Draft.
The Commanders’ other free agents in 2022
What other Commanders players are free agents in 2022? Some of these players inevitably won’t return next season.
- Cam Sims | WR
- Cornelius Lucas | LT
- Adam Humphries | WR
- Tyler Larsen | C
- Ricky Seals-Jones | TE
- Jared Norris | LB
- DeAndre Carter | WR
- Jamil Douglas | G
- Joey Slye | K
- Troy Apke | S
- Najee Toran | T (ERFA)
- Jordan Kunaszyk | LB (RFA)
- Tim Settle | DT
- Jalen Jelks | LB (ERFA)