Washington Commanders Free Agency 2023

The Commanders had an interesting season in 2022 going 8-8-1 and barely missing the NFL postseason. With 2023 free agency on the horizon, the team hopes to boost the roster for head coach Ron Rivera heading into 2023. Here’s what you need to know about the Washington Commanders free agency situation for 2023.

Commanders 2023 NFL Free Agents Overview

The team started the 2023 offseason quickly by releasing quarterback Carson Wentz. He started seven games throwing 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Taylor Heinicke, also a free agent, had much better success going 5-3-1 as a starter. The Commanders could look at a QB in free agency, re-sign Heinicke, or give the reigns to Sam Howell heading into training camp.

At the linebacker position, Cole Holcomb ended the 2022 season on injured reserve. He enters free agency this year after having 69 tackles in seven games last season. Cornerback Bobby McCain started 16 games in the secondary and had 76 tackles for the Commanders. They decided to release McCain to save cap space.

Defensive lineman Efe Obada will be a free agent after playing in all 17 games last year. The veteran had four sacks and eight QB hits. The team hit Daron Payne with the franchise tag to keep the pro bowl selection for the 2023 season. Payne had his best season of this career and a massive jump from 2021 when he had just 4.5 sacks.

Payne had 11.5 sacks during the 2022 season. He would have been one of the most highly-targeted upcoming free agents. Now the team and general manager Martin Mayhew have time to try and sign Payne to a long-term deal.

Besides quarterback, the offensive line will get a lot of attention at the start of free agency. The Commanders need to decide on free agents West Schweitzer, Trai Turner, Tyler Larsen, and Nick Martin.

Unrestricted Commanders Free Agents

To be an unrestricted free agent, there are a couple of qualifications. An NFL player must have four or more years of experience and their contract has to have expired or been voided. They can negotiate with any team without any restrictions or draft-choice compensation. Here’s a list of Washington’s unrestricted free agents for 2023.

Quarterbacks

Carson Wentz – QB

Taylor Heinicke – QB

Running Backs

None

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Cam Sims – WR

Eli Wolf – TE

Centers, Guards, and Tackles

Wes Schweitzer – G

Trai Turner – G

Tyler Larsen – C

Nick Martin – C

Defensive Tackles, Defensive Ends, and Edge Rushers

Efe Obada – DE

Linebackers

Jon Bostic – ILB

Cole Holcomb – LB

Cornerbacks and Safeties

Bobby McCain – CB

Jeremy Reaves – S

Special Teams

None

Restricted Free Agents

A restricted free agent is a player who has played for three or fewer accrued seasons and has an expiring contract. The team can assign a tender to the player, which allows them to match any offer the player receives from other teams. The team receives draft compensation if the player signs elsewhere.

2023 NFL restricted free agents for the Commanders:

Khaleke Hudson – LB
Milo Eifler – LB (exclusive rights free agent)
Jaret Patterson – RB
Rachad Wildgoose – CB (exclusive rights free agent)

Salary Cap and Roster

The team released Bobby McCain and Caron Wentz to help with the team’s salary cap space and make room to work this offseason. The NFL salary cap for 2023 is $224.8 million.

Jonathan Allen will command a $21.4 million cap hit while the franchise tag puts Payne’s cap hit at almost $19 million. Next up is Curtis Samuel with a cap hit of just $13 million. The team has tough decisions to make to be a contender and make the playoffs in 2023. They have the 16th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Commanders Free Agency 2023 FAQs

When does free agency begin?

NFL free agency will commence on March 15, 2023. It begins at 4 p.m. eastern time. The date signifies the start of the new league year and the end of all player contracts. Many players are set to hit the market and gain free agency status.

What is an unrestricted free agent?

An unrestricted free agent is a player whose contract has expired, and they have no ties to their former team. Starting on March 15, they are free to negotiate with any team in the league without restrictions.

What is a restricted free agent?

A restricted free agent can be extended what is called a qualifying offer. If offered, they are still allowed to negotiate with other teams around the league. Their current team is allowed to match any offer.

Can teams talk to players before free agency begins?

There is a “legal tampering” period that begins on March 13. Teams can talk to certified agents but no signings can be made until free agency is official.

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Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his broadcasting/journalism degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam developed his expertise while working with Betsperts, Bleacher Nation, and 4for4 in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.

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