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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ivan Lambert

Adam Peters said the Commanders have a ‘few cornerstone pieces.’ Who are they?

“I believe there’s a few cornerstone pieces in this roster. I believe we have a lot of work to do.”

That is how new Commanders GM Adam Peters replied when asked what he thought of the current roster.

So, who does Peters feel are the “few cornerstone pieces”?

On offense, it would have been great if Sam Howell had developed enough this past season, but that did not occur, as Howell led the NFL in sacks taken and interceptions thrown.

Brian Robinson accumulated 733 rushing yards and 368 receiving yards totaling 1,101 yards from scrimmage. But Robinson is a running back. So Peters may not feel it necessary to pay Robinson a second contract, but we can cross that bridge in a couple of seasons.

Much was made of Terry McLaurin accomplishing a fourth consecutive season of 1,000 yards receiving. Frankly, wasn’t too much made of this? In today’s NFL, the rules and officiating favor the offense much more than the defense. Thus, there is more passing in today’s game. In addition, the NFL regular season is now 17 games. He is a fine, hardworking player and is a team leader. Yet, one would be hard-pressed to persuade us that McLaurin is an elite receiver. But his contract may keep other teams from trading for him. Is he really worth his $24.1 million cap hit in 2024?

This leaves the only real offensive cornerstone piece upon which the Commanders must build around, and that is right guard Sam Cosmi. Cosmi’s 2024 cap hit will only be $2,108,135. His last contract year is 2024, so Peters will want to re-sign Cosmi to that second contract.

Defensively, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne have been sturdy and energetic inside forces, but that did fall off some this past season. Allen and Payne will have cap hits of $23 million and $26.17 million in 2025. Allen and Payne were drafted in the first round by Washington in 2017 and 2018, respectively. If Peters wants to receive the highest possible value back in a trade, he may want to trade one or both this offseason.

A few young players who have shown a toughness that Peters may keep around include safeties Darrick Forrest and Kam Curl. Curl is a free agent, however, and may want to hit the open market. A third is Quan Martin, a second-round choice who flashed at times in the later games of the season.

Three other players on the offense could be nice developmental pieces. Chris Rodriguez Jr. exhibited a real toughness on special teams and in running the ball. Jahan Dotson has had his moments where he looks like he really belongs. Another is Curtis Samuel. However, Samuel is a free agent, and Peters may not want to give him a third contract.

Armani Rogers, the most athletic of the tight ends, missed this entire season with a torn Achilles tendon. But he is an athlete Peters will want to keep, as he most likely does not bring back Logan Thomas.

Peters was absolutely correct. He has a lot of work to do.



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