By Adam Aniba
Linebacker Cole Holcomb might not be the answer as Washington's starting MIKE linebacker, but at the right price he makes a lot of sense for depth purposes. Considering vets like Jon Bostic and David Mayo played significant snaps and struggled mightily after Holcomb went down, having depth is a imperative for the Commanders.
Linebacker Jamin Davis is the only returning linebacker of note. Although Ron Rivera is likely to select at least one linebacker in the upcoming draft, they can't fill 3-4 linebacker spots exclusively in the draft and will need to utilize free agency.
Through 4 seasons, Holcomb has been active for 50 games, registering 388 (239 solo), 15 TFL , 9 QB hits, 4.5 sacks, 5 FF, 1 FR, 3 interceptions and 1 TD. Although his numbers aren't spectacular, finding a relatively cheap free agent that can have a similar output and is familiar with the system is no easy task.
Considering Holcomb is coming off an injury, a deal in the realm of 3-years $10M with $6M guaranteed should get it done. An incentive laden deal with a lower base salary also makes sense for both parties.
Vet LB Denzel Perryman of the Raiders made $3.3M in '23 and will have a similar market to Holcomb, although he has played a lot longer.
It's true the former Tar Heel linebacker could bet on himself and sign a 1-year prove it deal elsewhere, but Washington's defensive front gives him the best opportunity for success, even a reserve role.
While it's evident that Washington needs better play from their starting MIKE linebacker, having Holcomb in the linebacker room is a lot better than relying on the likes of Bostic and Mayo.
FInding a starting MLB is a priority this offseason, but as fans wintnessed, not having competent backups can also be distarious.
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