Breaking: Commanders Outbid Rivals To Sign $58.3 Million Undrafted Free Agent

Breaking: Commanders Outbid Rivals To Sign $58.3 Million Undrafted Free Agent

The Washington Commanders paid up to outbid “half the league” for one particular undrafted free agent.

Adam Peters was determined to keep cornerback Chigozie Anusiem, a highly sought-after undrafted free agent, with the Washington Commanders. So, shortly after the 2024 NFL draft, general manager Peters outbid “half of the league” to sign the former Colorado State standout.

According to sources, the Commanders gave Anusiem “a whopping $50,000 signing bonus and a $300,000 base salary guarantee.” According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Anusiem was highly sought after going undrafted, and Washington paid a premium to secure his services.

Anusiem was pleased when he posted on X, “Commanders let’s rock!!!,” soon after joining the team.

Anusiem wasn’t the only member of the Commanders’ rookie free-agent class who received a hefty contract. He was a prospect who visited with several teams as a potential Day 3 pick during the pre-draft process, including one of Washington’s NFC East rivals.

Commanders Paid Heavy Price for Chigozie Anusiem

Peters certainly made sure he got his man when he signed Anusiem to a hefty contract. The heavy terms given indicate three things.

First, consider the player’s talent. During his two years at Colorado State, Anusiem recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, 11 pass breakups, and one interception. He transferred from California in 2022 and instantly became a regular starter for the Rams.

Taylor Kyles of Patriots on CLNS described the player as a “big, athletic type” with a “good IQ” due to his increased playing time.

Kyles also ranked Anusiem as a “late Day 3 prospect.” He wasn’t picked there, but he cashed in because Peters and Commanders’ head coach Dan Quinn both believe Anusiem can make the move to the pros.

Perhaps the Commanders’ principal decision-makers were also concerned about Anusiem showcasing his abilities for a rival. According to Art Stapleton of, the player was “a surprise 30 visit for” the New York Giants.

Like Kyles, Stapleton expected Anusiem to hear his name called on Day 3. Stapleton and Kyles both mentioned Anusiem’s conversation with Justin Melo from The Draft Network, which is noteworthy.

Melo mentioned Anusiem’s conversations with the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, but also offered insight into the defensive back’s playing style. Melo specifically credited Anusiem with “Press-man CB size.”

Quinn, who previously coached the Seattle Seahawks’ ‘Legion of Boom’ unit, has a history of using tough, press-style man coverage in his defense. Anusiem fits the criteria for Quinn’s ideas in a situation where the Commanders still require assistance.

Aside from cornerback, the Commanders spent big to recruit quality at another important position.

Commanders Gave Big Money to Another UDFA

Peters exploited the rookie free agent market to fill the skill spots on offense. Specifically, by signing Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman.

Hartman, like Anusiem, was compensated handsomely for his decision to join the Commanders. Pelissero reports that the passer received “one of the biggest guarantees among undrafted free agents: a $20,000 signing bonus and $225,000 base salary guarantee.”

Hartman will join a quarterback room led by second-overall draft pick Jayden Daniels, with backup Marcus Mariota. The Commanders’ running back depth chart has proven pros like Austin Ekeler and Brian Robinson Jr.

They will be joined by undrafted Austin Jones, a former teammate of No. 1 pick Caleb Williams at USC. Signing these players completed a skillful influx of new, more dynamic athletes identified and signed by Peters during draft week.

These newcomers will form the platform for a quick turnaround by the Commanders in 2024.


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