The Washington Commanders continue to ensure their own free agents are remaining on the roster, announcing they have tendered exclusive rights free agents Keith Ismael, Brian Johnson and defensive end Bunmi Rotimi in addition to restricted free agent Joey Slye.
Restricted free agents are players with expired contracts who have accrued exactly three seasons. They can negotiate with other teams and even accept offer sheets, but in those cases Washington has a chance to match those offers. If it chooses not to re-sign a certain player, it might receive compensation -- such as a draft pick -- from the new club for giving up the player.
Exclusive rights free agents are players with expired contracts who have accrued fewer than three seasons. As long as Washington offers these players one-year contracts at the league minimum (based on their credited seasons), they cannot negotiate with other teams.
After being cut by Washington and re-signed to the team's practice squad, Ismael appeared in 10 games and started in five of those contests after Larsen sustained his injury. Of the centers that played for Washington in 2021, he received the second-highest run-blocking grade with a 68.9.
Signed after Slye was placed on Injured Reserve, Johnson appeared in three games, and while he was only a temporary solution, he was reliable in the role. He hit both of his field goals four of his five extra points. He also had four touchbacks on 12 kickoff attempts.
After spending time in the AAF and XFL, Rotimi re-joined the NFL as part of Washington's practice squad. He was later elevated to the active roster prior to Washington's Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks and recorded his first career sack. Rotimi finished the season with 10 tackles.
Slye signed with Washington in Week 10 and instantly shored up the kicker position. He spent three weeks on Injured Reserve, but that did not affect his accuracy once he returned to the active roster. He was nearly perfect with the team, hitting all 12 of his field goals and 9-of-10 extra points.
The Commanders have also announced they are releasing safety Landon Collins. He is designated as a post-June 1 cut.