Commanders Bring Playmaking Linebacker to Washington - Sport News

Commanders Bring Playmaking Linebacker to Washington

The free agency splurge continues as the Washington Commanders are in agreement with Carolina free agent linebacker Frankie Luvu on a three-year, $36 million deal. All agreements cannot be made official until the new league year begins on Wednesday, March 13 at 4 pm EST.


Luvu adds to the new-look Commanders who wasted no time in free agency filling in a large portion of their holes on both sides of the ball. He now lines up next to Commanders linebacker and 2021 first-round pick Jamin Davis.

In Carolina, he started all 17 games for the Panthers recording 84 tackles and notching 5.5 sacks.

Luvu is one of four agreements Washington has in place on the first day of the legal tampering period. Former Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz and defensive end Dorance Armstong both agreed to deals earlier today as well.

They also agreed to contracts with running back Austin Ekler formerly of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Breaking Down the Newest Commanders Linebacker

Linebacker Frankie Luvu attended Washington State and entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent who originally signed with the New York Jets. He suited up in New York for three seasons playing in 40 games and starting four games.

He left for Carolina originally signing a one-year deal worth $1.1 million before the 2021 season.

The rotational linebacker played well in limited opportunities and re-signed in Carolina on a two-year, $9 million deal with $3 million in guaranteed money.

Luvu rewarded them by starting 31 games in the last two seasons.

Yahoo ranked Luvu as the third-best off-the-ball linebacker entering free agency behind Baltimore’s Patrick Queen and Miami’s Jerome Baker.

On the field, he was a beneficiary of having space-eating defensive tackle Derrick Brown clogging up running lanes allowing Luvu to utilize his athleticism to make plays. Luvu now has two of those guys in Commanders interior linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

His $12 million average annual salary comes in higher than what the New York Giants gave linebacker Bobby Okereke in free agency last season. That currently makes Luvu the seventh highest-paid off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL.

What Does the Current Commanders Defense Look Like?

The combination of Luvu and Davis positioning themselves behind Payne and Allen solidifies the interior of the defense. The addition of defense end Dorance Armstrong gives the team an edge threat making the front seven of the defense the top priority for the new Commanders front office.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise as new head coach Dan Quinn is a defensive-minded head coach.

Free agency can sometimes operate like the draft where position groups come in waves. With the front half of the defense receiving an update, the secondary market got off to a slower start which should be good news for Washington.

The Commanders went into the open market allowing cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Kamren  Curl to test the waters. A thin group will undoubtedly receive an influx of players after the team spent an estimated $127 million on day one.

Washington still has plenty of work to do yet the daytime moves they made to begin the legal tampering period were filled with mid-range contracts that leave cap space to spend. Best of all, the days of overspending on free agents to come to Washington appear to be fading away.

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