SEPTEMBER 11: After playing in the Commanders’ Week 1 win and operating as their punt returner, Crowder will remain in the fold moving forward. The veteran has been signed to the team’s 53-man roster, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
SEPTEMBER 6: Crowder is indeed coming back to Washington. The former Jay Gruden-era pass catcher will join Rivera’s team on a practice squad deal.
SEPTEMBER 5: Although many teams released vested veterans upon cutting their rosters down to 53 and then brought them back — via an active-roster deal after an IR move took place elsewhere on the roster or via a practice squad invite — soon after. The Giants did not prioritize Jamison Crowder after cutting him, however.
Even as Wan’Dale Robinson finishes up his recovery from an ACL tear and Cole Beasley battles an injury that led to him going on the practice squad injured list, the Giants did not bring back Crowder. Back in free agency, Crowder is beginning to receive interest. The Commanders brought in Crowder for a Tuesday visit, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
Crowder, of course, began his career in Washington. Plenty has changed since — from the staff to the quarterback to the team name — but the Ron Rivera–Martin Mayhew regime is interested in the 30-year-old slot receiver. Crowder is coming off an abbreviated season, when a fractured ankle stopped his Bills campaign after four games. But the 5-foot-9 wideout was previously a productive player with Washington and the Jets, compiling 600-plus yards in five seasons since being a 2015 fourth-round pick.
Beginning his career as the inside option in Kirk Cousins-led attacks, Crowder rose in the team’s pass-game pecking order after the free agency exits of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in 2017. Crowder led the 2017 Washington edition in receiving, though his career-high yardage total remains the 847 — to go with a career-best seven TD receptions — he totaled in 2016 alongside Jackson and Garcon. The Jets gave Crowder a three-year, $28.5MM contract in 2019.
Sam Darnold‘s steadiest target, Crowder combined to score 12 TDs during the former No. 3 overall pick’s final two Jets seasons. The Jets reduced Crowder’s pay in 2021, upon hiring Robert Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur, and he averaged a career-worst 8.8 yards per reception in Zach Wilson‘s rookie season. Crowder joined the Bills on a one-year, $2MM deal and only received $28K guaranteed from the Giants this offseason.
The Commanders have a key injury issue at receiver entering the season. Terry McLaurin has rested for over a week now with turf toe. The longtime No. 1 target, who arrived a month after Crowder left, is uncertain for Week 1. Washington has used extensive resources in recent years upgrading McLaurin’s supporting cast, using a first-round pick on Jahan Dotson in 2022 — a year after giving Curtis Samuel a three-year, $34.5MM deal. In addition to the three starters, the Commanders have four more receivers rostered. Ex-Eric Bieniemy Chiefs cog Byron Pringle joins 2021 third-rounder Dyami Brown, 2021 seventh-rounder Dax Milne and rookie UDFA Mitchell Tinsley at the position.
McLaurin is not out of the mix for Week 1 just yet, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, who notes the team has hope for its top target to be ready in time.