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A new man in the middle for the Redskins?


A new man in the middle for the Redskins?

With Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve with a designation to be able to return, Josh LeRibeus will continue to start at center for the Redskins—at least for the short term.

The corresponding move to putting Lichtensteiger on IR was signing veteran center Brian de la Puente as a free agent. Although nothing will happen immediately, it’s possible that de la Puente will push LeRibeus for the starting job within a few weeks.

LeRibeus’ blocking has been inconsistent and against the Patriots last Sunday he had some issues with inaccurate shotgun snaps. The rushing game has been unproductive since he came in as a starter three games ago and while it’s not all LeRibeus’ fault, it’s not completely a coincidence either.

Enter de la Puente, who bounced around training camps and practice squads for three years after signing as an undrafted free agent with Scot McCloughan’s 49ers in 2008. He caught on with the Saints and became their regular center in 2011. After starting 44 games there he moved on to the Bears. In 2014 he started six games for them before his season ended early with an ankle injury. His level of play in New Orleans and Chicago didn’t warrant Pro Bowl consideration but he was a solid, competent lineman.

De la Puente is not the young, long-term replacement for Lichtensteiger that the Redskins will be looking for. He is 30, although one could point out that he’s relatively low-mileage 30 since he didn’t have much wear and tear in his early 20’s. But with 50 games as a starter under his belt he could be a good short-term solution, even if it’s only for part of the last half of the season.

It probably would take a few weeks before de la Puente could challenge LeRibeus for the starting job. He has not been with a team this year so it will take him some time to get into football shape. Center is the most complex position on the line so it will take him some time to learn the playbook and the line calls.

But keep an eye out beginning about the Week 13 Monday night game against the Cowboys. If Jay Gruden, Bill Callahan and company are inclined to make a change in the middle of the line, that might be the right time to do it.

MORE REDSKINS: Can Redskins take advantage of softer defenses coming up? 

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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