The Washington Redskins have signed their starting left guard for 2009 and beyond.
Chad Reinhardt, the team's third-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa, signed a four-year contract on Thursday. He got minimum salaries for the four years, as is typical for a third-round pick, plus a signing bonus of slightly over $600,000. There are escalator clauses based on playing time that could add an extra $700,000 in the final year of the deal.
This is succession planning at its finest. Reinhardt should slide right into the second string slot at left guard. Starter Pete Kendall turned 35 two days ago and he is entering the second year of a two-year extension he signed with the Redskins when they traded for him last year. Assuming that Reinhardt responds to Joe Bugel's coaching, he should occupy the starting job on opening day, 2009.
Reinhardt was drafted with the supplemental pick the Redskins received in compensation (primarily) for the loss of left guard Derrick Dockery to free agency prior to the 2007 season.
While adding Reinhardt, the Redskins cut three other players. They only had to cut one to create a spot on the 80-man roster for Reinhardt, so come other moves could be imminent.
Released were defensive end Tommy Davis, center Kyle DeVan and quarterback Sam Hollenbach.
The release of DeVan is somewhat interesting since, although he wasn't expected to make the team, he was the only center on the roster behind Casey Rabach. Since Rabach isn't going to make every snap with every unit during training camp, it seems likely that the Redskins have another option at that position in mind.
Davis spent some time on the practice squad last year but the Redskins are high on prospects Alex Buzbee and Chris Wilson at defensive end so he faced very long odds. There still are eight defensive ends on the roster and it's likely that only five will end up on the final roster.
The waiving of Hollenbach, who spent some time on the active roster last year after Jason Campbell got injured, means that Jim Zorn chose Derek Devine as the fourth QB. While that's not a great spot in which to be, should Colt Brennan have difficulty recovering from his hip injury or if it's demonstrated that his dazzling numbers at Hawaii were just a product of the offensive system and weak competition, Devine could land himself a roster spot. Devine spent last year's training camp with Zorn in Seattle after being signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall.