WASHINGTON — The Redskins have re-signed offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe, who was an exclusive-rights free agent.
That maintains the depth on an offensive line that performed well in 2016. Nsekhe was the primary swing tackle and started four games when Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams was suspended for four games after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Nsekhe is a unique case in the NFL. Last summer, former Washington GM Scot McCloughan insisted that Nsekhe could start for half the teams in the league. But his age and contract are working against him. Nsekhe will turn 32 on Oct. 27. He wasn’t drafted out of college and worked his way up through the Arena League and various NFL practice squads (Indianapolis, New Orleans, St. Louis Rams).
At 6-foot-8, 335 pounds, he caught the Redskins’ attention and was signed in the 2015 offseason. He performed well enough during training camp that summer to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Nsekhe was active for 13 games and started two in place of an injured Williams.
He’s a valuable part of a young offensive line and has a Pro Bowler in Williams (28) blocking him at his preferred position. Morgan Moses (26) is entrenched as the starter at right tackle and played every game the last two seasons.
A player Nsekhe’s age is almost always a free agent by this point in his career. Because he took so long to work his way to the NFL, Nsekhe can’t punch his own ticket. If he is active for six games in 2017, he will accrue his third NFL season. At least then Nsekhe will become a restricted free agent and could sign an offer sheet with another team next offseason. The Redskins will still control his rights, but he can at least get a pay bump out of being a backup.
Nsekhe won’t become an unrestricted free agent until after he accrues two more NFL seasons. That’s after 2018 when he’s heading into his age-34 season. Whatever the case, Washington is happy to have Nsekhe for now. He can play either tackle spot in case of injury, a luxury not many NFL teams have. Nsekhe started last year against Minnesota, Green Bay, Dallas and Arizona before Williams returned to the lineup.
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