The big signings are left to other teams as the Redskins continue to be bargain shoppers. Thursday, they tried to solve two holes with low-profile signings: landing veteran offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood and linebacker Bryan Kehl.
Kehl, who signed a one-year deal for $715,000, ended last season with Washington, playing special teams in the final five games and the playoffs. The Redskins had originally cut him before the season. He spent three games with Kansas City, but was cut and promptly signed by the Redskins. At the time coach Mike Shanahan said of Kehl’s training camp with Washington: “He really handled himself well here both on special teams, inside, outside linebacker. He’s very bright, very competitive, and we were very fortunate he was out there.”
With Lorenzo Alexander leaving for Arizona, the Redskins needed another quality special teams player and inside linebacker. Kehl might not be at the same level on special teams as Alexander, a Pro Bowler. But Kehl is considered a good performer and, like Alexander, a smart and diligent player. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett once said of him, “It’s another guy that can go in and you not have to worry that he’ll do everything right.”
As for Trueblood, he has ties to general manager Bruce Allen and secondary coach Raheem Morris from Tampa Bay. Allen selected Trueblood in the second round in 2006. He was a mainstay at right tackle for his first four seasons, making 61 starts. During that time he averaged 10.75 penalties per season (mostly false starts). But he’s made just 23 over the past three seasons combined (but cutting down on his penalties, to a combined 13). Last season the Bucs benched him after one start and he eventually ended the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He lost his starting job in 2010 because of injury, but returned to the starting lineup in 2011.
The Redskins now have three right tackles with Tony Pashos signing earlier this week and second-year Tom Compton already on the roster. The Redskins like Compton, but the former sixth-round pick spent the first 12 weeks on the practice squad. Pashos did not play last season while recovering from a ruptured tendon in his foot.
Tyler Polumbus, who started 16 of 17 games at the position last season, is scheduled to visit Jacksonville on Friday. The Redskins have maintained contact with him, even after the Trueblood signing. However, it’s uncertain that they would make another move at that position.