The first part of the story revolves around his talent. Safety Brandon Meriweather made the Pro Bowl in consecutive years, establishing himself as a playmaking safety.
But the other part of the story surrounds a mystery of sorts: If he's that good, why is he on his third team in a year?
Regardless, he signed a two-year deal worth $6 million with the Redskins and is a potential starter for a team in need of safety help. He became the third free agent to sign with Washington in the offseason. Cornerback Aaron Ross will visit with the Redskins on Friday.
Meanwhile, receiver Eddie Royal signed with San Diego on Thursday. The Redskins, who signed receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan on Tuesday, had been pursuing the Northern Virginia native.
For Meriweather, signing with Washington represents a chance to reclaim a starting job and return to his Pro Bowl status. He was voted into that game after the 2009 and 2010 seasons with New England. But the Patriots cut him before the season in September. According to multiple league sources, he had a reputation for being talented but undisciplined on the field -- and a bit of a freelancer.
After New England released him, he signed with Chicago and started four games -- there were five games in which the Bears coaches did not play him. He has 44 career starts, 40 with New England.
"He has a lot of talent, but you can't trust him," said one source who has worked with Meriweather, a first-round pick in 2007.
Meriweather will help fill a void left with the departures of LaRon Landry (free agency) and Oshiomogho Atogwe (released). Meriweather has played both free and strong safety, though he has spent more time at the latter.
Meriweather was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore's Todd Heap in 2010, drawing a $50,000 fine.