With free agency set to begin later this month, Redskins.com previews the 2018 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the interior offensive linemen.
Changes could be coming to the Washington Redskins’ offensive line.
Last season, two of the offensive linemen that began the year as starters for Washington before ending it on Injured Reserve were center Spencer Long and guard Shawn Lauvao.
After being selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Redskins, Long's NFL career began as a backup guard before starting 13 games during the 2015 season. However, the University of Nebraska product transitioned to center during the 2016 season, starting a total of 12 games while helping the offensive unit set team records in total net yards (6,545), net passing yards (4,758) and yards per play (6.40).
Following the strong individual performance by Long, he opened the 2017 season as Washington’s starting center before injuries sidelined him for a total of nine contests. In his place, rookie Chase Roullier, a sixth-round pick out of Wyoming, started at center and is believed to be a long-term piece along the line.
Now the 27-year-old Long is heading for free agency with Roullier potentially entrenched at the starting center.
Lauvao, meanwhile, could be headed for free agency as well after completing a four-year deal he signed with Washington back in 2014.
In his four seasons with the Redskins, Lauvao has started all 41 of his appearances, but the Arizona State product has battled injuries throughout his time here.
While at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said the team could be in line for a new starting left guard depending on how negotiations go with Lauvao.
“We’ll see where we are with Shawn Lauvao, but like I said, Arie Kouandjio will get some time in there and [Tony] Bergstrom will get some time in there,” Gruden said. “Chase Roullier could probably play left guard if need be.”
If the Redskins elect to add interior offensive line depth during free agency, here are some options for them according to Rotoworld.com:
- Andrew Norwell
- Weston Richburg
- Josh Sitton
- Josh Kline
- Jack Mewhort
- Ryan Jensen
With the 2016 NFL Combine underway, Redskins.com will look back at past Redskins that attended the event. Here's photos of Shawn Lauvao.
Brandon Fusco * John Sullivan * Matt Slauson * Spencer Long * D.J. Fluker * Senio Kelemete * Luke Joeckel * Travis Swanson * Zach Fulton * Alex Boone * Joe Berger * Jahri Evans * Patrick Omameh * Jonathan Cooper * Russell Bodine * Shawn Lauvao * Tom Compton * Kenny Wiggins * Wesley Johnson * Jeremiah Sirles * Oday Aboushi * Mike Person * Amini Silatolu * Xavier Su’a-Filo * Kevin Pamphile * Dakota Dozier * Brian Schwenke * Joe Hawley * Joe Looney * Earl Watford * Luke Bowanko * Tim Barnes * Marcus Martin * Jonotthan Harrison * Josh LeRibeus * Evan Smith * Jermon Bushrod * Allen Barbre * Don Barclay * Billy Turner * Tony Bergstrom * Jordan Devey
Perhaps the most notable and sought-after player on this list will be Andrew Norwell, who was named a first-team All-Pro last season.
Originally entering the league as a college free agent signing for the Carolina Panthers, Norwell has started 38 consecutive regular season games dating back to Week 12 of the 2015 season.
D.J. Fluker, meanwhile, is a former first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers who last played with the New York Giants. In his career, the soon-to-be 27-year-old has appeared in 68 regular season games with 65 starts.
As for Josh Sitton, the Chicago Bears recently declined his option leaving the 31-year-old to be available when free agency opens up. He is a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time second-team All-Pro and was also a first-team All-Pro in 2014.
There are a few former Redskins set to become free agents including 2012 draft picks Josh LeRibeus and Tom Compton. Compton played tackle during his four seasons in Washington but moved to guard in recent seasons and started five games for the Bears last year.
*Position-By-Position Outlooks: *