Resetting the roster: Offensive line

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
5:00
PM ET
On the roster: LT Trent Williams, G Chris Chester, RT Tyler Polumbus, C/ G Kory Lichtensteiger, G Josh LeRibeus, G Adam Gettis, G Maurice Hurt, T Tom Compton, OL Tevita Stevens.

Lauvao
Added in free agency: G Shawn Lauvao. The former Browns lineman will start at one of the guard spots.

Lost in free agency: None. But they did release center Will Montgomery. He visited with Denver earlier in the week, but left without a contract.

In talks with: C Brian de la Puente. De la Puente visited the Redskins on Wednesday. He has good quickness, which would make him a solid fit in an outside zone run scheme.

UPDATED: The Redskins also on Wednesday hosted center/guard Mike McGlynn, who has made 48 career starts -- including four with the Bengals in 2011 when Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator. At 325 pounds, McGlynn would provide more size inside.

Also on the market: C Kyle Cook, C Mike Gibson, T Charles Brown, T Bruce Campbell. Cook played for Redskins coach Jay Gruden in Cincinnati. Brown started 14 games last season, his fourth in the NFL – but his first as the full-time starter. He might just be depth for whomever signs the former second-round pick. He’s going to visit the New York Giants. The Redskins had a deal with Campbell, but that has never been signed and he has visited the Giants.

What it means: One person in the organization earlier this offseason said they did not view the line as the major problem that many others did. Also, because they would stick with the same run game, they could get away with bringing a lot of this group back. But Jay Gruden casually mentioned the need for some improvement at the scouting combine. And their actions suggest that’s what they’d like to do. They signed Lauvao, who was inconsistent in Cleveland, flirted with Donald Penn about playing right tackle and now are entertaining de La Puente. They might not end up making wholesale changes, but they certainly understand the need to improve, especially inside. They plan to move Kory Lichtensteiger to center, but he still needs to gain about 10-15 pounds. That would put him in the 295 range. De La Puente is listed at 306 pounds. So it could just be that Gruden wants more size inside – he talked about guys getting pushed back; he also had bigger fronts in Cincinnati. If they signed de La Puente and already have Lauvao, then it’s real hard to keep both Chester and Lichtensteiger. They could save $2.7 million against the cap by releasing Chester and $1.1 million if they cut Lichtensteiger.

I thought the two biggest holes last season were right guard and center. And it was never a stretch to think they should look at an upgrade at right tackle. Though Tyler Polumbus has some supporters in the organization, it’s certainly not unanimous (nor should it be; though he improved they could still upgrade here). I don’t think general manager Bruce Allen is one of those supporters. So don’t be surprised if that position is targeted in the draft as well. Just a guess. In the end, this is what happens when you change coaches like the Redskins do. They drafted and worked with several young offensive linemen and then after a coaching change, they’re perhaps back looking for a different style of linemen. If they thought the current young backups were ready, I doubt they’d be searching this hard for upgrades. This will be a big offseason for Gettis, LeRibeus and Compton and an even bigger preseason.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.