Washington Redskins: Three under-the-radar free agents to watch
By Ian Cummings
No. 3 – G Josh Kline – Tennessee Titans
The Redskins will be thin at the guard position to start the offseason of 2018, regardless of what happens with their own in-house signings. Shawn Lauvao is all but out the door, and if Spencer Long doesn’t come back to replace him, then they’ll have a glaring need there.
The Redskins’ backups at guard, Arie Kouandjio, Tony Bergstrom, and Tyler Catalina, don’t incite much confidence at a far away glance. Kouandjio had his flashes in 2017, but he was inconsistent. Tony Bergstrom played well enough to be retained as a depth player, but to rely on him or Tyler Catalina as more than that, at this point, is risky, to say the least.
Thus, the Redskins need another guard to shore up the offensive line. Someone who can give them value, starting experience, and a bit of insurance if injuries attack with comparable force in 2018. Josh Kline, a left guard for the Tennessee Titans, is one possible option who meets those requirements.
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Kline would bring value to the Redskins for a number of reasons. He was an undrafted free agent who worked his way onto the New England Patriots’ roster in 2013. He would remain on that team for three full years, starting 18 games at left and right guard, while occasionally filling in at center. For three years, he was the typical Patriots’ player: A guy who was reliable and versatile, able to uphold his duty at a moment’s notice.
After shoulder surgery at the end of 2015, however, he would face a long recovery, after which he would be cut by the Patriots during final preseason cuts the next year. He was quickly swiped off the waiver wire by the Tennessee Titans, and there, he carved out a role for himself as a serviceable starter.
Kline, now 28 years old, isn’t guaranteed a new contract from the Titans. His contract amounted $2.4 million against the Titans’ salary cap in 2017, and his play suffered enough down the stretch that the Titans could look to take a different direction in 2018, once their playoff run is over.
Kline wouldn’t be a starter for the Washington Redskins, but he provides winning experience and a tireless work ethic. He won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, and his presence alone would help with the winning culture the Redskins are trying to build. He registered a grade of 74.1 on Pro Football Focus this year, good for 24th among all guards, and he helped shape a run-first offense in Tennessee. Kline’s skill set would fit nicely in the Redskins’ offense, and he could come at a decent price, providing security while the team looks for a new starter.