Another Redskins free agent has signed with a new team for the 2019 season.
Much has been made of the Washington Redskins lack of depth on the offensive line over the last two seasons. It’s been an attribute of the roster that has hindered the team significantly. In both 2017 and 2018, midseason signings found themselves anchoring a hobbled starting unit, and the offense could never find consistency with their foundation upended.
While the depth as a whole has been spotty for some time, however, one stable constant, year in and year out, was Ty Nsekhe. Nsekhe first joined the Redskins in 2015, at the age of 30. Nsekhe would stick around for four seasons, providing high-level depth at one of the most important offensive positions.
When Trent Williams went down, or when Morgan Moses dealt with injuries, Nsekhe always functioned in their place without missing a beat. Now, Nsekhe’s unheralded provisions are going noticed; at the ripe age of 33, he’s signed a lucrative deal with the Buffalo Bills, to contend for a starting job.
Per Mike Garafolo, Nsekhe’s deal is for two years, worth up to $14.5 million, with $7.7 million in guaranteed money. Nsekhe is the second former Redskins offensive lineman to sign with the Bills this offseason; earlier in the year, Spencer Long made the interdivisional trip to Buffalo, after being cut by the New York Jets just one year into his contract.
Nsekhe should be given an opportunity to start with the Bills. Even at his age, he has some tread left on the tires, and he’s provided starting-caliber play as a replacement for the Redskins, in various stints. With prized quarterback Josh Allen growing into a star, the Bills needed to put together a line to protect him. For at least a year or two, Nsekhe should do the trick.
The loss of Nsekhe won’t sting as much as the loss of Jamison Crowder or the loss of Preston Smith. But for the Redskins, losing what very well could be the team’s only competent depth lineman spells trouble. Now, the Redskins have only Geron Christian and Timon Parris under contract behind Williams and Moses. Christian was underwhelming in his rookie season, and was sidelined by an injury. Parris is an undrafted free agent, who has yet to instill confidence as a potential mainstay.
Nsekhe’s departure, in this sense, is bittersweet. The veteran deserved a chance to have a greater role, and now he’ll get it. But the Redskins will indeed miss him. For Buffalo, a starting slot on offense is filled. And for Washington, a thin unit only gets thinner.