Redskins sign former Bears offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas

The Redskins are diving deeper and deeper into the bargain bin, this time coming away with an intriguing offensive tackle.

The Washington Redskins have been busy in the 2020 free agency period, but that business hasn’t yielded the crop of high-priced free agents you’d expect. Instead, the Redskins have been methodical and careful with their signings — one could say, to a fault.

Nevertheless, the Redskins are at least a year away from contending, and if they’re not going all-in for 2020, it’s smart to try and find value deals in this free agency period and gear up for the future. That’s what they’ve done so far, adding low-risk, high-upside players like Sean Davis, Logan Thomas, and Kevin Pierre-Louis, and their latest signing fits that same mold.

Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Redskins have signed former Chicago Bears offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas to their roster, on a deal worth $5.3 million over two years. Lucas will presumably replace Donald Penn at left tackle, providing depth and potential starting utility.

Lucas, who turns 29 years old in July, entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014, spending his first three seasons with the Detroit Lions as a depth offensive lineman. He saw stints with the Rams and Saints respectively in 2017 and 2018, and signed with the Bears in 2019. In Chicago, Lucas saw an increase in contribution, playing in all sixteen regular season games and starting eight when right tackle Bobby Massie went down with an injury.

Lucas performed relatively well in relief in 2019; he earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 72.2, and allowed one sack on 507 snaps, while incurring no penalties. In contrast, Donald Penn allowed six sacks and incurred ten penalties on 885 snaps. Lucas is younger, bigger at 6-foot-8, 327, and he may end up being better.

At the very least, the Lucas signing gives the Redskins a solid swing tackle to enter the fold, and Lucas could factor into the starting equation, depending on how he transitions in Washington. The Redskins needed depth, and they did well to get quality depth at a cheap price with this acquisition.