Kory Lichtensteiger

Redskins C Kory Lichtensteiger To Retire

Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger is retiring, according to Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post (on Twitter). The offensive lineman spent nine seasons in the NFL. Kory Lichtensteiger (vertical)

This year, Lichtensteiger was scheduled for a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.25MM. Given his injury troubles in recent years, he was unlikely to collect on that sum. Between 2015 and 2016, Lichtensteiger appeared in just nine regular season games.

In September 2016, Lichtensteiger was placed on IR after suffering a calf injury. When he went down, Washington turned to Spencer Long and added veteran John Sullivan as a backup. Long turned out to be a bright spot for Washington and he could be in line for a lucrative extension this offseason. Without a starting job or even a surefire 53-man spot, Lichtensteiger is opting to move on from the game at the age of 31.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Bring Kory Lichtensteiger Off IR

SATURDAY, 5:35pm: Washington activated the ninth-year veteran and seventh-year Redskins starter in advance of their Week 14 game, Mike Jones of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). He’s expected to serve as the backup behind Sullivan against the Eagles. To make room for Lichtensteiger’s return, the team cut defensive lineman A.J. Francis, per Jones.

WEDNESDAY, 12:20pm: The Redskins announced that Kory Lichtensteiger will return from injured reserve. In related news, cornerback Dashaun Phillips has been signed to the practice squad.

Lichtensteiger was placed on IR in September after suffering a calf injury. That was a tough blow for a Redskins team that was already thin at the center position. When he went down, Washington turned to Spencer Long and added veteran John Sullivan as a backup. So far, Long has done a decent job, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ No. 21 center out of 37 qualified players. Sullivan, with just 43 total snaps, is not among those qualifying players, but he has a similar grade in his smaller sample size. Ditto for Lichtensteiger, who has 159 snaps on the year.

Phillips started the year as the Redskins’ primary nickel cornerback. Earlier this week, he was released, but he’s now on call in case a spot opens up again in D.C.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign Sullivan, Lichtensteiger To IR

Big changes are coming for the Redskins at the center position. After working him out today, the Redskins have agreed to sign John Sullivan, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter) adds that it is a one-year deal. Meanwhile, Kory Lichtensteiger is being placed on IR after suffering a calf injury. "<strong

Sullivan, 31, has long been one of the league’s more underrated centers. Though he has never been named an All Pro or Pro Bowler, he’s been considered among the top at his position in the NFL. Until last year, he had started at least 14 games in every season since 2009. Sullivan missed all of 2015 due to injury, and veteran Joe Berger performed like a top-five center in his stead. The Vikings went with the much Berger this offseason, leaving Sullivan without a job.

Earlier this year, the Redskins traded for Bryan Stork as a possible understudy or replacement for Lichtensteiger, but he failed the physical. After he was sent back to New England, the Redskins were left looking thin on the interior line. Now that Lichtensteiger is likely done for the year, the Redskins are shaking things up and bringing in Sullivan, a lineman with a solid resume.

Lichtensteiger becomes the third Redskins starter to be placed on IR, joining DeAngelo Hall and Kedric Golston, as John Keim of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter).

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Redskins’ Kory Lichtensteiger Takes Pay Cut

The Redskins didn’t get the center they wanted this offseason, but they did convince their incumbent starter to accept a pay cut. Kory Lichtensteiger has agreed to reduce his salary from a $3.25MM base to $2.25MM in 2016, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. However, he can earn that $1.25MM back through incentives. Kory Lichtensteiger (vertical)

Lichtensteiger, 31, missed eleven games last season thanks to a nerve issue in his right arm. He was placed on IR-DTR, but he was not able to take the field for the Redskins’ lone playoff game against the Packers. Prior to 2015, however, Lichtensteiger went three consecutive seasons without missing a start.

The Redskins tried to deal for Patriots center Bryan Stork earlier this offseason, agreeing to send a conditional seventh-round pick to New England for him. The hope was that Stork could push Lichtensteiger for the starting gig, but he wound up failing his physical, which nullified the trade.

Prior to the trade, Lichtensteiger was 13th in the NFL amongst centers in terms of average annual salary. Now, he drops to 18th behind the following players:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Links: Lions, Brees, Washington

Haloti Ngata was banged up for much of his first season in Detroit. Still, the veteran enjoyed his time with the Lions, and the impending free agent is very interested in returning.

“I’d love to stay,” he told Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. “I love what coach (Jim) Caldwell has done here. I love playing under him and coach Kris (Kocurek). I feel like I got in a groove at the end of the season and hopefully I can play a full season understanding the system.”

Let’s look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • The Lions are expected to hire David Walker as their running backs coach, reports Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez (via Twitter). Walker previously spent time on the Colts coaching staff, where he worked under Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
  • Drew Brees doesn’t necessarily need to take a payout to save the Saints some money, writes ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett. The veteran quarterback could sign a multi-year extension, and the organization could then distribute the cap hit however they’d like. Ultimately, the writer believes the team should continue to pay Brees $20MM a season. While it isn’t necessarily a paycut, it’s well below what the veteran could make on the open market.
  • Safety Dashon Goldson could be among the surprise cap casualties for Washington this offseason, according to Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Meanwhile, Tarik El-Bashir points to lineman Kory Lichtensteiger and receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.

Washington Activates C Kory Lichtensteiger

Washington’s decision to use the designation to return when it placed center Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve earlier this year has paid off. The team announced today that it has activated Lichtensteiger from IR-DTR, waiving center Brian De La Puente in a corresponding move.Kory Lichtensteiger

Nearly two months ago, Washington placed Lichtensteiger, Washington’s regular starting center since 2014, on IR with the designation to return due to a neck injury. The move meant that he wouldn’t be eligible to return until after Week 17, and at that point in the season, Jay Gruden‘s club trailed the Giants by a game and a half in the NFC East, so it seemed like a long shot that Lichtensteiger would get the opportunity to play in the postseason.

Assuming he returns to the starting lineup for Washington’s Wild Card game, Lichtensteiger will reclaim the starting center job from Josh LeRibeus, who has played there for the team’s last 11 games. If the club prefers not to change what has worked in the second half, Lichtensteiger would step into De La Puente’s old role, providing veteran depth on the interior offensive line.

To make room for cornerback Cary Williams, whose deal was previously reported, the club also placed defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Washington Signs Brian De La Puente

Washington has made a roster change on its offensive line, announcing today in a press release that the team has signed veteran center Brian De La Puente, placing center Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve with the designation to return.

Lichtensteiger, Washington’s regular starting center since 2014, has missed the team’s past three games due to a neck injury, and the club apparently felt he wasn’t close to returning. Josh LeRibeus has started the last three games for Washington, so we’ll have to see whether he continues to hold that role, or whether De La Puente gets a shot at the job. De La Puente, 30, hasn’t played at all in 2015, but started a total of 50 regular season games for the Saints and Bears between 2011 to 2014.

As for Lichtensteiger, the team’s decision to use its IR-DTR slot on him looks a little odd on the surface — because the short-term IR forces players to sit out eight weeks, the 30-year-old wouldn’t be eligible to return to action until after Week 17, meaning Washington would have to make the postseason for him to play again in 2015. While that doesn’t appear unlikely, the team is only a game and a half back of the Giants in the NFC East, and there’s no harm in using the IR-DTR spot, just in case.

There are now just seven NFL teams that have failed to use their IR-DTR designation this season, as our tracker shows.

NFL Notes: Saints, Redskins, Vikings

Despite cutting ties with a handful of veterans earlier this offseason, the Saints hover just $3MM under the salary cap with free agent tight end Jimmy Graham‘s future still uncertain. Accordingly, Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune lists a handful of veterans who could be released in order to create more room (cap figure in parentheses): Brodrick Bunkley ($6.1MM), Lance Moore ($5.1MM), Pierre Thomas ($2.9MM), Darren Sproles ($4.25MM) and Patrick Robinson ($2.8MM).

In other NFC notes:

    • The Redskins “must devote a significant of attention and efforts to improving the offensive line,” says Mike Jones of the Washington Post. The coach and scheme will not change, and eight of the team’s top nine linemen are under contract, but personnel upgrades are needed. Aside from stalwart left tackle Trent Williams, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (who could be tried at center) seems like the only 2013 starter whose job is safe. Whether or not the team intends to release center Will Montgomery, right guard Chris Chester and/or right tackle Tyler Polumbus is uncertain, but any of the three could be replaced via free agency or draft.
    • Vikings new head coach Mike Zimmer plans to implement a more aggressive defensive scheme, meaning the team’s scouting staff will take a longer look at prospects whose skill sets might not have fit with Leslie Frazier’s more conservative cover-2 system, writes ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling.
    • Panthers free agent Captain Munnerlyn says his agent will meet with team officials at the Combine next week, according to Charlotte Observer beat reporter Joe Person (via Twitter).