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Redskins sign NT Kemoeatu, who spent 2009 on injured reserve

Free-agent nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu signed a two-year, $6.975 million contract with the Washington Redskins on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 345-pound Kemoeatu spent last season on injured reserve with the Carolina Panthers after tearing his Achilles' tendon during training camp.

Kemoeatu's agent, Ken Vierra, said in a telephone interview that his client's tendon is "structurally sound" and he's able to walk and jog but not run yet.

"He's got to really work it from a physical therapy standpoint," Vierra said. "He's on schedule. He should be ready for training camp, but you never know."

Kemoeatu has 208 tackles and four sacks in 107 NFL games, including 61 starts, with the Panthers (2006-09) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05). The Redskins are expected to shift from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, and Kemoeatu's presence could allow tackle Albert Haynesworth to move outside.

Kemoeatu's signing represents the latest low-key move in a relatively quiet free-agency period for the Redskins under new coach Mike Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen. The team signed offensive lineman Artis Hicks on Saturday.

"It's a new regime there," Vierra said. "I think that was appealing."

Vierra said Kemoeatu's deal includes various bonus provisions, and while it represents a step down from the free-agent deal that his client had with the Panthers, he recognized that he's coming off a serious injury.

"This is clearly a move by the Redskins to say, 'We like you. We believe you can be a guy for us. So we're willing to make an investment and take a risk,'" Vierra said. "And that says a lot."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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