The Washington Football Team has its new left tackle.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the club is signing former Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr. to a one-year contract worth $5 million, per agent Ron Slavin.
After selecting Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Chicago released Leno. The move was salary cap related. Cutting Leno with a post-June 1 designation saved the cap-strapped Bears $9 million this season.
Washington quickly pounced.
The 29-year-old left tackle started 93 straight games for the Bears and remains a solid blindside protector. Scooping up Leno is a coup for Ron Rivera's team at this stage in the offseason.
The seven-year pro with one Pro Bowl to his name fills the biggest question on Washington's roster. The weapons are there in Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Antonio Gibson, et al. The defense will be among the best in the NFL once again with a fierce front and improved secondary. Ryan Fitzpatrick is an upgrade at quarterback. Leno now solidifies the offensive line that had one question mark at left tackle.
Washington drafted Samuel Cosmi in the second round, but with the Leno singing, the rookie will have time to develop before being thrust onto the fold.
On paper, Rivera's club looks primed to defend its NFC East title. No team has won the division in back-to-back years since 2004.