In the final days towards the beginning of the free agency signing period, March 12, the Washington Redskins reached deals with five players over the weekend—tight end Logan Paulsen, fullback Darrel Young, linebacker Rob Jackson, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and long snapper Nick Sundberg.
With the weekend signings, the Redskins' organization lends credibility to coach Mike Shanahan's comments last week in which the head coach stated, "We've got the nucleus of the right people."
Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, a starter in all 16 games in 2012, is a "F.O.S."—friend of Shanahan's. He was drafted by Shanahan, who was coach of the Denver Broncos, in the fourth-round of the 2008 NFL draft.
Lichtensteiger has a reputation as a premier blocker and at 6'1" and 284 pounds certainly held defensive opponents at bay long enough for Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III to develop and execute a play.
The details of the contract have not been officially released by the team.
Lichtensteiger's back-up, Josh LeRebeus, was the team's third-round selection in last year's NFL draft and some speculated the team would not rush to fill his spot on the roster should the team not re-sign the left guard.
Following his signing, Lichtensteiger announced the news of his signing on Twitter.
Tight end Logan Paulsen agreed to terms on a contract Saturday according to NFL.com. The three-year, $4-million contract included a $1-million signing bonus. The 6'5" and 261 pound tight end emerged as a starter following the injury to starting tight end Fred Davis who went down with a torn Achilles tendon in Week Seven of the 2012 season.
As the starting tight end, Paulsen shared playing time with teammates Niles Paul and Chris Cooley. He finished the 2012 season with 25 receptions for 308 yards and a touchdown.
Fullback Darrel Young agreed to a three-year, $6.2 million estimated contract with incentives and a $1-million signing bonus according to the Washington Post. He enters his fourth season with the Redskins and as a starter in 2012, he was used primarily as a blocker for RG3 and running back Alfred Morris.
Last season, Young was a go-to guy on third down. Of his 60 yards on 14 carries, seven were for first downs. On passing plays he accounted for a first down on six of his eight catches with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Long snapper Nick Sundberg and the team agreed to a four-year contract late Sunday according to The Washington TImes, financial details not disclosed. The 25-year-old Sundberg, who you may recall played played with a broken arm in the 2012 season opener, seemed ecstatic in announcing the news via Twitter as well.
Nick Sundberg @NickSundberg
Just wanted to say thanks to the #RedskinNation for all the awesome support. #BestFansInTheNFL Couldn't be happier to be coming back.2013-3-10 20:52:27
Linebacker Rob Jackson agreed to a one-year deal with terms not disclosed per NBC Sports. He landed in a starting position in 2012 following the pectoral muscle injury to linebacker Brian Orakpo in Week Two, which forced Orakpo to the injured reserve list for the remained of the season.
Jackson compiled career high statistics with the Redskins in 2012, finishing the regular season with 37 tackles, four interceptions and four-and-a-half sacks.
With the flurry of weekend signings, the Redskins' only have two unsigned restricted free agents—nose tackle Chris Baker and return specialist Brandon Banks.
The March 12 deadline looms large for the remaining unrestricted free agents as the number crunching and juggling continues for the Redskins and their NFL-imposed salary cap penalty.
With the re-signing of these players, the organization seems poised to retain as much as financially possible while building upon the youth and drive of a team seeking their first NFL playoff win in seven years.
Perhaps the Redskins have finally blinked in their staring contest with their free agents as many more announcements will be expected in the next 36 hours.