Just seven months after the Chicago Bears cut tackle Charles Leno Jr., the veteran left tackle has agreed to terms on a three-year, $37.5 million extension with the Washington Football Team, per NFL Media's Mike Garafolo. The 30-year-old veteran has earned the No. 3 pass-blocking grade (86.5) among tackles so far in 2021.
Leno ranks 20th in PFF wins-above-replacement so far in 2021. He was a seventh-round pick of the Bears in 2014 and signed a four-year contract extension in 2017. Chicago cut Leno several months into free agency in early May of 2020. Less than 10 days later, he signed a one-year, $5 million contract with Washington.
Leno has had a 70.0 or better pass blocking grade in every season since 2016 and played over 900 snaps in seven seasons straight. Leno ranked 35th on PFF's top-75 free agents list and now has agreed to terms with Washington on a three-year deal averaging $12.5 million per year. Prior to this move, Washington was projected to be fourth in 2022 cap space with $61.75 million, according to Over the Cap. Washington had a veteran tackle cap casualty of their own last offseason in Morgan Moses, who is now a member of the New York Jets.
Washington replaced Moses with second-round draft pick Sam Cosmi out of Texas, who has earned a 76.1 overall grade and 86.2 run-blocking grade over eight starts in his rookie year. Washington may now be set at both tackle spots for the next three years at just $14.15 million per year, less than 18 tackles make per year alone.
The Football Team has their offensive line playing at a high level, with the unit ranking fifth overall in pass-blocking grade 78.4 and eighth overall in run-blocking grade at 79.8. They can now turn their attention to landing their franchise quarterback, whether that be via trade as we discussed here or via the NFL Draft, which has five quarterback prospects in the top-40 players on the 2022 PFF NFL Draft Big Board.