I've made no secret of the fact that I believe the Redskins need a major overhaul along their offensive line. I've already looked to bring in Marshall Yanda to fill one guard role and still am looking to bring in a RT, but I don't think those two moves alone will bring back the Hogs.
In addition I'd like to see the Redskins add another interior lineman who can hopefully take over a starting guard/center role for the Redskins. I know there are a lot of fans of Will Montgomery and Kory Lichtensteiger out there (Mike Shanahan being one of the biggest) but neither one really looks to be a short or long term answer for the Redskins. Montgomery was actually pretty decent at times, and very well could have been our most productive lineman last year (not exactly setting a high-water mark). Overall though Montgomery is more of a journey-man offensive lineman, and shouldn't just be given a starting role.
As for Lichtensteiger, I realize there is perception that he got better as the year went on, but there really isn't a lot of evidence to back that up. Lichtensteiger had a couple good games when matched up against weak opponents, but in general he was pretty bad. And the whole 'getting' better argument goes out the window when you look at the Dallas game. A game where Lichtensteiger helped sack Rex Grossman, in one of the worst plays you will ever see by an offensive lineman. Although there is nothing wrong with keeping him around as a backup, the fact that the Redskins are willing to hand him a starting role should worry fans and Grossman alike.
I think it is pretty clear that the Redskins should look to add a 3rd lineman this offseason, which will then force Montgomery and Lichtensteiger (likely Monty being the victor) to battle it out for the 5th and final starting job. Whether it be guard or center the Redskins, can have a quality line if they are the 'weakest link', but if they are both apart of the starting lineup than it will likely be another long year for Redskins QB's and RB's.
Center Lyle Sendlein: Sendlein (27) has quietly become the Cardinals best offensive linemen and a quality center in this league. He has been extremely durable, missing just a single play in the last 3 years, since being implemented as a full time starter. He still has some weakness as a run blocker, but he has improved in that area. He'll be one of the more costly options out there with a contract ranging from $5-6 million a year over 5-7 years, but he'd be a nice young piece to add to the Skins line.
Center Samson Satele: Satele (26) has improved greatly these last two years in Oakland after a disastrous start to his career in Miami. Satele has some experience running a ZBS scheme as Oakland has used a variant in the past. And our assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan, had the same role in Oakland for the past two seasons, meaning he is quite familiar with Satele. Satele isn't going to come in and be a great center, but he has some upside and will be a nice upgrade over what we have had. He will probably look for a salary in the $4 million a year average for at least 4 years.
Guard Mike Brisiel: Brisiel (28) would likely be one of the top guards on the market if he had been more healthy these past two seasons. As it stands though if he checks out medically the Redskins could get a bit of a steal. Brisiel has developed into a very good Zone Blocking guard and as a Texan he knows both the system and Kyle Shanahan. While Brisiel's injuries are a concern, it also will make his price more affordable and likely mean less guaranteed money. Before I set his price at $5 million a year, but it will probably end up being more like $4-4.5 million. (*Note there is some question as to whether Brisiel has 4 accrued seasons, but the Houston Press is treating him as an impending UFA so for this exercise that is good enough for me.)
Guard/Center David Baas: Baas (29) has shown good versatility in his career and was a good reserve lineman, before becoming a full-time starter these past two years. Baas isn't exceptional in any one area, but he is solid across the board and gives opposing defenders fits with his relentless style. He also has a previous relationship with the Redskins staff as offensive line coach Chris Foerster was his offensive line coach in San Francisco for the two years prior to joining Washington last season. He should be another player looking for a contract in that $4 million a year for 4 year range.
From a talent standpoint alone Brisiel would be my top choice, given both his ability and knowledge of the system, but the injury concerns could be a risk. Sendlein would be the next choice as I believe the Redskins could stick him at center and be pretty well set there for the next 4-6 years. Satele has the upside, while Baas is more of the steady veteran. In the end though the Redskins probably can't make a bad choice as any of the 4 would be an upgrade to what they currently have.
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.