NFL Free Agency is over a month old, and there are still several veterans out there for many different reasons. When a young center coming off of his rookie contract is still available it raises some red flags. Wisniewski(6'3", 315 lbs) has already visited several teams including the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft. Oakland decided to move on from Wisniewski this offseason, signing Rodney Hudson to a 5 year, $45 million contract.
C Stefen Wisniewski visited the #Redskins last Friday.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 14, 2015
So why is Wisniewski still available? He has started 61 out of 64 games since being drafted, and started a full 16 last season. Oakland was obviously not happy with Wisniewski as their long-term starter, and showed no interest in bringing him back as even a guard, or a reserve. Brad Biggs from the Chicago Tribune reported that Wisniewski played with a torn labrum last year that required offseason surgery. He also reported that Wisniewski is overvaluing himself and asking for a deal in the $4 million a year range.
The Bears were linked to center Stefen Wisniewski at the outset of free agency and he is one of the better remaining players on the market. . . Wisniewski is recovering from shoulder surgery after last season when he played with a torn labrum. The former second-round pick of the Raiders has made visits to the Seahawks and Bucs, and the Rams and Chiefs are also known to be interested. No team has been willing to meet his request of $4 million per season and it could be he winds up on a one- or two-year prove-it contract. At this point, it would be a mistake to rule out the Bears.
Scot McCloughan and the Redskins are not likely to come anywhere near $4 million per year for Wisniewski, if they even have legitimate interest in him. ESPN's John Keim has been reporting for weeks that the Redskins had made no contact with him, and were not planning on it. The coaching staff seemed to be okay with going forward with Kory Lichtensteiger at center, and that still appears to be the plan. If Wisniewski were signed, it would likely not happen until after the draft in two weeks. If the Redskins plan on drafting a center this year to develop as a Lichtensteiger replacement, and miss out on their guy, they could look at Wisniewski again if he's available. Many Redskins fans would love to see him(or any warm body) brought in as a replacement to Lichtensteiger right now, but that doesn't seem likely.
Another factor is Chris Chester's future on the team. Chester served as the team's only backup at center last season, with no other player on the roster having NFL experience at the position. If Chester is mercifully released before the season starts, Wisniewski's value would immediately rise on the team as the backup center. Right now it was just a visit to likely check out what kind of money he is seeking, and check on his recovery. Stay tuned.
[UPDATE: 4/15/15 12:15 pm] John Keim was told the Redskins aren't considered the front runners to sign Wisniewski
Little update on C/G Stefen Wisniewski. Was told the #Redskins "probably" not the front runner for him as of now.obviously things can change— John Keim (@john_keim) April 15, 2015