Redskins sign NT Kemoeatu for 2 years, $6.975M

Free-agent nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu signed a two-year, $6.975
million contract with the Washington Redskins on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 345-pound Kemoeatu spent last season on injured
reserve with the Carolina Panthers after tearing his Achilles’
tendon in training camp.

His agent, Ken Vierra, said in a telephone interview that the
tendon is “structurally sound” and Kemoeatu is able to walk and
jog but not run yet.

“He’s got to really work it from a physical therapy standpoint.
He’s on schedule. He should be ready for training camp, but you
never know,” Vierra said.

Kemoeatu has 291 tackles and four sacks in 107 NFL games,
including 61 starts, with Carolina (2006-09) and Baltimore
(2002-05). The Redskins are expected to shift from a 4-3 alignment
to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, and
Kemoeatu’s presence could allow tackle Albert Haynesworth to move
outside.

The 31-year-old Kemoeatu’s signing represents the latest low-key
move in a relatively quiet free agency period so far for Washington
under new coach Mike Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen.
The Redskins signed offensive lineman Artis Hicks on Saturday.

“It’s a new regime there,” Vierra said. “I think that was
appealing.”

He said the deal includes various bonus provisions, and while it
represents a step down from the free-agent deal Kemoeatu had with
the Panthers, they recognize he is coming off a serious injury.

“This is clearly a move by the Redskins to say, ‘We like you.
We believe you can be a guy for us. So we’re willing to make an
investment and take a risk,”’ Vierra said. “And that says a
lot.”