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.”