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2016 Free Agency Outlook: Guards, Centers


With free agency set to begin in March,'s Stephen Czarda previews the 2016 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the guards and centers.

With depth at center unclear for the Washington Redskins, could general manager Scot McCloughan find a veteran in free agency worth the right price?

How about someone with a little more experience to bolster their guards group that includes soon-to-be second-year lineman Arie Kouandjio and third-year guard Spencer Long?

As it stands now, Trent Williams is the only center returning from the 53-man roster last season, as Brian de la Puente was released after the regular season and Josh LeRibeus is a pending free agent.

LeRibeus, like Lichtensteiger, started his career playing only guard, but last season offensive line coach Bill Callahan wanted to try the SMU product at center.

He was needed, as Lichtensteiger was injured mid-season and placed on short-term Injured Reserve, missing the second half of the season as the Redskins made their playoff push.

"I love it here," LeRibeus said. "We'll see what happens, but definitely got a lot of experience with Callahan helped a lot and looking forward to what the future holds."

While Brandon Scherff appears set as the team's right guard for hopefully quite a few years to come, the depth behind him and who starts at left guard are unclear.

Shawn Lauvao was lost for the season in Week 3 and has continued to deal with setbacks even as recently as January, while Long was thrust back into starting action after being moved to the second team during training camp.

If the Redskins want to add veterans at both positions, here are the players they could sign starting Wednesday:

--Jeff Adams, Houston Texans
--Jeff Allen, Kansas City Chiefs
--Zane Beadles, Jacksonville Jaguars
--Mackenzy Bernadeau, Dallas Cowboys

A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins guard Chris Chester during the 2014 season.

--Alex Boone, San Francisco 49ers
--Brandon Brooks, Houston Texans
--Chris Chester, Atlanta Falcons
--Willie Colon, New York Jets
--Tyronne Green, Carolina Panthers
--Vladimir Ducasse, Chicago Bears
--Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints
--Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh Steelers
--Michael Harris, Minnesota Vikings
--Richie Incognito, Buffalo Bills
--Ted Larsen, Arizona Cardinals
--Ronald Leary, Dallas Cowboys
--Joe Looney, Tennessee Titans
--Lance Louis, Indianapolis Colts
--Evan Mathis, Denver Broncos
--Jacques McClendon, Miami Dolphins
--Jamon Meredith, Tennessee Titans
--Brandon Mosley, New York Giants
--Kelechi Osemele, Baltimore Ravens
--Austin Pasztor, Cleveland Browns
--Manny Ramirez, Detroit Lions
--Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants
--Amini Silatolu, Carolina Panthers
--Shelley Smith, Miami Dolphins
--J.R. Sweezy, Seattle Seahawks
--Johnnie Troutman, San Diego Chargers
--J'Marcus Webb, Oakland Raiders
--Ryan Wendell, New England Patriots

Incognito rebounded from a bullying incident in 2013 and not playing in 2014 to be a Pro Bowler for the Bills in 2015.

It was his second Pro Bowl appearance as he also earned one while a member of the Miami Dolphins.

Boone went undrafted in 2009, but was signed by McCloughan who was serving as the 49ers' general manager at the time. The Ohio State product has started 59 games over the last four seasons.

Mathis, 34, was added to the Broncos' Super Bowl-winning squad last season and started 12 games.

While he may be on the downside of his career, Mathis is a two-time Pro Bowler who has played for five different teams over the course of his career.

--Tim Barnes, Los Angeles Rams
--Tony Bergstrom, Oakland Raiders
--Gino Gradkowski, Atlanta Falcons
--Lemuel Jeanpierre, Seattle Seahawks
--Ben Jones, Houston Texans
--Doug Legursky, Pittsburgh Steelers
--Josh LeRibeus, Washington Redskins
--Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns
--David Molk, Philadelphia Eagles
--Will Montgomery, Chicago Bears
--Dallas Reynolds, New York Giants
--Lyle Sendlein, Arizona Cardinals
--Fernando Velasco, Carolina Panthers
--J.D. Walton, San Diego Chargers
--Stefen Wisniewski, Jacksonville Jaguars

Mack was released by the Browns last week after seven seasons in Cleveland.

The three-time Pro Bowler was a first-round pick in 2009 and has started all 101 of his appearances in the NFL.

Wisniewski visited with the Redskins last season as a free agent but ultimately signed with the Jaguars.

The 26 year old has 77 starts to his credit.

2016 Free Agency Outlook

--Guard/Centers (3/8)

--Safeties (3/9)




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