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Redskins Sign C Rabach

The Redskins completed the signing of offensive lineman Casey Rabach on Thursday morning. Rabach, a fifth-year player who has played mostly center in his career, is the first unrestricted free agent from another team to sign with the Redskins this offseason.

Rabach was at Redskins Park all day on Wednesday, but did not officially sign his contract until Thursday morning.

Rabach, 27, started 15 games at center and one at left guard for the Ravens last year. The 6-1, 305-pounder paved the way for Jamal Lewis's third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season and helped the Ravens' offense compile more than 2,000 rushing yards on the season.

The Ravens are believed to be committed to Mike Flynn as their center of the future. Due to injuries, Flynn played right guard last season while Rabach manned the center position. With Flynn shifting back to center, Rabach didn't want to go back to the bench. That's why he was eager to test the free agent marketplace this week.

The Redskins targeted an upgrade of the interior offensive line in free agency--and Rabach certainly fits that bill. Veteran center Cory Raymer started 14 games last season and was backed up by Lennie Friedman. Raymer is 32 years old, though, and the team is seeking to get younger at the position. Raymer, incidentally, also played his collegiate ball at Wisconsin.

In 2003, Rabach played 14 games with two starts and also saw action in the postseason. He saw his first NFL action in 2002, when he played in 12 games with five starts, four at left guard and one at center.

Rabach was a third-round pick (92nd overall) by the Ravens in the 2001 NFL Draft.

An All-American lineman at Wisconsin, Rabach started 48 games for the Badgers and was one of 11 first-team All-Big 10 Conference offensive linemen. The Badgers averaged 218 rushing yards per game during his career.

Rabach holds the rare distinction of garnering All-Big 10 Conference first-team honors at two different positions: center in 1999 and guard in 2000.

The signing would come at a great time for Rabach: his wife Nicole is expecting the couple's first child in four weeks. Rabach hails from Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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