The Redskins announced today they have signed linebacker Marcus Washington. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In four seasons in the NFL, Washington has emerged as one of the league's top young linebackers, with a unique combination of size and quickness.
Washington, 6-3 and 247 pounds, comes to the Redskins after spending his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. For his career, Washington has amassed 309 tackles (186 solo), 18 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. He moved to linebacker when he joined the NFL, after playing defensive end in college, and has shown toughness and reliability playing in 63 of a possible 64 regular season games, with 47 starts.
Washington started in all 16 regular season games and three playoff contests last season, finishing fourth on the Colts defense with 97 tackles (56 solo). He recorded six sacks, which was second best on the team and first amongst Indianapolis linebackers. Washington also had a career-high three forced fumbles including two against New England in Week 13. In the 2003 postseason he started all three games for the Colts and logged 16 tackles (9 solo), including a seven-tackle performance against Denver in the AFC Wild Card game.
In 2002, Washington started all 15 games played, missing the only game of his career due to injury. He tallied 78 tackles (42 solo), two sacks and his first career interception. The interception was returned 41 yards for a touchdown and marked Washington's first career score. He had his breakthrough year in 2001, starting all 16 games, and setting career-highs in tackles (119) and sacks (8). His 119 tackles ranked second on the team and his eight sacks were second only to defensive end Chad Bratzke's 8.5.
Washington played in all 16 games during his rookie season (2000) recording 15 tackles and two sacks.
Washington was drafted in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft (59th overall) by Indianapolis from Auburn (1996-99). He was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at defensive end recording 52 tackles, three forced fumbles and one sack during his senior season. As a junior, he posted 49 tackles (33 solo) and four sacks with three tackles for loss.