Redskins sign LB Nick Barnett
The Washington Redskins have signed ILB Nick Barnett to back up London Fletcher and Perry Riley, replacing Keenan Robinson, who is out for the season after suffering his second torn pectoral muscle in less than one calendar year.
Barnett, 32, is an experienced 3-4 inside linebacker who is well suited in many ways to the Redskins defense. He led the Buffalo Bills in tackles last season, but has received little notice on the free agent market, probably because he’s been recovering from an undisclosed injury. However, the Redskins must have worked Barnett out and satisfied themselves that he is healthy and in football shape — or soon will be.
Barnett had a solid season most of the time last year before fading down the stretch, perhaps due to injury. He was absolutely destroyed by the New England Patriots in two games, as Tom Brady easily took advantage of Barnett’s weakness in pass coverage. However, Barnett played very well in games against the Jets, Kansas City, Cleveland and Indianapolis. At this point in his career he is probably best suited to the backup role, which is hopefully what he will do in Washington.
Barnett was a late first round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2003, where he played until a miserabaly injury-plagued 2010 season in which he played only four games. In 2011 the Buffalo Bills signed him and he played the next two years there, leading their defense in tackles and intercepting five passes. He became a free agent after the end of the 2012 season and bounced around the free agent market until catching on with Washington today.