The Redskins’ signing of free agent center Kevin Matthews appears to be more about providing some training camp depth and competition than it is about adding someone who the team expects to play a key role during the season.
Matthews will slide into the depth chart as Will Montgomery’s backup ahead of undrafted free agent Tevila Stevens. On some teams that might be considered to be a spot that carries an inside track to a roster spot. But the Redskins didn’t carry a backup center on the roster last year.
The depth at the position didn’t get tested much as Montgomery missed just six of the teams 1,118 offensive snaps last year. When he couldn’t quite finish the game in Cleveland with a knee sprain, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger slid over to center and Maurice Hurt went into Lichtensteiger’s spot.
It would behoove Matthews to become adept at playing both guard and center. Josh LeRibeus knows how to play center and Maurice Hurt filled in at right tackle when starter Tyler Polumbus missed a game.
As of right now, it appears that Matthews will have a difficult time making the 53-man roster. He would have to put on a tremendous showing in training camp to get persuade the team to cut loose Adam Gettis or LeRibeus, two players they drafted just a year ago. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to keep three interior line backups.
But Matthews will have an opportunity to show what he can do. You never know how things could turn out with injuries and other factors. We will keep an eye on him to see how things are going.