Charles Leno Jr. has found a new home. The former starting left tackle for the Chicago Bears is heading to the Washington Football Team on a one-year, $5 million deal, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Leno was a salary cap casualty for a Bears, who moved up in the second round to draft versatile tackle Teven Jenkins this year. Now, the plan is to have Jenkins, who played on the right side in college at Oklahoma State, move over to the left to fill Leno’s shoes, which will require a great deal of durability.
A seventh-round selection for the Bears in the 2014 NFL Draft, Leno started 13 or more games for the team at left tackle every year since the 2015 season. Many thought Chicago would release veteran tight end Jimmy Graham over Leno, but that wasn’t the case, and now, Leno begins his first tenure with his second team.
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Leno’s Exit Leaves Questions On Bears’ O-Line
The 29-year-old left tackle played either 99 or 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps over the last five seasons, and while he wasn’t one of the best players on Chicago’s o-line over the last several seasons, he has been a bit underrated. Leno earned a 74.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, which is certainly respectable.
He played 1,066 snaps last year (694 pass block, 372 run block), which was ninth-best at the position, but he also allowed five sacks, seven quarterback hits and 42 quarterback pressures in that span. Arguably the biggest of Leno’s issues was his accumulation of penalties, however. He was flagged 13 times during the 2017 and 2019 seasons, making him one of the most penalized players at his position each time, and he was flagged six times during the 2020 and 2018 seasons, the latter of which he was named a Pro Bowl alternate.
Now, he’ll head to Washington to play for WFT head coach — and former Bears defensive coordinator — Ron Rivera.
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