- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Duke Ihenacho, a strong safety who played in only three games last season before breaking a bone in his left foot, has signed a new contract with the Washington Redskins, the team announced Wednesday.

Ihenacho, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Denver Broncos during the first week of the season. He played just four snaps on defense, all in the Week 2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, before leaving a road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with the injury.

As an exclusive rights free agent, a rare category that exists for undrafted players who have not yet reached three years of service in the NFL, Ihenacho’s options were to sign the Redskins‘ contract offer, if he received one, or to retire. With only one full season of service — he played in two games in 2012, then in 15 games in 2013 — Ihenacho would be scheduled to make a non-guaranteed minimum of $510,000.

The Redskins currently have only two safeties, Phillip Thomas and Akeem Davis, under contract for next season. Brandon Meriweather, the starting strong safety, is set to become a free agent, while Ryan Clark, the starting free safety, announced two weeks ago he will retire. Trenton Robinson, who played in all but one game for the Redskins last season, primarily on special teams, is a restricted free agent.

The free agent signing period will begin Tuesday afternoon. The Redskins are expected to have approximately $25 million available to sign players.

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