The Washington Football Team agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension Wednesday with Charles Leno — locking down its veteran left tackle, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The extension comes during a stellar year for Leno, whose arrival this season arguably turned out to be Washington‘s best addition from the offseason. Washington signed Leno, a 2014 seventh-round pick, to a one-year, $4 million deal after the Chicago Bears released him in May. Leno has appeared in every game this season amid a year in which the team has seen a lot of injuries along the offensive line.
The NFL Network first reported the deal.
Washington‘s offensive line has ranked as one of the best units in football this year, according to ESPN and Pro Football Focus. The unit ranks first in ESPN’s run-block win rate and ninth in the network’s pass-block win rate metrics. Leno has anchored the left side of the line and provided stability to a position that was inconsistent in 2020.
“He’s progressed very well within our scheme,” Rivera said of Leno in November. “He’s a guy that works at it. He’s got a little bit of that leadership ability, but it’s like he really doesn’t want to take the mantles. You can see with the way he practices, the way he
works with his teammates. … There really hasn’t been a lot of mention of him, so that’s a good thing. That’s a really good thing.”
After trading Trent Williams in 2020, Washington tried to address the left tackle position in a number of ways. It drafted LSU’s Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round — only for the lineman to kick inside to play guard before he suffered a season-ending injury. Geron Christian started the year at tackle, though was benched for veteran Cornelius Lucas after a handful of games. The situation got so dire that Morgan Moses — the team’s longtime right tackle — filled in temporarily while Lucas missed two games because of an ankle injury.
This past offseason, the team drafted Sam Cosmi of the Texas Longhorns to be its potential left tackle — though the team signed Leno once he was released. Leno played seven seasons for the Bears, starting 94 games and making one Pro Bowl — in 2018. Leno signed with Washington the day before his second daughter was born.
With a projected annual salary of $12.5 million, Leno’s contract would make him the NFL‘s 16th highest-paid left tackle.
Since arriving to Washington, Leno has also been active in the community — winning the NFLPA’s Week 17 Community MVP for hosting “Leno Claus”, a 25-day event in which Leno gave thousands of dollars and gifts to charities and local families in Washington, Chicago and his hometown of Oakland.