With reports out of Buffalo that the Bills are looking to trade former starting guard Kraig Urbik before they have to finalize their roster today, the Redskins should be on their phones trying to acquire the Buffalo interior lineman. Urbik has fallen out of favor with the Bills coaching staff and has lost his starting job in Buffalo. The Bills are now rumored to be interested in trading Urbik rather than keeping him as a back-up for about $3 million. It’s unclear what the Bills would be looking for in return, but it’s likely no more than a 6th rounder. If that price is what the Bills are targeting, the Redskins should definitely look to get involved, as Urbik is a guy who would definitely be an upgrade to the Redskins weak interior line. Here are 6 reasons why the Redskins should be interested in Urbik:
-Assuming that Maurice Hurt is cut today, the Redskins four back-up offensive linemen (Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Morgan Moses and Spencer Long), don’t have a single regular season start between them. In fact combined they have roughly one game’s worth of NFL snaps. Urbik has 42 games started from 2011-2013 and 3,000 offensive snaps in that time. Even if Urbik can’t crack the starting line-up early in the season (due to lack of familiarity in the offense), he brings value with his experience
-Urbik was a former 3rd round pick who failed in Pittsburgh and was selected off of waivers by the Bills. He got a couple spot starts late in the 2010 football season and became a starter the next year. After a strong 2012 campaign the Bills awarded him with a contract extension. Despite a change in offense and blocking for a young mobile QB, Urbik continued playing at a solid level last season. Urbik is considered to be a much better pass blocker than a run blocker, but has held his own as a run blocker for the most part. Urbik could fit in well for the Redskins as they are desperate to find interior linemen who can anchor in pass protection and give RGIII a clean pocket. Any deficiencies in Urbik’s run blocking game could be made up with the Redskins zone scheme.
-Urbik will turn 29 at the start of the season and should reasonably be able to play out his contract at a decent level of play.
-Urbik is signed through 2016, meaning the Redskins would have 3 years of team control if they were able to trade for him. Urbik is signed to a relatively cheap deal, considering his solid play and age. He’s due just $2.275 million this year and would have cap hits of $2.975 and $3.3 million over the next two seasons (note: that is less money each season than Lichtensteiger). Even if for some reason Urbik couldn’t start for the Redskins those aren’t unreasonable salaries for a quality back-up. It’s also a low risk move for the Redskins because, Urbik’s future cap hits aren’t won’t come with any guaranteed money so if he doesn’t workout they can cut him at any time.
-Though Urbik has primarily played and started at right guard during his time in the NFL, he has 6 career starts at center. Urbik has also been used at center in this preseason so he’s fresh at the position as well. Not only can he be seen as an option to replace Chris Chester from the starting line-up, but he could be an option to replace Kory Lichtensteiger as well. The Redskins have potential in house options for RG in Josh LeRibeus and Spencer Long (though neither looks to be ready right now), but the only guy on their roster who could play center behind Lichtensteiger is Chester who has very limited experience there.
-Though one of the reasons why Urbik possibly fell out of favor in Buffalo was his “lack of size”, his 6’5″ 325 frame would make him the biggest guard or center currently on the Redskins roster (according to their listed weights). Given how the Redskins line continues to get pushed around, adding some extra size would help. Urbik is also not so big that he could be a liability in the Redskins zone scheme.