One of the remaining holes along the Washington Redskins’ offensive line is at the right tackle position, where Jammal Brown is due to become an unrestricted free agent and Stephon Heyer’s status remains even more uncertain.
Heyer, a fourth-year veteran, is waiting for the agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, which will determine whether he is a restricted free agent (whichou would give Washington the right to match any offer he receives from another team or receive compensation in exchange for his departure), or an unrestricted free agent who is permitted to sign wherever he wants.
“It’s been pretty weird,” Heyer says. “It’s like that time between college and the NFL and [I] don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Redskins signed Heyer as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland in 2007. He has started 33 of the 49 games he has played in, including all 16 in 2009. Last season, Heyer played in 15 games, starting five, and split time between right and left tackle. He made one appearance at right guard.
“But you can’t really think about it,” Heyer says. “It’s out of our control, so all you can do is keep working, and trying to stay ready.”
Heyer said he has spent the offseason training in the Miami area with a group of NFL players from various teams. He didn’t attend any of the five days of group workouts that Redskins’ players held in April and May, and doesn’t plan on attending next week’s session, which is scheduled for June 14-16.
“I’m not affiliated with any team, so my agent felt like it doesn’t make sense for me to attend workouts with the Redskins or some other team’s set group of players until we know what’s going on with the lockout and everything,” Heyer says.
Heyer, would however, be interested in re-signing with Washington if Mike Shanahan & Co. wanted him back.
“It’d be nice to come back and stay in Washington,” he said. “I noticed they didn’t pick up anybody [at tackle] in the draft. So, if they want me back and wanted me to fill that right tackle job, I would have no problem taking it.”
Heyer did well in run blocking situations last season, but struggled in pass protection at times. After playing at about 332 pounds last season, Heyer said he has dropped “between 10 and 12 pounds,” in an effort to improve his mobility and quickness.
“Being lighter I feel like I’ll be able to move better,” Heyer says. “I’ll still maintain my strength, but staying trim should help me.”