After being one pick away from Mr. Irrelevant, West Virginia defensive tackle Chris Neild is doing his best to make his career be anything but irrelevant in Washington. The team and fans are on board with him, now he’s ready to step up.
2013 Season Recap: Battling injuries since his draft season, Neild got back on the field last season for limited action. He made six tackles and recorded no sacks in eight games for the Redskins. He had two games with multiple tackles, posting two in a loss against Detroit and two in a loss to Kansas City.
Contract: Neild is in the final season of his contract and will make $645,000 this season before becoming a free agent.
Summer OTA Outlook: After returning from injury last season after missing the entire second year of his career, Neild was just battling for a spot on the roster. This summer, he’ll be battling for playing time. He put together a rookie season which brought him 10 tackles and 2.0 sacks, 1.5 coming in a game against the New York Giants. This summer, with nose guard Barry Cofield out of OTAs after hernia surgery, Nield is hoping to step up. ESPN.com writer John Kleim reported that Neild was taking a good amount of the first team reps in Cofield’s absence. Kleim also said that there are eight defensive lineman fighting for six or seven spots so the fact that Neild is taking first-team reps is a good sign.
2014 Season Outlook: When healthy, Neild has proven that he can be a disruptive force in the middle for Washington. No signs have shown that the Redskins are looking to get rid of him or they would have after he tore his ACL two seasons ago. Neild should continue to be a solid compliment to Cofield as a plug in the Redskins defensive line. You can’t argue with a 6-foot-2, 325-pound frame.