Left tackle Chris Samuels became another of the Redskins' long-term building blocks on Wednesday morning. The Redskins have reached a multi-year contract extension with the 6-5, 300-pound offensive lineman, the team announced.
The seven-year deal was significant for several reasons: not only did it ink Samuels, a two-time Pro Bowler, but it also was was expected to help open up room under the Redskins' salary cap. That would allow the team to re-sign players and free agents.
In his five NFL seasons, Samuels has established himself as one of the premiere left tackles in the league. He has missed only four games during his Redskins' career and has started every game in which he has played.
Samuels was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he battled through several injuries and was named a third alternate to the Pro Bowl.
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2000 draft, Samuels continues to show leadership on and off the field. Head coach Joe Gibbs has identified Samuels as one of the team's "core Redskins," or players he hopes to build around in the long term.
In 2002, Samuels was voted by his teammates and coaches as the Ed Block Courage Award recipient, annually given to a player from each NFL team who exemplifies commitment to overcoming injuries, sportsmanship and courage.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Samuels played his college ball at Alabama and as a senior won the Outland Trophy as the nation's best offensive lineman.