Washington on Friday signed a new player that has previously started at center, but it was not free agent Brian de la Puente, who’s been the Saints’ first-stringer at the position since 2011.
Mike McGlynn — who was a free agent after starting 11 games at right guard and three games at center for Indianapolis in 2013 — agreed to a deal with Washington on Friday afternoon, the team announced via Twitter. He had previously visited Washington, which de la Puente had also done.
It remains to be seen whether the news is any indicator that Washington might no longer be a landing spot for de la Puente, as at least one writer there — ESPN’s John Keim — believes McGlynn constitutes more of a depth signing than the acquisition of a starter.
During the annual NFL owners meeting in Orlando earlier this week, Saints coach Sean Payton said the Saints were still interested in re-signing de la Puente, though second-year offensive lineman Tim Lelito would be given the chance to win the starting job at center this preseason.
Separate from that, a league source confirmed the Saints’ continued interest in de la Puente to The Advocate during the owners meeting.
De la Puente started 44 games during the Saints’ last three seasons. He made a base salary of $2.02 million in 2013 while flanked by Pro Bowl guards Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans.
Under him on the Saints’ depth chart was Lelito, who started in place of an injured Evans in two games last season.
At the end of 2013, de la Puente told reporters he wanted to return to New Orleans.
“I really like this team — I like the guys, I like the locker room, I like the coaches, the front office,” he said. “I think that’s big in this business.”
The Saints have reportedly been far from alone in coveting de la Puente, however. Aside from New Orleans and Washington (which cut its starting center Will Montgomery), the Giants, Broncos and Patriots have previously been reported as possibilities for de la Puente.
It’s worth noting that Tom Curran, who covers the Patriots for Comcast SportsNet New England, reported on Friday that the Pats re-signed Ryan Wendell, who’s been their starting center.