By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
A person familiar with the contract said Riley's deal is worth about $13 million over three years, including approximately $4.25 million in guaranteed money.
Riley's return gives the Redskins a measure of stability in the heart of their defense as they transition to new coach Jay Gruden after a 3-13 season. With longtime captain London Fletcher planning to retire, Washington faced the daunting task of replacing both inside linebackers in its 3-4 defense had Riley signed elsewhere.
Riley, a 2010 fourth-round pick who has started 40 consecutive games, became the third Redskins defensive player to re-sign rather than test unrestricted free agency. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive lineman Chris Baker also have new deals, and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo is all but certain to return after receiving the franchise player tag last week. Gruden also opted to retain defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
Those deals were expected to be a precursor to a busy free agency period for the Redskins, who are rebuilding a last-place team and have plenty of money to spend now that their two-year, $36-million salary cap penalty has expired. That sanction was imposed by the NFL because of the way the team restructured contracts during the 2010 uncapped season.
The Redskins still need a pair of starting safeties, as well as a linebacker to replace Fletcher. They could also use a starting cornerback, defensive lineman, right tackle and receiver. Among their targets have been Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell and Arizona Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts, based on negotiations with agents that began officially on Saturday. Any deals with free agents from other teams couldn't be signed until the formal start of the new league year at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
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