The Washington Redskins signed defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis to a three- year contract extension Thursday, ensuring that the strength of their defense will stay intact for at least the next several years.
A source told ESPN that the extension, which will prevent Ioannidis from hitting the free-agent market after the 2019 season, is worth up to $21.75 million.
The deal came together over the past two weeks and sped to a conclusion the past two days. There had been no negotiations prior to the owners meetings in late March.
Ioannidis, a fifth-round pick in 2015 who was cut after his first training camp, has worked his way into being a solid starter for Washington, alongside Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. Ioannidis excels when those players draw double-teams, leaving him with one-on-one matchups.
Ioannidis recorded a career-high 7.5 sacks last season and now has 12 for his career.
By signing Ioannidis, the Redskins will have the core of their defensive line intact for at least the next two seasons and likely more, provided they pick up Allen's fifth-year option in 2021.
The Redskins consider their line the strength of the defense and likely the team. Tim Settle, a fifth-round pick last year, played a key reserve role in the final six weeks of 2018 and will be expected to do the same this season.