Linebacker Nick Barnett signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins on Thursday.
Barnett fills a void created when Keenan Robinson was sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle. Robinson is expected to miss the entire 2013 season, but hasn't been placed on injured reserve.
Barnett has 139 career starters with the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills. He spent the past two seasons in Buffalo, but was released in February. Barnett was brought in for a workout after Joe Mays visited with the Redskins but chose to sign with the Houston Texans.
The Redskins' staff is familiar with Barnett, who played for linebackers coach Bob Slowik when both were in Green Bay.
"Hopefully, my goal is to get on the field somehow and some way," said Barnett. "So with this team up and coming the way that they played last year, I wanted to be a part of a successful team. It was a couple of teams I talked to earlier in this free agency, but just not the right fit. I don't want no more 6-10 seasons. I want to go to a winning team."
Barnett, 32, said he has knee surgery after last season. He didn't have any torn ligaments, but had "some good stuff done to it" in an attempt to get as healthy as possible with the goal to play a few more years. He said he's still getting into football shape, but has no medical stipulations as to when he can return to the field.
A starter throughout his career, Barnett will initially vie for a roster spot and playing time in the linebacker rotation.
"I'm here to help any way that I can, whether it's a starter or whether it's coming off the bench and playing," he said. "I think you can be effective and a good player - you don't have to start games to be that. full head of I've always thought that - even though I've started every game that I've played - I've always thought that you can come off of the bench and be just as big an impact as well. So whatever happens, I'm going into this game to try to get on the field and start."
Barnett said he started to receive more calls from teams in recent weeks, but the Redskins were a good fit with the familiarity he had with Slowik and the team's system.
"What you do is look at a lot of film and you do your homework on him. Find out what he's done and all the places where he's been and see if he fits into your program," coach Mike Shanahan said after Tuesday's workout.
"We have a couple coaches that know him well and that's one of the reasons why we brought him in."
The Redskins weren't forced to make a roster move. Running back Tristan Davis told Shanahan "his heart wasn't in football" and plans to retire.