The deal will pay Chimera $1.8 million next season and $1.7 million in 2013-14.
Chimera, 32, had 10 goals, 16 assists and 64 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Capitals last season. He also scored two game-winning goals in the first round playoff series against the New York Rangers.
"He's an older guy, but the one thing that's never going to give out on him is his skating, which is becoming so paramount in this game," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He knows how to play. He's a big strong guy. He's an emotional guy. He's good in our locker room, and we do think he's got the potential to get between 15 and 20 goals. And he seemed to score the big goal at the big time for us."
Chimera has also played for Edmonton and Columbus in an NHL career that began in 2000. Washington acquired him from the Blue Jackets for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina in a midseason trade in December 2009.
"For me it was a no-brainer," Chimera said. "It was nice that they showed some confidence in me. It's nice to get something done before the season, that's for sure. No matter what, it weighs on your mind if you're coming into a contract season."