Washington Redskins  

 

Redskins waste little time brewing furious free-agency storm

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Start with the trade of Donovan McNabb. Add the signing of Barry Cofield. Throw in a host of 30-something receivers: Jabar Gaffney, Donte' Stallworth, Brandon Stokley and Santana Moss. Oh, yeah, there's also Kellen Clemens and the quarterback quandary, plus Josh Wilson at cornerback.

It's hard for even the players to follow the frenzy of news surrounding the Washington Redskins.

"By the time I get to Redskin Park look like I will see a whole new team," defensive end Phillip Daniels said Wednesday on Twitter. "Deals are fast and furious."

Not all of the deals were complete, and some won't be official until Friday afternoon, according to the rules implemented at the end of the NFL lockout, but the Redskins -- like all their competitors -- were moving quickly to reshape their roster.

Near the top of the list was the need to get rid of the distraction duo of McNabb and Albert Haynesworth, whose various tribulations helped drag down the team during coach Mike Shanahan's first season in Washington.

NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi reported that McNabb was traded to the Minnesota Vikings after he agreed to a new contract Wednesday, according to a league source.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and NFL Network reported that the Redskins will receive sixth-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013. McNabb has yet to officially sign his restructured contract, but his desire to be in Minnesota led to the deal.

McNabb's departure closes the book on Shanahan's first major Redskins gaffe. He gave up second- and fourth-round draft picks to acquire McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles last year, but he ended up benching the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback for the final three games of a 6-10 season.

"He was going to come in and really help us win more games, but it didn't work out," Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "Relationships broke down, and now he's not here, but you can't really focus on that. You've got to continue to move forward."

Haynesworth remained on the roster -- at least for the time being -- but the Redskins found a replacement in Cofield, who agreed to a six-year, $36 million contract with $12.5 million guaranteed. Cofield was a steady contributor up front for the New York Giants for five seasons, although he'll have to play nose tackle in Washington's 3-4 scheme.

"He's explosive, he gets off the ball, he's relentless," Alexander said. "Those are the types of things you need in a D-tackle. And you don't really hear too much about him complaining. A lot of the other guys get all the glory, but he's down there doing all the grunt work and that's what you need in a nose tackle."

If Alexander's assessment is true, Cofield will be everything that Haynesworth was not. Signed to a seven-year, $100-million contract in 2009, Haynesworth has little production to show for two turbulent seasons in Washington and was suspended for the last four games of 2010 by Shanahan for insubordination.

The Redskins faced uncertainty at receiver when the lockout ended, and Shanahan's theory seems to be to address it with a swarm of experience in the hopes that something works out.

Moss was first, agreeing to a new deal to remain in Washington. The 32-year-old wideout will sign a three-year, $15 million contract that includes a $5 million signing bonus, keeping a respected veteran in the locker room.

The 30-year-old Stallworth is set to sign a one-year deal. He caught just two passes with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 after sitting out much of the year with a broken foot, and he was suspended for the previous season after pleading guilty to driving under the influence manslaughter. His best season came in 2005, when he caught 70 passes for 945 yards for the New Orleans Saints.


The NFL free agency cycle is in full effect, with teams and players agreeing to terms fast as training camps open. Get the latest on all the news right here.

"It will be fun," Stallworth told Scout.com. "I know Santana Moss, too. It will be a good chance for me to do some things. ... I'm not asking for a handout. I just want to show what I can do."

The Redskins kept adding to the stockpile of receivers by acquiring Gaffney from the Denver Broncos in exchange for defensive end Jeremy Jarmon.

The 30-year-old Gaffney has 375 receptions over nine NFL seasons with the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Broncos. He is coming off the best back-to-back seasons of his career: 54 catches for 732 yards in 2009, and 65 catches for 875 yards last year.

"It shocked me. I didn't have any clue it was going to happen," Gaffney said. "There's going to be a lot of crazy things going on."

Gaffney made unwanted news last year when he provided the gun that teammate Kenny McKinley used to commit suicide. Gaffney said he sold the gun to McKinley legally.

Jarmon, selected by the Redskins in the third round of the 2009 supplemental draft, never found his place after Washington switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme last season.

A sign of how frenzied the day was: News of the Gaffney-Jarmon trade came while Alexander was chatting with reporters.

"Oh, really?" Alexander said. "Jarmon's a good dude. I liked Jarmon. He was a hard worker. Best wishes to him, wherever he landed. Where did he go?"

But the Redskins were far from done. They also agreed to a one-year deal with free agent Stokley. The 35-year-old had 31 catches for 354 yards last season with the Seattle Seahawks.

When all the receivers finally get together for a practice, it will be a battle of old against new for playing time. Second-year pro Anthony Armstrong should again vie for a starting spot, and the Redskins also selected three wideouts -- Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson -- in the April draft.


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Even more intriguing is the Redskins' quarterback situation. ESPN reported that the team has agreed to a one-year deal with Clemens, a backup for the New York Jets for the last five seasons.

The Redskins also are expected to re-sign Rex Grossman, who would compete with John Beck for the starting job. The quarterback threesome of Beck-Grossman-Clemens has combined for just five NFL starts over the last three years. Beck is such an unknown that Gaffney paused when asked about him.

"Uh, I have to get to know a lot more about him," Gaffney said.

The Redskins also were working to sign their 12 draft picks, including first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan. Players report to training camp Thursday, with the first practice Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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