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BillyCarpenter1 07-31-2003 12:43 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
Minus Wilkinson, Redskins Thrown Off-Line
Options Include Shuffling of Players, Possible Trades, Free Agent Pickups

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 2003; Page D01

The Washington Redskins were sorting through their options yesterday to fill the hole in their defensive line left when they released tackle Dan Wilkinson on Tuesday. Club officials were contemplating possible trades and free agent additions while the coaching staff was considering the possibility of moving Renaldo Wynn from end to tackle.

First, though, the Redskins were studying what they saw on the practice field at Redskins Park, with Jermaine Haley plugged into their starting defensive line in place of Wilkinson.

"We hate to lose Dan Wilkinson," first-year defensive coordinator George Edwards said. "Dan was good for our defense schematically in what we're trying to get done. But that's over with now. We've got to move on and get the most out of whoever we've got in there. We're pleased with the guys that we have. They're here. They're working their butts off. That's our job, to get them lined up and get the most out of them."

The Redskins probably will attempt to make a trade before the season but had not made any solid offers as of yesterday, sources said. The New Orleans Saints' Grady Jackson, the Chicago Bears' Keith Traylor and Ted Washington and the Detroit Lions' Shaun Rogers are among the players around the league who might be available in a trade, according to a front-office executive for one team. The Bears have told other clubs they intend to keep Traylor and Washington, but some executives think one of the two could be released before the season. The Redskins plan to study the waiver wire closely to see if a player cut by another team could help them.

Redskins officials left open the possibility of re-signing Wilkinson, who had been contacted by more than a half-dozen teams by yesterday afternoon. A reunion seems unlikely, but agent Brig Owens said he and Wilkinson weren't ruling it out.

"You never say never," Owens said. "We've had a number of teams call and express interest in Dan. We'll see what's the best situation and fit for him. He likes it here in Washington. It's where he wants to make his home, so you never close the door."

The Redskins have lost both starting tackles from a defense that ranked fifth in the NFL last season under former coordinator Marvin Lewis, now the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Daryl Gardener signed with the Denver Broncos as an unrestricted free agent. The Redskins signed Brandon Noble to start alongside Wilkinson and acquired Haley, a restricted free agent from the Miami Dolphins, to be their primary backup.

Those plans changed when Wilkinson rejected an offer by the Redskins for a restructured contract that would have reduced his salary from $3.5 million to $2 million. A unit that already was the defense's biggest question mark now is surrounded by even more uncertainty.

"Guys are anxious to get in there and get an opportunity to show what they can do," Wynn said.

For now, the starting defensive line consists of Wynn at left end, Noble and Haley at tackle and free agent newcomer Regan Upshaw at right end, where he is slated to share playing time with Bruce Smith. The coaches are looking at two NFL veterans who have played mostly at end -- Peppi Zellner and Bernard Holsey -- as prospective tackles. Greg Scott, who played end as a rookie for the Redskins last season, also is being studied at tackle along with fellow youngsters Bernard Jackson and Delbert Cowsette.

The fallback plan could be shifting Wynn to tackle and using Upshaw and Smith as the starting ends. Wynn got regular playing time at tackle while with the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing with the Redskins. Last season, Lewis would shift Wynn from end to tackle in pass-rushing situations, while linebacker LaVar Arrington took over at left end to chase quarterbacks.

"That's a good possibility," Wynn said of becoming a full-time tackle. "I'm not opposed to doing that. It's not something that I haven't done. I'm definitely open for it."

Said Edwards: "We've definitely explored that possibility. We're going to have to see what the guys we have here can do and how everything works out, and we'll go from there."

Cornerback Fred Smoot, for one, seems unconcerned about the maneuverings up front.

"We were ranked, what, fifth last year?" Smoot said. "We're going to go for number one this year."

Staff writer Leonard Shapiro contributed to this report.

coastalkid 07-31-2003 01:26 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
They give us Bailey or Smoot and we\'ll be just too happy to hand over Grady. Pound for pound they need to send us both Smoot and Bailey for Grady. I like that even better.

LordOfEntropy 07-31-2003 01:32 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.

coastalkid 07-31-2003 01:42 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
I hear ya brother...I\'m a Smoot fan too!
But you and I both know that it will NEVER happen. Not for a Gravy anyway!

LordOfEntropy 07-31-2003 02:16 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
Do you remember during the draft we were trying to set up a trade for SMOOT using Smitty\'s dog and a six-pack?

coastalkid 07-31-2003 02:23 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
Yea the dog drank the six pack and got run over by a truck thus the end of the trade.

WhoDat 07-31-2003 02:27 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
I knew what you were referring to the moment I saw the SMOOT SMOOT SMOOT post LOE! LMAO...

Somehow though I just don\'t think that the Skins will give us Smoot for Gravy Jackson.

roughneck 07-31-2003 05:09 PM

Grady to Redskins and Big Daddy to N.O.
We could give them Gravy and Aaron.... But that is a whole other can of worms.

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