Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 19-- Cerrato talks draft and Hackett

The Redskins are determined not to overspend for anyone this off-season.. Vinny Cerrato joined us for an interview that will air tomorrow on Comcast and re-air when I fill in for the Riggo crew next week..
Among the topics: DJ Hackett, who Cerrato said the team offered much less then the 2 million he received as part of his 3.5 million dollar two year deal with Carolina.. The Redskins wanted Hackett to prove durability and if so, prepared to pay him following this year a salary more commensurate with that of a full time producer.. Hackett chose to go with the better deal..

It's a strange shift from the Skins off-seasons of the past where if the Redskins wanted a player, they spent in picks and salary to ensure it got done.. I asked Vinny about this philosophy and he said the team isn't holding onto it's 8 mil in cap space for a big splash move for say a Chad Johnson, but that the team is determined not to overpay any longer and hurt their locker room chemsitry..

I also spoke with Joe Gibbs last night at a Urban Youth racing event where he was the keynote speaker.. It's another interview that will air next week during the Riggins hours on Redskins radio.. He described Dan Snyder as an owner who was very wide-eyed when he first arrived for his second go around as head coach, but described Snyder as someone who has matured significantly in terms of the way the team does it's business..
I asked him if the Redskins were to make a deep run in the playoffs next year, how much credit would he deserve for setting up the team or success, "None," he responded..
he feels Jim Zorn's entry as a first time head coach is really no different then when he came as an unheralded offensive coordinator to the Skins back in the early 80's.. That Zorn will learn his way, but in typical Gibbs form, praised Zorn as a good person which is a criteria that will shine through..
Gibbs is obviously focussed on his Nascar teams right now but he said he is preparing to become more involved in an evangelical side as his enters this next portion of his life.. When I asked him how life is now 3 months after leaving the Skins for a second time, he succintly said "Good."
Honestly he looks younger, it seemed very happy and it was nice to see Joe with a smile on his face..

Back to the Skins, Cerrato went to Chris Long's workout at UVA yesterday and said it wasn't overly impressive, however he expects that the defensive end very easily could be the top overall pick in the draft, describing that selection as almost a "no brainer."
As for the Skins draft position, asked how he feels about their spot at 21, Cerrato said that "if we don't pick there, we're more likely to move down then up." Obviously it's early to have any real sense of that, but it was a striking dose of honesty about where the team stands.. They don't mind their spot in the lower third of the first round..

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 13-- No Hackett Today

It appears as if DJ Hackett is going to find out what else is out there for him before signing with a team.. Hackett has rejected the initial offer the Skins have given to him..
The Seahawks receiver only played in 6 games a year ago dealing with a high ankle sprain but had a big game in the Seahawks playoff win over the Skins in January, 6 catches 100+ yards and a touchdown..

Carolina and Tampa Bay are said to be interested and Hackett is expected to visit with them before signing, so I suppose the Redskins aren't out of the picture but unless they increase their offer (a promise they have vowed not to do) then it appears the Skins will continue through the off-season having not signed any free agent rom any other team..

DT Ryan Boschetti was resigned by the team..

The mini-camp and OTA workouts which are closed to the public were released today.. There is a mini-camp in early May following the draft and some OTA dates in June prior to the early start of training camp..

Mark Brunell's playing career will continue in New Orleans where he was signed as the primary back-up to Drew Brees.. Brunell spent much of the past couple of months working out at Redskins Park hoping to stay with the team should Todd Collins leave (he didn't) or latching on to another (he has).
I really liked Brunell, a nice guy who could have done without the weekly media sessions while he was struggling as a Skins starter, but a class act nonetheless.. There was some thought that Brunell could return to jacksonville where ultimately his jersey will be retired, but there is belief from my sources that suggest the Jaguars were interested but didn't want to bring Brunell back because his presence could make starter David Garrard uncomfortable.. Either way, his days as a starter are over, but he remains a viable back-up.. I expect when he retires, he will return to Florida where he still owns a home and work in that community, potentially as someone who might run for public office..

OK men..

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12-- DJ hackett Update

Hey we have a brief Skins update today..

Vinny Cerrato was on Redskins Radio and said WR DJ Hackett would come in for dinner tonight and meetings tomorrow.. The team is hoping to get a deal done with the former Seattle WR in the near future.. He would essentially replace Brandon Lloyd as an outside WR with Antwaan Randle El moving into the slot in 3 WR sets.. In two WR sets, Randle-El would likely remain the starter opposite Santana Moss..

The team has no interest in resigning free agent linebacker Lemar Marshall..

Cerrato described the free agent market as one with “nothing left.” There was a small pool of impact players available, none of which the Redskins actively pursued and so the bulk of free agency went as this team expected, overpayment for the few players worth chasing and little to no major roster overhaul..

The Redskins do have offers out to free agent OL Jason Fabini and P Derrick Frost and are waiting to hear from them their plans.. Cerrato says he believes the offers out “are competitive.”

Lions WR Roy Williams is not “available” per se, but the Skins believe if someone were to overpay drastically, the Lions would listen.. The Skins don’t figure to be among those trying to pry him out of Detroit.. But Philly could be..

The team is hopeful to receive a compensatory 3rd round pick after losing Derrick Dockery to free agency last off-season.. Because Dockery was among the top 5 highest paid free agents last spring, the Skins will receive a compensatory pick, just how high has yet to be determined.. It was a be a boon should the Skins get a third rounder..

OK men..