Redskins Stay Cool About Draft
For Now, Gibbs Says Team Plans to Keep One Pick, the 5th Overall
By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 10, 2004; Page D10
Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday the Washington Redskins will keep their No. 5 overall pick in next month's NFL draft, barring an irresistible offer from another team that would lead them to trade it.
The Redskins will have only one draft pick if the St. Louis Rams don't match a six-year, $15 million offer sheet from the Redskins for defensive back Jerametrius Butler by the end of the week. Because Butler is a restricted free agent, any NFL team that signs him must give up a fifth-round pick.
The Redskins have a first-round pick and fifth-round pick, having already traded their second-, third- and fourth-round choices.
"Right now, you have to figure we're going to make the pick," Gibbs said at Redskins Park. "I think you have to go into it with that idea. You can't sit there and say you're going to trade. . . . Now, if somebody says something to us that makes a lot of sense, then things may change. But depending on what we've evaluated up to that point, if the guy there [at No. 5] is somebody that really excites us, then we'll probably stay and make the pick."
The Redskins are believed to have targeted Miami safety Sean Taylor to fill a hole in the defensive backfield that wasn't resolved via free agency. The club is still looking to sign a free agent pass-rusher and reserve offensive lineman.
The best indication that the Redskins have their eye on Taylor is that the club didn't aggressively pursue the best available safety in free agency, Deon Grant of the Carolina Panthers.
Two other players who appear to be on Washington's draft board are tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. -- Taylor's teammate on the Hurricanes -- and Oklahoma defensive tackle Tommie Harris.
Redskins Notes: Free agent linebacker Greg Favors, formerly of the Panthers, was at Redskins Park for a second straight day and linebacker Brandon Short of the New York Giants is expected to visit today. . . .
Offensive lineman Eric Beverly has declined the Redskins's offer, and instead signed with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, according to a source familiar with the situation. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Beverly, who plays guard and center, visited the Redskins on Friday. The Redskins made an offer Monday while Beverly was visiting the Falcons. Beverly played last season with the Detroit Lions. The Redskins re-signed guard-center Lennie Friedman last week. Center Larry Moore is still on the roster, but the club can save $1.3 million in cap space by releasing him. . .
Yesterday, the Redskins announced the signing of punter Tom Tupa, who received a four-year deal worth $3.7 million, including a $675,000 signing bonus.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company