Redskins' Offer to Butler Matched
By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 12, 2004; Page D04
Ccornerback Jerametrius Butler won't be joining the Washington Redskins after the St. Louis Rams matched a six-year, $15 million offer to their restricted free agent.
The Rams -- who had until 11:50 p.m. tonight to match the offer -- informed the Redskins via fax yesterday.
It was a rare loss for the Redskins when it comes to restricted free agents. NFL teams seldom bid on such players, largely because they cost a draft pick if the other team doesn't match. Last year, however, the Redskins made an unprecedented foray into restricted waters to acquire four players, including wide receiver Laveranues Coles and kick returner Chad Morton.
Washington's consolation is that its money under the salary cap rises to roughly $3 million, providing more options in free agency. Also, the Redskins keep the fifth-round pick that the Rams would have received if they had declined to match.
According to a source familiar with the situation, the Redskins want to sign linebacker Micheal Barrow, who was released by the New York Giants on Wednesday because of salary cap reasons. New York hoped to retain Barrow, but only if he would slash his $3.5 million salary. According to a source, Barrow wants at least $2 million a year, which was more than the Redskins could afford before the Butler decision. Starting all 16 games last season behind a poor defensive line, Barrow collected a career-high 177 tackles.
Barrow's fellow linebacker the past four seasons, Brandon Short, was at Redskins Park for a second straight day to wrap up a visit, said a source. Short departed with Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, both of whom played at Penn State. Short would be a reserve strong-side linebaker who contributes on special teams. Last year, Short was essentially a role player for the Giants. Short became expendable when New York signed Philadelphia Eagles free agent Carlos Emmons.
Chicago Bears linebacker Warrick Holdman is scheduled for a Monday visit. And the Redskins have offered a contract to Carolina Panthers linebacker Greg Favors.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company