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Brown's Decision Is Expected Today

By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 24, 2005; Page D03

After visiting his fourth NFL team Tuesday, defensive end Courtney Brown is expected to inform his suitors -- including the Washington Redskins -- of his choice today, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Coach Joe Gibbs has publicly played down Washington's chances of acquiring Brown, despite a courtship that started when the Cleveland Browns released him March 14 for not accepting a substantial pay cut.


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"One good thing about recruiting and free agency, sooner or later they wear out," Gibbs said yesterday at the NFL owners' meetings in Hawaii. "I'm going to be part of the wear-out process because I'm going to call them in the morning and I'm going to call them at night. Sooner or later, they're going to say, 'Okay. I give. We're not coming or I'm coming.' "

Last weekend, Brown was expected to decide between Denver and Washington. After Brown's visits last week, both teams made offers with incentives tied to his health. Brown -- who has missed 33 games in five seasons -- then decided to keep scheduled visits to the Jacksonville Jaguars (Monday) and Seattle Seahawks (Tuesday).

"He's going to a lot of places," Gibbs said.

The Jaguars are roughly $13 million under the salary cap. The Seahawks are about $10 million under. Denver (about $3million) and Washington (about $2 million) have much less room. But according to a source familiar with the situation, Seattle didn't make an offer after Brown's visit. Sources say Jacksonville has made him an offer.

According to a source, the Redskins and Broncos remain the front-runners, and both teams have called him repeatedly over the past two days. The Broncos also have publicly expressed confidence about obtaining Brown.

"There's a lot of competition for him," Gibbs said Tuesday. "We're not confident we're going to get him, but we want him."

Brown -- the former top overall pick in the 2000 draft -- is close to Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, a teammate at Penn State. And the Redskins recently signed Brown's cousin, reserve safety Pierson Prioleau. The Broncos have Brown's former defensive line coach, Andre Patterson.

Although Denver scheduled the first visit for March 15, the Redskins preempted the trip by sending Gibbs and defensive coordinator Greg Blache to Cleveland the night before for dinner with Brown and his wife. Brown visited Redskins Park on March 17.

Redskins Note: Larry Michael, the radio voice of the Redskins on WJFK-FM, has left his position with Westwood One to work for the Redskins. According to Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson, Michael has been hired by owner Daniel Snyder to be executive producer for all broadcast properties.

Staff writer Leonard Shapiro contributed to this report from Kapalua, Hawaii.


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