Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Chad Morton , the Washington Redskins' kick returner who missed much of last season because of knee surgery, was examined by a specialist over the weekend but still has not been cleared to return to the field.
Morton went to Miami to see John Uribe , who performed the surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament, hoping to be allowed to join his teammates for the team's upcoming 14 official organized team activities.
Bubba Tyer , the Redskins' director of sports medicine, said through a team spokesman that Morton will continue his rehabilitation program and is making progress. The Redskins signed Morton, 28, to a five-year, $7.8 million contract as a restricted free agent in 2003 -- sending a fifth-round draft pick to the New York Jets.
Last season, James Thrash , Antonio Brown and Ladell Betts handled return duties when Morton was injured, and his health and modest production could lead to Morton's release next month. Parting with Morton after June 1 would save Washington $540,000 against the 2005 salary cap, but would require a $1 million cap hit in 2006.
Morton's agent, Leigh Steinberg , said he has heard speculation about Morton's release but has received no indications from the Redskins that he will be let go. Steinberg said that he has a good relationship with owner Dan Snyder and that Morton has received "strong feedback" from the coaching staff.
"If they're going to do it [release Morton], they haven't prepared us for it in any way," Steinberg said.
Wide receiver Rod Gardner ($2.1 million savings) and injured linebacker Mike Barrow ($1.3 million savings) are expected by many around the league to be cut. Releasing place kicker John Hall , who is coming off an injury-plagued season, would save Washington $1.1 million.
Injured linebacker LaVar Arrington has returned from a rehab stint in Birmingham and is progressing, according to Tyer, while Barrow continues to work with specialists in Arizona on his injured knee.
ESPN.com reported last night that the Redskins had agreed to a one-year deal with former Falcons free safety Cory Hall . League sources, however, said a deal has not been finalized, but that Hall will be at Redskins Park today for a workout and physical, which likely will result in an agreement. . . .
The team announced that former tight end Don Warren has been hired as a pro scout. The Redskins also announced that Louis Riddick has been promoted to director of pro personnel scouting and Scott Campbell to director of college scouting.
-- Jason La Canfora