Source Says Redskins Have Deal With Randle El

By Jason La Canfora and Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 12, 2006 5:42 PM

The Washington Redskins agreed to terms with Antwaan Randle El this afternoon, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, completing an overhaul of their receiver corps. Randle El, 26, will join Brandon Lloyd, 24, who was acquired from San Francisco on Friday, and Santana Moss as the Redskins attempt to improve their passing game in 2006.

The terms agreed upon are worth a maximum of $31 million over seven years with up to $11.5 million guaranteed in roster and signing bonuses, the source said.

Randle El was one of the premier free agents on the market, and is one of five players completing visits to Washington Sunday, along with defensive end Andre Carter, safety Adam Archuleta , quarterback Todd Collins and tight end Christian Fauria.

The Redskins, according to a league source, are close to signing Fauria, an 11-year veteran who spent the last four seasons with New England. After being signed as an undrafted free agent in 1997, Fauria spent his first seven seasons in Seattle. He played on two Super Bowl teams with the Patriots, and became expendable as the Patriots are developing two young tight ends, Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson. Fauria has 245 career catches for 2,473 yards and 20 receiving touchdowns. Last season, playing behind both Watson and Graham, Fauria caught eight passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns.

Washington's offense became stagnant in the postseason, with Moss the clear focal point of the downfield game, but now starting quarterback Mark Brunell will have an array of options. Randle El, a former college quarterback, also is an elite return specialist and has told the team he would like to continue in that role.

The Chicago Bears, Randle El's hometown team, made a push to sign the receiver when free agency began just at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, an offer believed to be worth about $20 million with an $8 million signing bonus.

The Redskins entertained Randle El and the other free agents at a Wizards game Saturday night, and the players were back at Redskins Park this morning and afternoon. Randle El's agent, Fletcher Smith, was also here; Randle El, who helped the Steelers win a Super Bowl title last month, left in Redskins Park in a limo at 2:10 p.m., saying a deal was not yet done. Smith departed at 3:20 saying, "We haven't accomplished anything yet, but I'll be here for a little while."

The details of the contract were not immediately available.

Carter, a pass-rushing end, was the second player to leave Redskins Park yesterday, heading out around 2:45. Carter is drawing significant interest from other teams -- Denver among them, according to a source -- and he, too, left without signing. He was accompanied to his limo by Greg Blache, assistant head coach -- defense, who wished him well and added, "We hope to see you back here." Carter did not speak to the media.

The next to leave was Fauria, 34, who has was part of New England's 2003 and 2004 Super Bowl teams, and has played 12 seasons. Fauria was not believed to have joined the other four free agents during their festivities Saturday night. Archuleta, 28, and Collins, 34, who were not accompanied by their agents, remained in Redskins Park at as late afternoon. Achuleta could provide cover incase free safety Sean Taylor serves jail time as part of his upcoming felony assault trial, and with starting strong safety set for three free agent visits to other clubs this week. Collins worked with Al Saunders, associate coach -- offense, in Kansas City and would provide experience behind Brunell and rookie Jason Campbell.

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