By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 27, 2006
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor will not take part in the team's offseason workout program until his felony assault charges are resolved in Miami, according to his attorney, Richard Sharpstein. Players are set to report to Redskins Park today, but Taylor has been "temporarily excused," Sharpstein said, as he prepares for an April 10 trial stemming from his arrest for assault with a firearm.
Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, was arrested last spring for assaulting men he claims stole two all-terrain vehicles from him; he refused to attend Washington's offseason program last year and remained home in South Florida instead. He faces a possible three-year minimum mandatory sentence on each of his three felony counts.
"Sean is working out on his own," said Sharpstein, one of three lawyers working for Taylor, "and he's working with us to prepare for the trial as well. It's necessary for him to be here working with us, and he'll be back in Washington as soon as possible."
Sharpstein said he expects Taylor to be at Redskins Park by late April -- offseason organized team activity practices likely will not begin until May -- and believes the defense has a strong case. The case has been continued several times since September, but Sharpstein said he expects it will go to trial as scheduled next month.
Coach Joe Gibbs places a heavy emphasis on the offseason program and cited the work and dedication of his players last spring as a major factor in the team's return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Gibbs has said at recent news conferences that he anticipated Taylor would be with his teammates for the start of offseason work this month, but Sharpstein said team officials are on board with Taylor's absence for the start of the program.