Brunell, Team Talk With Cap in Mind

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell said yesterday his agents are negotiating a reworked contract with the team and that he anticipates a resolution to the talks in a few weeks.

Brunell, reached on his cellphone, said he has not given up hope of starting for another team but would only want to be a backup in Washington. Coach Joe Gibbs said he wants to retain Brunell, and the sides are trying to strike a deal that would reduce the amount of Brunell's salary that will be counted against the salary cap.

"I'd still like to play if the opportunity presented itself to start," Brunell said. "But if I had to be in a supporting role, Washington is the place I want to be. I wouldn't entertain being a backup anywhere else at this point."

Brunell stands to make $5.2 million in base salary in 2007. The Redskins would take a $4.6 million hit on the salary cap in 2007 if they release Brunell this month. That would save the team $2 million from his current cost to the cap. The amount the team would save would drop to $1.5 million if it waits until June to release him.

Brunell, 36, who lost his starting job to Jason Campbell last season, is recovering from shoulder surgery in early January and said he expects to begin tossing the football in a month. He said he is doing strength and stretching exercises daily and is regaining his range of motion. He is expected to miss four to five months from the time of the surgery.

"I'm feeling good about it," Brunell said. "We're making good progress."

The Redskins also have veteran quarterback Todd Collins on the roster.

Redskins Notes : The Redskins are expected to target Buffalo Bills linebacker London Fletcher and cornerback Nate Clements in free agency next month, according to multiple league sources who have spoken with team officials. . . . Former Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington is a free agent after being cut by the New York Giants, but a return to Washington is highly unlikely. The Redskins do not do business with his agents and there was considerable animosity on both sides after a lengthy dispute over a bonus in Arrington's contract with the team.

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