After Reporting for Team Activities, Springs Expects to Practice Today

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cornerback Shawn Springs reported to Redskins Park yesterday for the first time since the start of Washington's formal offseason program, and will be on the field today for voluntary practice, he said. Springs, the only prominent player not participating in organized team activities, said he will remain in town through minicamp.

Springs, 32, who missed nearly half of last season with a sports hernia injury, had been training in Arizona. He bristled after being asked to take a $2 million pay cut this offseason, and was mentioned in trade talks. But when healthy, he is the Redskins' premier cover cornerback, and one of the best in the league. Springs arrived at Redskins Park early yesterday morning to check in with coaches and said he is healthy and happy.

"It's good to be back," Springs said. "It's business as usual, getting ready to play football."

Springs talked with the staff and teammates, got his locker in order and left Redskins Park with a notebook and backpack. The Redskins will have OTA practices today through Thursday and Tuesday through Thursday next week. Minicamp will be held June 15-17.

No Negotiations Just Yet

The Redskins have made re-signing tight end Chris Cooley an offseason priority, but formal negotiations have not begun, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Cooley was a third-round pick in 2004 and has one year left on his rookie contract. Washington has $5.1 million in cap space available, league sources said, and has yet to sign any of its draft picks. . . . Quarterback Mark Brunell, who is recovering from a torn labrum, has been sharp in OTAs, teammates said, but is being brought along gradually. Brunell, 36, is limited to short and medium throws at this point -- nothing deep -- and his number of reps is being closely monitored, too. Brunell says he feels good and is pleased with his progress. . . . The investigation into the cause of death of former Redskins linebacker Kevin Mitchell has not yet been completed, according to the office of the Virginia medical examiner. Mitchell died in his sleep in April at age 36 and a preliminary autopsy determined the cause as a massive heart attack. More detailed results are not yet available. . . . Former offensive lineman Ray Brown, who helped the coaching staff last season and served as a sort of go-between for players and the staff, will not return to the team. He said he plans to remain in the area and work in broadcasting.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company