Stoutmire Signed, Mason Moved

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Washington Redskins yesterday signed safety Omar Stoutmire and moved running back Marcus Mason to the practice squad. Both were with the team throughout training camp.

Stoutmire, one of the team's final cuts, was signed after two safeties were injured in Sunday's victory over Miami. The Redskins are uncertain whether Vernon Fox (groin) and Pierson Prioleau (hamstring) will be able to play Monday in Philadelphia.

"I've got my fingers crossed, but everything looks good today," Prioleau said after receiving treatment at Redskins Park.

Because they don't play Sunday, the Redskins did not practice yesterday, but Fox and Prioleau could miss practice today. Stoutmire knows the system well and has the coaches' confidence, but if the injuries to Prioleau and Fox are not severe, his stay could be brief.

Mason, a standout in training camp, appeared headed to the practice squad until veteran tailback Derrick Blaylock suffered an injury. Mason made the 53-man roster but was inactive for Sunday's game. Mason was waived Tuesday to make room for Stoutmire, but the team created an extra practice squad spot for the former Georgetown Prep player, hoping to quickly sign him.

Mason signed that practice squad contract at 4 p.m. yesterday, but that still is no assurance that he will be here long. Practice squad players can be signed by other NFL clubs, and two executives from other NFL teams said yesterday they had strongly considered claiming Mason off waivers after watching him perform well in the preseason. The only way the Redskins can effectively protect their rights to Mason is to sign him back to the 53-man roster.

The Redskins have six wide receivers and six safeties on their roster -- unusual numbers of both -- but if injuries continue to mount, they are unlikely to keep that many players at those positions for long.

Caldwell to Practice Today

Wide receiver Reche Caldwell, signed to a one-year veteran minimum contract of $595,000 on Tuesday, will practice with the Redskins for the first time today and hopes to be able to play Monday night. Caldwell was a starter with the Patriots last year but was released before the start of this season.

By waiting until this week to sign Caldwell, the Redskins avoided having to guarantee his base salary. He received no signing bonus, according to league sources, but could push to be a part of the top three rotation at wide receiver. Caldwell's signing leaves the Redskins about $2 million under the salary cap, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

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