By Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 29, 2008
The NFL's free agency and trading period began at midnight, but the Redskins had no designs to be major players. The Redskins had no immediate free agent visits scheduled for the weekend, sources said, and are espousing a wait-and-see attitude to the market, according to executive vice president Vinny Cerrato.
Washington entered yesterday with a modest $3.5 million in salary cap space with which to operate -- pending renegotiations with Clinton Portis and Santana Moss will take the figure to around $7 million -- and after years of rampant spending at the onset of free agency, the Redskins don't seem intent on setting the market for players.
Owner Daniel Snyder and Cerrato say they are more attuned to fiscal restraint this year after reaching the playoffs in 2007, but their cap situation also is a factor. Many teams had $15 million or more to spend on players -- some as much as $40 million.
Some free agents did interest the Redskins, including wide receiver D.J. Hackett (Seattle) and cornerback Drayton Florence (San Diego), but only at value-based deals. Detroit was making a heavy immediate push for Florence, while Hackett was drawing interest from several clubs and lining up visits. The Redskins also were working to re-sign some of their free agents, backup quarterback Todd Collins chief among them. Collins, who starred filling in for Jason Campbell late in the season, was receiving interest from several teams -- Jacksonville and St. Louis chief among them -- but has told the team he will give it every opportunity to retain him.
The Redskins had yet to make an offer strong enough to keep him off the market as of late last night. Coach Jim Zorn traveled to Quincy, Mass., to meet with Collins yesterday, sources said, eating lunch in the player's home town and reiterating the team's interest in him.
Return specialist Rock Cartwright said he had not heard from the team recently, however, but did not rule out a return should he fail to find an adequate deal on the open market. "It would be great to stay in Washington, but I'm also really excited to see what else is out there," Cartwright said.
Washington has interest in retaining guard Jason Fabini, safety Pierson Prioleau and linebacker Randall Godfrey, sources said, but those players were set to hit the market and gauge interest from other clubs.
The Redskins did not budge from their offer to punter Derrick Frost, sources said, and will monitor his status. The team is interested in re-signing free agent wide receiver Reche Caldwell as well.