Hackett Still on Redskins' Wish List

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Washington Redskins are waiting for free agent wide receiver D.J. Hackett to decide on their contract offer before pursuing other options at the position, a league source said yesterday, and the team still is in contact with the agent for wide receiver Reche Caldwell.

The Redskins offered Hackett a contract during his two-day visit this week, hoping the four-year veteran would immediately sign with them, but Hackett instead continued his free agent tour. After leaving Redskins Park on Thursday, Hackett was scheduled to meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

Although the terms of Washington's offer to Hackett have not been revealed, the Redskins have said they plan to spend wisely in free agency. Washington is not interested in adding big contracts to its salary base, team officials said, and it seems determined to stick to the plan financially.

"We like Hackett, and that's why we brought him in," said Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations. "We want to have as many talented guys on the team as we can have, we want to raise the level of competition, but we have to do it the right way.

"We'd like to get something worked out, but for the right price. We're just waiting to see what happens and if there's something that can work. I don't know if there is, but we'll see. We feel like we're in a good position [with the roster], but you always want to improve."

The Redskins are interested in re-signing Caldwell, who initially signed with the team on Sept. 11. Inactive for most of the first half of last season, Caldwell made timely catches down the stretch while contributing to the Redskins' late-season run to a playoff berth.

"We're talking," said Caldwell's agent, Tony Fleming. "There's not a lot going on right now, but we'll see what happens."

Cerrato would like to acquire a dependable, big veteran receiver. Hackett (6 feet 2 and 208 pounds) could fill that role for quarterback Jason Campbell.

Hackett, who has been with the Seattle Seahawks since entering the league, was expected to have a breakthrough performance last season, but he was limited to only six games because of a high-ankle sprain. He had 32 receptions for 384 yards (a 12.0-yard average) and three touchdowns in the regular season.

Hackett played a key role in the Seahawks' 35-14 victory over the Redskins in the first round of the NFC playoffs, catching six passes for 101 yards (a 16.8-yard average) and one touchdown. He had his best season in 2006, setting personal marks with 45 catches for 610 yards (a 13.6-yard average) and four touchdowns. In his career, Hackett has 105 receptions for 1,394 yards (a 13.3-yard average) and nine touchdowns.

"Jim likes our receivers," Cerrato said, referring to new coach Jim Zorn. "We're comfortable with the guys we have, but you can never have enough talent."

Redskins Note: Former San Francisco 49ers public relations director Kirk Reynolds is scheduled to interview Monday for the Redskins' top media relations job, a league source said yesterday.

Reynolds, who works with Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, left the 49ers in 2005 after producing a controversial in-house video meant to prepare players for dealing with the media. The video, which was shown to players as part of a diversity workshop, included racist jokes and topless women.

Reynolds has said he made a "terrible mistake" in the execution of the video, but his intention was to make players aware of situations they could encounter in San Francisco and how to best represent the 49ers organization.

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