By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Washington Redskins yesterday completed negotiations with two more draft picks, agreeing to terms with wide receiver Malcolm Kelly -- one of three big receivers they selected in the second round -- and punter Durant Brooks. With training camp scheduled to begin in a week, only three of the Redskins' 10 draft picks are without an agreement.
Kelly's deal is for four years and $3.36 million, which includes $1.655 million guaranteed, according to a source familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified because a contract has not been signed.
Kelly, the 51st overall selection out of Oklahoma, is the highest pick to have reached an agreement with the team. The Redskins still are in talks with the representatives of their two other second-round picks -- wide receiver Devin Thomas and tight end Fred Davis. Kelly (6 feet 4, 218 pounds) is considered among the keys to Washington's plan to open up the offense under rookie head coach Jim Zorn.
"Malcolm is excited and the Redskins are excited," said Kelly's agent, Chad Speck. "The Redskins believe Malcolm can really contribute to what Jim Zorn wants to accomplish, and he's very excited to get to camp" next week.
After trading their first-round pick -- No. 21 overall -- to the Atlanta Falcons, the Redskins used their three second-round picks, including two acquired in the deal with the Falcons, in an attempt to bolster their receiving corps, which needed an infusion of talent for Zorn to run his version of the West Coast offense.
Kelly slid down several draft boards because of his disappointing performances in the 40-yard dash (he posted times as high as 4.69 seconds) in workouts, and questions about his maturity. Some teams also voiced concerns about Kelly's knees, but Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, said he received favorable reports about Kelly from a Sooners coach.
Brooks, the Redskins' sixth-round draft pick from Georgia Tech, is expected to compete with veteran Derrick Frost for the team's punting job. In drafting Brooks, Washington was trying to send a message to Frost. After offering Frost only a veteran minimum contract to re-sign, the Redskins made the unusual move of drafting a punter, selecting Brooks with the 168th overall pick.
Teams rarely draft punters because other positions are considered more important and NFL punters typically take time to develop.
But with so many picks in this year's draft, and with special teams coach Danny Smith having strongly recommended Brooks, Cerrato selected a punter.