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Friday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m. ET

The Redskins and Free Agency

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Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 29, 2008; 12:00 PM

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Friday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about what to expect from the Redskins during the free-agent signing period.

This Story

The transcript follows.

Read Jason's blog, Redskins Insider.

Full coverage: Washington Redskins

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washingtonpost.com: Jason was unable to join us today; the discussion will be Friday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Jason La Canfora: Hello everyone, am I the only one feeling strange?

What an unusually calm, but late, night for me. Skins sitting on their hands.

Given their cap situation and this ridiculous market - the Kelly and Faine deals kinda blow my mind - its not a bad way to go. Need to be calculated, and I imagine they will fill some needs this month, but it's smart not to always set the market.

Of course, if they didn't throw money around like crazy the past 4 years they would have more room to spend now, in which case, who knows if they'd be preaching such restraint.

Okay, have at me.

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DC: Rumor has Dan Sndyer on his way to (or already in Cincinnati)... what do you know?

Jason La Canfora: What I continue to hear is things are very icy between Cincy owner Mike Brown and Ocho Cinco agent Drew Rosenhaus and Brown is telling everyone in the league that he'll let Chad sit out all year before he gets a trade or another penny out of him.

Bengals dont often spend big to keep guys and they did for Chad. Don't expect anything to happen on that anytime soon, but you never know.

After June, when Chad's deadap number would be cut in half from a trade, maybe Brown has a change of heart.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you get a sense that Daniel Snyder is starting to understand that he cannot buy a winning team (coaches, players, etc.) Instead, he is beginning to turn the corner and realize it takes time for coaches and players to develop.

Jason La Canfora: I think it's way to soon to make any judgements.

They are a team with minimal cap room facing a market where most teams have more space they could fill. So salaries get crazy bloated again for marginal guys.

Also, I cant remember another year like this where so many average players got franchise tagged.

If the Redskins have made a seachange and focus more on the draft and second tier guys than chasing a ton of big names, it will become clear over the next 2-3 years.

This could be a blip, and, again, we are only a day into this. Guys will hit the market all spring and this team will fill some needs through trades and signings.

The fact they aren't trying to wine and dine 6 guys immediately after midnight is a positive sign, but it's a snapshot, and true organizational philosophies play out over time.

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Edison, N.J. : Do you think the 'Skins have any chance at acquiring LB Lance Briggs?

Jason La Canfora: Not unless they want to counter everything they are saying and invest a huge chunk of cap space over the next few years in one player. I have to think he'll get his $20 million guaranteed now

(though a lot of teams prefer the Demorio Williams kid in Atlanta to Briggs, especially on a bang for your buck scale. Will be very interested to see what Williams gets. My guess is Briggs is waiting that out, too).

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NW, DC: What's the final financial damage on releasing Lloyd? (Not that I am advocating keeping him.)

Jason La Canfora: they save a few million this year on him post June 1

next year (2009) he counts $5.5 million in dead cap

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Fairfax, Va.: How legitimate of an issue is salary cap in terms of restrictiveness for the 'Skins this year?

Jason La Canfora: It's a reality, no doubt

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Hyattsville, MD:

Did the team make any attempt to retain Randall Godfrey? He really seemed to contribute down the stretch, and with Rocky injured at the beginning of the season, he would seem like a good retention.

Jason La Canfora: They want to resign him but he also wants to see whats out there. He and Prioleau are getting interest from Jacksonville. They could bring either back as well, but the market will speak.

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Washington, DC: When will Snyder throw $12 million per at Randy Moss? Before this chat, or during?

Jason La Canfora: I continue to hear Moss and the Pats have something essentially in place.

I dont see it happening.

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Long Island New York: Hey Jason,

What's the latest about the Redskins trade possibilities for Deangelo Hall or Javon Walker or anyone else available?.

Jason La Canfora: They explored Hall and its still a possibility, though I think its remote

They dont like Walker much.

That trade market is drying up a bit but more guys will get out there as the offseason progresses.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Now that Collins is back in the fold, what would you say the 'Skins top three priorities are before the draft?

Jason La Canfora: They still want to upgrade the D Line badly

They need a third corner with Rogers iffy to play

They badly want a WR with size

Getting a backup C/G is important as well but something that can be addressed later in free agency

several of those needs will be addressed in the draft but after the market settles and guys are waiting on deals, I see the Skins swooping in a few. They want to market to establish itself first.

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Washington, D.C.: Good afternoon Jason and thanks for the chat. Hope you've been able to catch up on some sleep. What lesser-known FAs have you heard about the Skins pursuing? Any thoughts on D.J. Hackett? Also, what are your impressions of Coach Zorn now that he's had several weeks to settle into his new job?

Jason La Canfora: They like Hackett, and as of very late last night he did not have any visits scheduled.

However, the Skins will monitor it, see what teams are dangling and then perhaps make a play.

If he's still on the market next week I could them making a move.

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Olney, M.D.: Any chance Asante Samuel comes to Washington?

Jason La Canfora: Nope

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Coral Springs, Fla.: Hey Jason:

Do you think the 'Skins will have any interest in trading for one of the DTs on the market like Robertson or Rogers? And are they gun shy about trading their draft picks and will it be same old same old of dumping picks for established players?

Mike

Jason La Canfora: The Skins hyave had serious concerns about Rogers propensity to get fat and lazy for years. Greg Blache has wanted no part of him in the past. He was discussed internally and some on the personnel side are more intrgued.

Should the Lions end up taking a mid round pick, and come off their price, maybe it makes more sense.

Robertson is a kid I like a lot but I hear Blache has concerns with his size in this system (his size is also why the Jets are shoipping him).

Hes got a huge contract as well and the Skins are not sure he's worth that kind of money as well, from what I've heard.

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Orange County, Calif.: How much of a roll will Ladell Betts play this year?

Jason La Canfora: Probably very similar to last year barring an injury to CP.

He could be returning kicks again, though.

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Salem, Va.: Are the 'Skins still in play for Dewayne Robertson, the DT from the Jets? Was there ever any interest in Kris Jenkins before he was sent to NY?

Jason La Canfora: Just spoke about Robertson.

As for Jenkins, he's been trying to get some of that Snyder cash for years but Blache and Williams had serious concerns with him and wanted no part whatsoever for weight and attitude issues.

Blache is very particular and stringent whern it comes to his linemen, and rightfully so.

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Alexandria, Va.: Will Shawn Springs or any other stalwarts for Washington be cut for salary reasons?

Jason La Canfora: At this point I doubt it.

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Toronto: Hey Jason. A lot of mock drafts have us picking S Kenny Phillips out of Miami with the 21st pick, how ironic. Bram on Redskins Radio says that would be way too much pressure for the kid considering who he would replace. Do you think the 'Skins will keep Landry at FS or bring in a free agent or draft Phillips?

P.S. Join the Army - Suicidal

Jason La Canfora: Dude, love that Suicidal tune

I think they can find a safety in free agency

I beleive they will try to land a D Lineman in the draft, maybe even trade up to get one, but it's way too soon to tell. Let's get through a few weeks of free agency first. I'm solely focused on this for now.

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Charlotte, N.C.: I can't believe I'm typing this, but do you see it being more and more likely that Brunell is resigned as a backup? Collins seems bound for St Louis, and Brunell has played in the West Coast Offense in the past.

Jason La Canfora: Collins is back.

Spoke to Mark this morning. He's very wanting to be a No. 2 somewhere but is not opposed to coming back here as the 3.

Skins may want to draft a QB late and try to develop him into a No. 2 for down the road

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Fire up of the Jet: Love your work!

Do you think Cerrato and Snyder really aren't going to be firing up the Jet at 12:01 a.m.? My friends always celebrate watching the Wizards game, and seeing all of the new signings in the box.

Also, what are the chances that Chad Johnson is in the Burgundy and Gold next year?

Thank you! Go 'Skins!

Jason La Canfora: This one must have come in early.

Jet was grounded. Went to Beantown yesterday so Zorn could have lunch with Collins, but that was it.

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Atlanta: Do the Skins have any interest in Bernard Berrian?

Jason La Canfora: Not at the money he's going to get.

Chicago but a very strong deal down ant at one point felt he was going to resign there before Thursday. he has several visits lined up and he'll sign this weekend with one of those clubs most certainly.

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Ashland, Va.: Will the Redskins consider hiring Joe Jacoby for assistant line coach since he is looking for a job? Seems like a natural.

Jason La Canfora: It would make a lot of sense.

They had Ray Brown in that role a few years back and then, strangely, made no effort to keep him aqnd he's in Buffalo now.

I think it would be a great move and Jake sounds like he's game. They need to develop young linemen.

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Black Mountain, NC: Jason, can Springs just be going nowhere now? That would be a first for a player who already resisted a pay cut, wanted a big contract, and played out 2007 expecting to impress just a new team. Yet Cerrato is saying he thinks Shawn and the team are "on the same page" and you list him matter-of-factly as among those who would restructure!??? Is that what a mere change of a head coach and an old DC can do?

Jason La Canfora: Hey Shawn would have restrutured too last year. Any player would. You get a ton of money up front that otherwise would not even be guaranteed as part of base salary, plus often get another year or two tacked on.

What they approaching him with last year was something no one would accept.

They have the contract so it's up to them. They told his agent they are cool with his contract and don't feel a need to restruure for now. That could change should they make moves down the line and need more space.

Even if they traded for a quality corner, Springs would move to safety if need be as well, and it's been discussed. Given Carlos's situation and the hamstring problems Smoot had and how much pressure the Skins put on corners on an island in man coverage in this scheme, they need big time depth and need Springs.

Right now he's their No. 1 corner in my mind, without a doubt, and Blache badly wants to keep him.

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Laurel, Md.: Do the Redskins have any interest in Randall Gay?

Jason La Canfora: As of late last night they had expressed none.

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Roanoke, Va.: Of course he is not Sean Taylor, but do you think Reed Doughty is a solid starter at safety?

Jason La Canfora: Every scout I talk to says absolutely. Most teams in the league have a guy like him in that role and he is improving. His coverage skills were much better late on last year.

Now, with Prioleau maybe leaving and Fox mostly a teams guy, they could use depth at safety (and I heard they had some decent interest in Hamlin before he was franchised), but I can't see them not giving the kid a legit shot to keep that job right now

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Rockville, MD: Are the chances good that the 'Skins will trade for a younger DT like Robertson or Shroud?

Jason La Canfora: Nope, can't say they are good right now. Stroud is likely to be moved before Robertson.

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Washington, D.C.: How much dead money will the Redskins have on the cap for '09?

Will a frugal approach this year pay off in the years to come or is this more a byproduct of teams having a lot more money and the Redskins being somewhat constrained by their 2008 cap situation?

Jason La Canfora: That number will mean more down the line when we see who makes the team. I cant tell you dead cap til i know who makes it who doesnt.

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Centreville, Va.: Everyone keeps calling for a big receiver, but do we really know what we already have in 6-5 Anthony Mix?

Jason La Canfora: They are very high on Mix but he is a prospect right now, and nothing more. He'll be given a good shot to earn PT but they want insurance at WR.

Caldwell could be back as well but they want someone with size who could be a No.2 in a pinch should injuries occur.

You gotta remember that Moss has a long history of the hammy and hasnt been right much in recent years.

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Baltimore: What are the 'Skins chances of trading a 2nd-round pick to Detroit for Roy Williams?

Jason La Canfora: Everyone I talk to says Roy Williams has never been on the market. Ever.

And if that changed it would take more than a second rounder, much more.

Don't see anyway Fitzgerald gets moved either.

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Ashburn, Va.: Rock Cartwright has been solid on special teams. How come the Skins aren't showing him some love?

Jason La Canfora: They want to see if the open market shows him love, and have a hunch he'll come back to them a couple of weeks from now.

If someone gives Rock $2 million guaranteed he's gonna take it.

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Jacksonville, Fla.: What are the chances the Skins can move up in the draft to ensure getting a higher rated DT or DE? Do you think they will stick with their current position in the first round?

Jason La Canfora: I think it is a very real possibility, and should they not upgrade that spot in the free agent or trade market come April it becomes even more likely to me.

There are some studs out there. A ton of great prospects.

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Washington, D.C.: What's the damage for releasing Lloyd?

I know I am in the minority but if they just stuck with a solid draft this year and no FA I would be happy. At some point they have to understand building a team versus buying a team.

Jason La Canfora: Lloyd damage comes next year, they save a few mil off his current figure in June this year.

I think if they plug a few holes with depth free agents and have a great draft they will be in great shape.

But in that case you could need two starters to come out of the draft this season (I consider a nickel a starter as much as they use it). Will be a good test for them.

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Salary Cap: Hi Jason, and thanks for your fine coverage.

It's nice that the Skins are, once again, redoing salaries to create cap room, but after the restructuring where in the grand scheme of things do they stand against the other NFL teams. Also, do you sense any movement towards a degree of fiscal responsibility in order to reduce cap issues in the coming years? Absorbing the hit now rather than constantly putting it off to the future? It always catches up in the long run, doesn't it? I would think the 49'ers experience would have been the cautionary tale.

And will we see you at the Pogues show at the 9:30 club in 10 days?

Jason La Canfora: Damn, a few of my friends have been asking me about that show for a while. I am dying to see it. Its gotta be sold out by now. I was supposed to get tickets on line like 5 weeks ago and totally forgot.

Anyway, they redo contracts to a degree no other club does. And yes, most teams would bite the bullet on a few guys and get it out of the way. It becomes diminishing returns on many of these older players.

I applaud the effort to keep a team together but the strategy has yet to yield anything to this point in terms of 11 win seasons, deep playoff runs, etc.

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Columbia, Md.: Earnest Wilford is a big receiver on the market who I think has some potential (see the Jags skins game where S.T blew his helmet off in the end zone, yet he held on). Are the Redskins interested?

Jason La Canfora: I'm not positive they deal him now.

they shopped him last year but he came on late.

I hear Porter is signing with the Jags, so maybe thay makes him more available.

we shall see

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Chevy Chase, MD: Any chance they trade up in the draft to go after Chris Long?

Jason La Canfora: Be very hard to move up that far

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Guacamole Von Dookiestomp: Am I the only one that thinks B-Lloyd will sign with the Eagles and end up catching 70 balls?

Jason La Canfora: Somebody will sign him, but not sure Philly.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Jason,

Do you say any more of the current players re-working their contract and if so how much do you think the 'Skins will end up with in Salary Cap room.

Also of the lesser free agents who do you see the Skins making a play for?

Jason La Canfora: Beyond Moss and Portis, Marcus Washington, Springs and Griffin all have contracts conducive to restructuring

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Guacamole Von Dookiestomp: Porter just signed for 30 mil, 10 guaranteed. Wow.

Jason La Canfora: with the Jags?

heard last night thats where he was going.

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Gibby (McLean): How does the new staff feel about Mike Espy. I would think with him and Mix those are two interesting big WRs that could develop in to solid players.

Jason La Canfora: I get the sense his time has passed. they were split on him last year, with some thinking he could break through

but he is not the kind of athlete who can afford to lose a step and after his horrible run of bad luck with injuries im not sure hell be in the mix come August.

Mix has a buzz around him, Caldwell could be back. Moss and Randle El are entrenched and they want to sign/draft a solid guy. Thrash could be out as well.

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Colorado Springs, CO: Jason, what do you think of the CBA expiring in the future and the NFL being "cap-free" in 2011? I think that is the best and the most quick way to another Super Bowl for the Skins. I would be selfish and rather see the Skins be a top the league every season even if it's not for the better of the NFL other small market teams...We could become the Yankees of the NFL - either hate us or love us.

Jason La Canfora: I honestly dont think we will ever get to that point. They can opt out but still have like 3 years to negotiate a new deal. they dont want to kill the golden goose.

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Blogville: C'mon Jasno...admit it. Barno is your favorite blogger, right!?

Jason La Canfora: Barno for president

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Guacamole Von Dookiestomp: Why no love for Keenan McCardell? Yes he's 63 years old, but was probably our most effective WR when he actually got on the field.

Jason La Canfora: I think he may retire

Keenan did some good stuff when given a shot but caldewll came on well when he finally got a look and hes a lot younger and could come just as cheap

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Jason La Canfora: hey guys, gotta get running. thanks for all of your great questions and I'll do my best to keep up with the skins. seems quiet for now and may end up that way for a while.

thanks again and have a great weekend.

cheers

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