The Washington Redskins appear close to a deal to bring former San Diego Chargers defensive end Marco Coleman to the team.
Coleman (6 feet 3, 267 pounds) would be a welcome addition to a defensive line that struggled more than anticipated last season, with its players hampered by injury and unfamiliarity with one another.
One source called the Coleman deal imminent. Another said he expected something would get done soon. General Manager Charley Casserly confirmed that talks were ongoing with Coleman's representatives, but said yesterday evening he had nothing to announce.
With roughly $3 million available under the salary cap, the Redskins would not be forced to cut a player to make room for Coleman.
A first-round draft pick in 1992 (12th overall, Miami), Coleman would join a defense that ranked 24th in the NFL last season. The Redskins lost starting defensive end Rich Owens to injury during the preseason last year, and he has since departed via free agency. Jamal Duff, who finished the year as a starter at end, also became a free agent and left.
Coleman's addition would give the Redskins three veteran players at the position, joining Kenard Lang (6-2, 277), the team's first-round draft pick in 1997 (17th overall), and Anthony Cook (6-3, 295), who was acquired in the offseason from Tennessee.
New Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder would approve any player acquisition of that magnitude, although his $800 million purchase of the team and Jack Kent Cooke Stadium is not expected to close until roughly mid-June.
Tom McCormick, the Washington attorney who has represented Snyder in his purchase of the team, visited Redskin Park yesterday and spoke with Casserly at length. McCormick said the two had a number of things to discuss, but would not elaborate. Casserly would not provide details, either.
McCormick kept a low profile during his visit. He watched about an hour of minicamp practice with Casserly, shook hands with Coach Norv Turner and was introduced to veteran cornerback Darrell Green.
Snyder is expected to visit practice sometime during the eight-day minicamp that concludes June 10 -- possibly later this week.
Snyder was circumspect throughout the NFL's approval process, careful to make no public comments about his vision for the team for fear of alienating NFL owners or appearing unfeeling toward team president John Cooke.
But with Snyder's purchase having won the stamp of NFL approval, Redskins officials and employees are eager to learn details of his plans for the team -- from the anticipated makeover of the marketing department to the announcement of a team president.
That title had been held by John Kent Cooke, who was out-bid in his quest to buy the team from his late father's estate. John Kent Cooke Jr., his son, had been the team's vice president of marketing.
Last Friday at Redskin Park, three days after NFL owners unanimously approved the sale to Snyder, the personal belongings of both Cookes were loaded into a large moving van and their offices were vacated. Cooke also took with him a bust of his father, the late Jack Kent Cooke, that had been on display under a glass case in the reception area.
Redskins Notes: Guard Brad Badger will miss the rest of the week's work at minicamp after pulling a hamstring during Tuesday's 40-yard dash. . . . DB Tim Denton broke a finger yesterday, and T Ozell Powell suffered a mild hamstring pull. . . . Quarterback Brad Johnson was at Washington's National Children's Center, which provides therapy to disabled youth of all ages, to film a public service announcement for the NFL and United Way of America. . . . WR Chris Thomas and LB Shawn Barber will be among the 50,000 participants expected for Saturday's Race for the Cure in Washington. The NFL is a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure. . . . The Redskins signed unrestricted free agent long snapper Dan Turk to a one-year contract worth $400,000. Turk, who is entering his 15th NFL season, also will receive a $50,000 signing bonus.