Chris Doleman's representatives have told Washington Redskins officials that it would take a contract worth $3 million to $4 million for the defensive end to come out of retirement and play this season, sources close to the situation said today.
Meantime, sources said the Redskins are preparing to make a push to try to trade for Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson. The Redskins expect the Falcons to ask for two first-round draft choices and a running back, and team officials are debating whether they would meet such a demand, sources said. The Redskins apparently also are deliberating about a trade for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Carl Pickens.
Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins' director of player personnel, said today that he spoke recently to Doleman, who retired after a 15-sack 1998 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Cerrato, a former 49ers executive, said he plans to resume talks with Doleman in a few weeks to see whether the defensive end would be willing to play for the Redskins this season.
"All I've done is called to touch base," Cerrato said. "I'll touch base back in a few weeks. He's one of the guys we're going to be looking at closely."
Doleman is represented by D.C.-based agent David Falk, and sources said Falk already has let Redskins officials know that Doleman wouldn't come cheap. It's unlikely that the Redskins would sign Doleman, who turns 38 in October, unless he lowers those salary demands.
The Redskins seem to be focusing on Anderson, Minnesota Vikings guard Randall McDaniel and perhaps Pickens as trade possibilities. The Redskins have three first-round draft choices next year and have running backs Skip Hicks and Stephen Davis, but it's unclear whether they would be willing to part with two of those picks and either Hicks or Davis for Anderson.
Anderson, 26, was the NFC's leading rusher last season with 1,846 yards. But he's in a contract dispute with the Falcons, and has threatened to sit out the season. The Redskins not only would have to make an overwhelming trade offer to get Anderson, but they also would have to sign him to a hefty new contract.
Still, if they want to make a high-impact acquisition before the season, he may be the answer. Cerrato said that trading for Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, who announced his retirement today, is a long shot. McDaniel is in a contract dispute with the Vikings but his agent said he'll report to training camp. Pickens is available but the Redskins seem uncertain about whether to make a serious run at him, and the Green Bay Packers' asking price for wide receiver Antonio Freeman is two first-round draft selections.
"We'll look at all our options [and] weigh all our options," Cerrato said. "If a guy can help us and we don't mortgage our future, we'll do it. All we can do is do our homework on all the situations out there, and look at it and consider it."
Redskins Notes: The remainder of the Redskins veterans are scheduled to practice Thursday. The Redskins, after a strenuous morning practice today, moved their afternoon walk-through indoors because of storms. Coach Norv Turner allowed television crews to film both practices today after barring TV cameras from filming Tuesday's walk-through. . . .
Wide receiver Derrius Thompson sprained his ankle and cornerback Tyrone Smith slightly sprained his knee. . . .
The Redskins will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in hopes of selling the roughly 1,800 club seats that remain available.
The unsold seats will be tagged with different colors representing the six price levels, which start at $1,250 per year. Fans can try out specific seats (club seats are wider and have more leg room than typical seats) and wander through the club level. Fans on a bigger budget can sample one of roughly 150 remaining loge seats, which start at $2,975. Parking is free for the open house.