The Washington Redskins are exploring the possibility of trading for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rob Moore, sources close to the situation said today.
Meanwhile, the Redskins have made informal trade inquiries to the Atlanta Falcons about running back Jamal Anderson and were told Anderson isn't available, at least at this point. Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins' director of player personnel, said he hasn't opened formal trade discussions with the Cardinals, Falcons or any other team.
"I haven't talked to anybody," Cerrato said. "[But] we will explore all avenues."
Falcons Coach Dan Reeves told reporters today that Anderson isn't on the trading block at this point.
"We've told Washington and everyone else, `We'll let you know if that's the way we want to go,' " Reeves said. "But right now that's not the way we want to go."
Moore, 30, was tied for 12th in the NFC last season with 67 catches, and he has been one of the league's most dangerous receivers during his nine-year NFL career with the New York Jets and Cardinals. But he is in a contract dispute with the Cardinals, who apparently will open training camp Friday without him, and the Redskins have added him to their list of prospective trade targets as they aggressively attempt to make a high-impact acquisition before the season.
The Redskins' wide receiver corps is full of question marks. Michael Westbrook is coming off offseason surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, and Albert Connell is taking over for the departed Leslie Shepherd as a starter. Both players are talented, but neither has established himself as a dependable, consistent NFL starter.
Moore has 591 career catches and 44 career touchdown receptions. He had a career-best season for the Cardinals in 1997 -- with 97 catches for 1,584 yards and eight touchdowns -- and he and Frank Sanders provide Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer with one of the league's better pair of wideouts.
But his contract negotiations with the Cardinals are at a standstill. The Cardinals have designated him as their franchise player and have made him a one-year offer of $3.56 million. Moore and his agent, Gary Wichard, are seeking a long-term contract, and Wichard said today that Moore won't be on hand for the opening of training camp.
"We'll see how it unfolds," Wichard said.
The Redskins' trade strategy is to pursue prominent players who are disenchanted with their current teams. Cerrato is close to Wichard, having drafted many of Wichard's clients as a San Francisco 49ers executive. The Redskins would have to acquire Moore's rights from the Cardinals, and sign him to a contract.
The Redskins also have some interest in wide receivers Carl Pickens of the Cincinnati Bengals and Antonio Freeman of the Green Bay Packers. But the Redskins' interest in Pickens has been wavering, and the Packers want two first-round draft picks for Freeman.
The Redskins, who have three first-round selections in next year's draft, are prepared to pursue Anderson and Minnesota Vikings guard Randall McDaniel seriously. But it would take a sizable offer -- probably two first-round picks and a running back, either Skip Hicks or Stephen Davis -- to get Anderson, and McDaniel says he will play for the Vikings despite his unhappiness over his contract.
The Redskins hope Anderson becomes available later in training camp. He has vowed to sit out the season if his contract dispute with the Falcons is not resolved.