Washington Redskins officials have contacted Irving Fryar's agent about the possibility of the wide receiver coming out of retirement to play this season.
The Redskins' interest in Fryar comes at a time when team officials have decided, at least temporarily, against using one of their first-round draft choices to trade for a wide receiver, according to sources close to the situation.
The team also plans to intensify its pursuit of another retired player, defensive end Chris Doleman, sources said.
Fryar, 36, retired after a 1998 season in which he had 48 catches for 556 yards and two touchdowns for the Philadelphia Eagles. He made 784 receptions during a 15-year career with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Eagles.
Redskins officials contacted Fryar's New York-based agent, Michael George, this week. Fryar has indicated that he would consider playing again under the proper circumstances.
"He's a guy who would give you some veteran leadership," said Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins' director of player personnel, before the team's preseason opener here tonight.
Cerrato said the Redskins have not been able to gauge Fryar's interest in playing for them or move forward in negotiations because George is out of the country.
The Redskins have been trying to trade for a wide receiver, but their trade possibilities narrowed this week when Antonio Freeman agreed to a contract with the Green Bay Packers. The Redskins have spoken to the Arizona Cardinals about Rob Moore and to the Cincinnati Bengals about Carl Pickens. But the Cardinals want a first-round draft pick for Moore, and the Redskins' interest in Pickens appears to be lukewarm.
The Redskins have three first-round selections in next year's draft -- theirs and those of the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.
Team officials have resolved not to trade a first-round pick at this point for a wide receiver, sources said. The Redskins will evaluate the play of starters Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell over the first few preseason games and then decide whether they need to trade for a wide receiver, according to sources.
Kalu Hears About It
Defensive end Ndukwe Kalu got an earful for drawing a 15-yard penalty in the game's waning seconds for roughhousing quarterback Michael Bishop. Coach Norv Turner strode onto the field to rebuke his player. And as the Redskins walked off the field, cornerback Darrell Green matched Kalu stride for stride, talking and gesturing at him all the way to the locker room. "You'll never make the team like that," Green said.
Kalu had been having a good preseason until the penalty.
Staff writer Liz Clarke contributed to this report.