As they prepared to sign wide receiver Irving Fryar, Washington Redskins officials resumed contract talks with another retired player, defensive end Chris Doleman. Doleman's Washington-based agent, David Falk, said today Doleman would like to play for the Redskins this season if they offer what he regards as a suitable contract.
"Absolutely it can be worked out," Falk said. "As with all teams in a salary cap situation, they've got to decide where to spend the money. When you want to win, you spend the money to get impact players. Chris Doleman is an impact player. . . . The Redskins would be a great situation. Where there's a will, there's a way. I think it would be a prudent investment for them."
Redskins officials hope to sign Fryar before Friday night's preseason home opener against the Buffalo Bills. Sources said they plan for Fryar to visit Redskin Park and undergo a physical exam, and then finalize a one-year contract.
Fryar, 36, could be on hand Thursday when the Redskins practice at Redskin Park. Reached at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, where he has been doing some work recently, Fryar declined to comment.
Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins' director of player personnel, declined to comment as the team prepared to break training camp at Frostburg State University this afternoon.
Fryar would begin practicing next week and initially would be third on the Redskins' depth chart, behind starters Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell. The Redskins would prepare Fryar to play in their preseason game at Pittsburgh on Aug. 28.
The Redskins also would like to sign Doleman, who tied for third in the NFL last season with 15 sacks for the San Francisco 49ers. But, according to sources, Falk told Redskins officials weeks ago it would take a one-year contract worth $3 million to $4 million to lure Doleman, 37, out of retirement. Falk didn't change that demand when negotiations resumed recently, sources said, leaving Redskins officials so frustrated that they maintained Doleman or Falk would have to contact them for talks to be restarted.
Falk said he is talking to several NFL teams regarding Doleman, who ranks fourth on the league's career sacks list with 142 1/2.
"I think Chris is evaluating several options," Falk said. "If the right situation presented itself, he would consider it. If it doesn't, he'll stay retired. He's a great player. Players of his skill level are at a premium. If we can work it out, it'd be great. I live in Washington. I'd love to see him play for the Redskins. The new ownership, with Mr. [Daniel] Snyder, has made a commitment to acquiring talented players, but that comes at a price."
Cerrato declined to comment on the Doleman negotiations.
If the Redskins don't sign Doleman, they may have to be creative in their attempts to improve their pass rush. Coach Norv Turner said today the team will experiment with different looks and combinations of players.
"We're still going to address the pass rush issue," Turner said. ". . . That's something that's going to be critical for us."
The Redskins would like backup defensive end Ndukwe Kalu to develop into a reliable spot-duty pass rusher. He was penalized and ejected late in Friday night's preseason-opening victory at New England for roughing quarterback Michael Bishop. But defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said he still believes Kalu can help the team this season.
Redskins Notes: Quarterback Brad Johnson practiced today after being allowed to sit out Tuesday afternoon's workout to rest his knee. . . . Backup cornerback Tim Denton resumed practicing today after being sidelined by a sore back.