The Washington Redskins made a minor acquisition yesterday, adding reserve cornerback Tito Paul in a trade with the Denver Broncos.
Director of player personnel Vinny Cerrato said he doesn't expect the Redskins to make a major acquisition before the regular season.
The Redskins would owe the Broncos a seventh-round pick in next year's college draft if Paul, 27, is on their season-opening roster. The pick could become a sixth-rounder if the Redskins acquire one before then. Paul has played in 61 NFL games and made 12 starts in five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Broncos. The Redskins acquired him primarily to help on special teams.
Cerrato and Coach Norv Turner said they'll continue to look for players who would bolster the team's depth. But as the Redskins wrap up training camp, Cerrato said he believes the team's front-line players will remain unchanged between now and the Sept. 12 regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Redskins signed retired wide receiver Irving Fryar last week, and have talked to defensive end Chris Doleman about coming out of retirement. But they've been frustrated by Doleman's asking price of $3 million to $4 million for a one-year contract.
Cerrato said he'd be comfortable entering the season with what the Redskins have on hand.
"The attitude is outstanding," Cerrato said. "The players are working hard. The leadership is good.
"We're working to get better, and we're making progress. We've got to keep making progress."
The Redskins have talked about adding a place kicker from outside the organization if none of their three kickers--Brett Conway, Cary Blanchard and Jeff Hall--wins the job convincingly. But Cerrato said he expects the team's season-opening kicker to be one of those three.
Interest in Saleaumua?
Jack Mills, agent for retired defensive tackle Dan Saleaumua, said yesterday he believes that the Redskins have had some interest in the former Pro Bowler.
But Mills indicated he doesn't think Saleaumua will be ready to play until at least midway through the season. Saleaumua, who will turn 35 in November, underwent back surgery recently, Mills said.
"I'm not saying he won't play halfway through the year," Mills said. "But I know he's not ready right now, and my guess is he won't be ready to play this year. I think he's enjoying not playing."
Saleaumua has played for Detroit, Kansas City and Seattle during a 12-season NFL career.
He was released by the Seahawks in February.
Alexander Aims for Sept. 3
Tight end Stephen Alexander said he's hopeful that he'll resume practicing next week and play in the team's preseason finale Sept. 3 against Tampa Bay at Redskins Stadium. Alexander said he already has seen dramatic improvement in the range of motion of his right knee. He sprained the medial collateral ligament in Friday's win over Buffalo.
"It's like night and day," Alexander said. "It's still a little stiff. There's still a little soreness. But it's gotten better every day."
With backup tight end Kevin Pesak sidelined by a sprained ankle, the Redskins plan to use James Jenkins, Mike Sellers and rookie Robert Tardio at the position Saturday against Pittsburgh. They also intend to use plenty of formations with three wide receivers. . . .
The Redskins released guard Lamont Burns yesterday. . . . Backup safety Matt Stevens is suffering from a sprained knee but could resume practicing today.