The Washington Redskins are considering signing defensive tackle Darius Holland as a free agent. Holland, who played in two Super Bowls for the Green Bay Packers and spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings, is scheduled to audition for club officials on Friday at Redskins Park.
The pace of the Redskins' free agent deliberations has slowed considerably after their early rush. But team officials still are looking to fill a few holes -- particularly at safety and defensive tackle -- as they intensify their preparations for the draft.
Holland, 6 feet 5 and 330 pounds, could give the Redskins a potential run-stopper in the middle of the line to share time with tackles Brandon Noble and Dan Wilkinson. He has played for five teams in a seven-year NFL career since being selected by the Packers in the third round of the 1995 draft out of the University of Colorado.
"I'm excited," said Holland, 29, who also has been in contact with the Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos. "Every time you get in this position, you're excited to prove yourself. I'm hopeful that something will work out with the Redskins, but you never know until you actually sign on the dotted line. The Redskins were number one on my list all along. I thought they would be a perfect fit for my situation."
Holland has made 21 starts in 93 regular season games for the Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Vikings. He was a reserve for the Packers in Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII. He made 11 starts for the Browns in 1999 and had 51 tackles and two sacks.
Agent Neil Schwartz is attempting to convince the Redskins that Holland can do what Daryl Gardener did for them last season. Gardener, another Schwartz client, signed a modest one-year contract last summer, just after being released by the Miami Dolphins, and became one of the team's top players.
Gardener signed with Denver as a free agent after his talks with the Redskins on a contract extension broke down. The Redskins signed Noble as a free agent, and scrapped plans to possibly release Wilkinson in June. But the club still needs more depth at the position, and could address that need in the draft even if it adds Holland. The Redskins are awaiting a decision by free agent fullback Larry Centers and might have free agent tight end Ernie Conwell visit.
The Redskins traded guard David Brandt to the Packers yesterday and will receive a seventh-round draft pick in 2004 if Brandt makes Green Bay's roster next season. The Redskins also re-signed offensive linemen Wilbert Brown and Alex Sulfsted, both exclusive-rights free agents.