Sean Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft, is expected to sign with an agent this weekend, clearing the last hurdle before he can begin contract negotiations with the Washington Redskins.

Taylor, a projected starter at safety from the University of Miami, fired his original agent, Drew Rosenhaus, shortly after the draft. Vinny Cerrato, the team's vice president of football operations, has been in contact with Taylor and believes a final decision should be forthcoming. The team is scheduled to report to training camp on July 30.

"I've told him that if you want to get paid, you've got to get an agent," Cerrato said. "He said he's very close to getting a guy and we anticipate it will happen very shortly, hopefully by the time the Fourth of July weekend is over."

NFL sources believe Rosenhaus remains a strong candidate to resume his role as Taylor's agent, but Rosenhaus declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

Taylor also has contacted agent Eugene Mato, who some league sources viewed as the front-runner. Mato did not immediately return phone messages yesterday.

Rosenhaus has a strong relationship with owner Daniel Snyder, and the team has successfully negotiated hefty contracts with him in the past, including the acquisition and signing of running back Clinton Portis in March.

Taylor parted with Rosenhaus hours after appearing with him at an introductory news conference at Redskins Park in April. He has not commented on why he made the move or on his hunt for a new agent.

The Redskins have signed their final draft pick, offensive lineman Jim Molinaro, and have begun discussions with the agent for tight end Chris Cooley (third round) and offensive lineman Mark Wilson (fifth round).