The Washington Redskins have granted veteran linebacker Mike Barrow permission to seek a trade, according to a league source, another sign that could point to his departure from the organization without ever playing a game.
The Redskins signed Barrow, 35, to a six-year, $13-million deal last year, including a $2.5-million signing bonus, but he suffered a serious knee injury in training camp and remained sidelined through minicamp. Barrow has not played in a regular season game in nearly two years and the Redskins have stocked up on linebackers this offseason. Washington declined to release Barrow in June, when teams can begin seeking salary-cap relief, surprising many executives around the NFL, but he does not appear to be in the team's long-term plans.
Barrow's agent, Marvin Demoff, was allowed to begin contacting other teams within the last month, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, but the likelihood of receiving even a late-round draft pick for him appears remote.
"We don't have interest there, and I can't see anyone else making a move for him, either," one NFL personnel executive said.
Demoff did not return a phone message yesterday. Most of Washington's top officials are on vacation and team spokesman Karl Swanson did not respond to inquiries seeking comment on Barrow's status. Cutting Barrow would save the Redskins $1.74 million in salary cap space and cost them $1.66 million against the 2006 cap. Washington is about $1.65 million under the cap, league sources said, and still must sign its top four draft picks, including two in the first round.
The Redskins also are expected to release wide receiver Rod Gardner, which would create $2.1 million in cap space. Gardner, a former first-round pick, was granted permission to seek a trade shortly after the season ended. He did not train with the team and Coach Joe Gibbs has said he would not participate in training camp if still on the roster.
An NFL source said Carolina has expressed some interest in Gardner, but with most clubs expecting the wide receiver to eventually be released there have been no substantial trade offers.
-- Jason La Canfora