After nearly a week of watching and waiting, the Washington Redskins' 16 free agent signee/re-signees joined their teammates on the practice field .
Receivers Santana Moss and Donte Stallworth, quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kellen Clemens, running back Tim Hightower, guard Chris Chester, tackle Jammal Brown, linebackers Horatio Blades and Rocky McIntosh, safety Reed Doughty, defensive linemen Barry Cofield, Kedric Golston and Stephen Bowen, kicker Shayne Graham and cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Byron Westbrook all emerged from the locker room with their teammates, wearing jerseys — and not grey t-shirts — for the first time.
But initially, they weren't even allowed to stretch with the rest of the team. Instead, they stretched on a side field, waiting for word from the league that the new CBA had been ratified and that the league year could start.
"Ray, what are we doing? I'm tired of being neglected," Moss said as strength coach Ray Wright walked up to check on the free agents.
Until this afternoon, the newly-signed veterans hadn't been able to lift weights under supervision of the team's staff. Wright told Moss to pass on word that the players could go watch their units' positional drills, and added to stay loose and ready.
"It could happen any minute now," Wright said
Finally, at 4:56 p.m., the word came down, and the players fell in with their groups in 11-on-11 scrimmage action. Cofeild and Bowen jumped in as starting nose and right end, respectively, McIntosh at inside linebacker, Doughty at strong safety and Wilson as starting cornerback. Hightower, Moss, Brown, Chester all joined the starting offense. Grossman took his first snap as second-string.
Eight days (and seven practices) into training camp, the Redskins finally have a full complement of players as they prepare for the Friday, Aug. 12, preseason opener against Pittsburgh.