Redskins land veteran free agent cornerback Cedric Griffin

The Washington Redskins added another piece to their secondary Friday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with free agent cornerback Cedric Griffin.

The team also got tight end Fred Davis’s signature on his franchise tender and restructured center Will Montgomery’s contract to gain $2 million in salary cap space.

Griffin, a six-year veteran, was drafted 48th overall out of Texas by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. He will sign a contract that will pay him as much as $2.5 million, according to a person familiar with the deal. Griffin agreed to terms during a visit to Redskins Park on Friday.

The 6-foot, 203-pounder started 14 of 16 games for the Vikings last season, recording 67 tackles, nine pass breakups and one interception. Griffin tore an ACL in January 2010 while playing in the NFC championship game against New Orleans. He recovered in time to play by Week 3 of the 2010 season, but then tore his other ACL.

He returned as a starter in 2011, but wasn’t quite the same, and was replaced in the lineup for the final two games of the season. The Vikings released him earlier this week, saving $5.2 million against their salary cap.

Before releasing Griffin, the Vikings reportedly had considered moving him to safety. In addition to a third cornerback, the Redskins were expected to add a free safety after Monday’s release of Oshiomogho Atogwe.

Griffin wasn’t the only free agent cornerback at Redskins Park Friday. Former New York Giant Aaron Ross arrived in Ashburn after meeting with the Bengals in Cincinnati Thursday.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Ross has spent his five-year career with the Giants. Last season, he started 15 of 16 games, recording 60 tackles and four interceptions to go with 12 pass breakups.

Davis’s one-year deal is for a guaranteed $5.446 million. The Redskins named him their franchise player to limit his mobility on the free agent market. The move gave the team the right to retain Davis by matching any contract offer he would have received from another club, and two first-round draft picks as compensation if he was allowed to leave.

The team guaranteed a portion of Montgomery’s contract so the money could be prorated over the entire length of the deal for salary cap accounting purposes, freeing $2 million in immediate cap space, a person familiar with the situation said.

The Redskins lost at least $18 million in salary cap room for this year in a penalty imposed by the NFL on Monday. The league ruled that the Redskins structured player contracts improperly in 2010, when the sport had no salary cap, to gain an unfair advantage over other teams in subsequent seasons, when the salary cap went back into effect. The Redskins have denied wrongdoing.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.


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