Special teams competition signed

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The Redskins have signed kicker Dave Rayner, who has played with five NFL teams, as well as kick returner Domonique Dorsey, the CFL’s top special teams player in 2008.

Today’s moves followed the signings in January of former Chicago and Tennessee long snapper Jeremy Cain and punter Zac Atterberry, who was in camp with the Bears as a rookie from NAIA school Lindenwood (Mo.) last summer.

Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham and punter Ryan Plackemeier finished at the bottom of the NFL rankings at their positions last season while Antwaan Randle El struggled on punt returns for a second straight year. Suisham is a restricted free agent while Randle El is a candidate for a restructured contract. Long snapper Ethan Albright had another superb season in 2008, but he’ll be 38 in May and doesn’t have a contract for 2009.

Rayner, 26, who finished his Michigan State career in 2003 as the Spartans’ alltime leading scorer, has kicked for Indianapolis, Green Bay (for whom he kicked a franchise-record 54-yard field goal), Kansas City, San Diego and Cincinnati. Rayner has converted 42 of 59 career field goal tries (71.2 percent).

The 5-foot-7, 170-pound Dorsey returned a missed field goal a CFL-record 129 yards in his pro debut for Toronto in 2007. The 25-year-old UNLV product led the CFL with 2,892 all-purpose yards in 2008 despite missing five games with injuries.

Cain, 27, starred at middle linebacker for Massachusetts. He played in five games for Chicago in 2004 and three in 2005. He learned to snap while with Philadelphia in 2006 and got into nine games in that role for Tennessee in 2007 while being listed as a fullback.

The Redskins have also signed: former Virginia quarterback-turned-receiver Marques Hagans and guard Rueben Riley, who finished 2008 on their practice squad; fullback Jonathan Evans, who has spent time with four NFL teams but has yet to play a snap; and cornerback Michael Grant, who had stints with Jacksonville and Kansas City in 2008.

- David Elfin

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About the Author
David Elfin

David Elfin

David Elfin has been following Washington-area sports teams since the late 1960s. David began his journalism career at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., history) and Syracuse University (M.S., telecommunications). He wrote for the Bulletin (Philadelphia), the Post-Standard (Syracuse) and The Washington Post before coming to The Washington Times in 1986. He has covered colleges, the Orioles ...

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