- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2003

The Washington Redskins made a strong push but fell short in their pursuit of safety Lawyer Milloy.

Buffalo won a very competitive battle yesterday to sign Milloy, a four-time Pro Bowl player unexpectedly released by New England on Tuesday. NFL sources said he agreed to a contract worth just over $15million for four years, a hefty sum for a player cut so close to the beginning of the season.

The Redskins’ best offer was a little more than $20million over five years, sources said, but the early part of the contract wasn’t as lucrative. Washington was set to pay a $3.5million signing bonus and about $5million total over the first two seasons.

Buffalo nearly doubled that two-year figure. The 29-year-old will earn just under $10million in 2003 and 2004, including a $5million signing bonus.

Milloy, 29, attracted widespread attention after refusing a pay cut from New England. Widely admired for his physical, instinctive play, he apparently saw legitimate interest from nearly a dozen teams.

In Washington, Milloy would have replaced strong safety Ifeanyi Ohalete, who opened the preseason second-string but worked into a starting role. Instead, Ohalete and Matt Bowen will start tonight against the New York Jets.

In addition to adding another piece to a revamped Bills defense, Milloy joins the team that plays the Patriots this week. Buffalo could gain a strategic edge in its opener because Milloy was in on New England’s game planning.

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