Redskins shopping for early picks

The Washington Redskins have inquired about obtaining the San Diego Chargers’ No.1 overall pick, though the conversation is believed to have been more about being comprehensive than serious.

Chargers general manager A.J. Smith confirmed through an intermediary that he spoke with Redskins owner Dan Snyder earlier this week about the pick in the April24-25 draft. Smith, who recently also confirmed a discussion with the New York Giants (who pick fourth overall) about the top selection, offered no other information about his talk with Snyder.

Washington owns the No.5 pick and is eyeing two Miami stars, tight end Kellen Winslow II and safety Sean Taylor. However, the Redskins also have inquired about trading up, speaking with at least the Chargers and Oakland Raiders (No.2), and remain interested in trading down, as well.

The ostensible target at No.1 or 2 for Washington would be Iowa tackle Robert Gallery. In that scenario, which is regarded as a long shot, the Redskins would deal Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, most likely to the team whose pick they obtain.

For example, Washington could package Samuels and the No.5 pick for the No.1 or 2 pick. Particularly at No.2, the Redskins probably would have to get something else in return. With three selections (first, fifth and sixth rounds), Washington must use Samuels as ammunition to move up.

Vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato dismissed the original Gallery-Samuels report last week, calling it a draft rumor. This week officials with other clubs offered similar opinions. Cerrato did not return a phone call last night.

Samuels hasn’t played up to expectations the past two seasons but remains one of the more talented and agile tackles in the league. He spoke recently about working out with more frequency this offseason to regain the stature he had in 2001.

“I feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Samuels said. “I have to go out there and play well. Last year I didn’t really play the way I’d like to, and the year before I didn’t either. I’m just excited about this year. I want to prove a point — that Chris Samuels is back.”

Portrayed as a key factor in the original Gallery-Samuels report was Samuels’ contract situation. However, any potential dispute appears to have been overstated. Samuels, according to sources, has been willing to rework his contract this offseason or discuss a long-term extension next offseason; his only objection is to discuss a long-term extension this offseason.

Meanwhile, Redskins linebacker Antonio Pierce could not agree to an offer sheet with the Minnesota Vikings before last night’s midnight deadline. Pierce and safety Ifeanyi Ohalete, Washington’s remaining unsigned restricted free agents, no longer are able to negotiate with other clubs.

Elsewhere, the Redskins are taking a look at former Giants linebacker Michael Barrow, particularly now that Warrick Holdman has signed with the Cleveland Browns. Barrow, who turns 34 on Monday, could start at middle linebacker for Washington. However, he has several offers from other teams and was believed to be visiting, ironically, the Giants yesterday.

A source familiar with the situation said Barrow would like to make a decision on his future next week.

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