- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 9, 2006

When the Washington Redskins celebrated their first playoff victory since 1999 on Jan.7, left defensive end Renaldo Wynn was in a Tampa, Fla., hospital after sustaining a broken right forearm in the first quarter. Washington lost the next week at Seattle with Wynn in street clothes and missing the first game of his four Redskins seasons.

Then last month, the Redskins signed free agent defensive end Andre Carter to a six-year, $30million contract.

Wynn could have gotten angry or taken a “woe is me” approach, but that’s not in his upbeat nature.

“We were already rotating a lot before we signed Andre,” Wynn said yesterday. “I’ll go to camp with the mentality that I’m still the starter, but I know I’m going to get a lot of snaps whether I start or not.”

Carter probably will start at right end, with last year’s occupant of that spot, sacks leader Phillip Daniels, flopping over to the left side. Cornelius Griffin is a fixture at left tackle. The coaches like wide-bodied Joe Salave’a at right tackle, so Wynn appears to be the odd man out. Even in a rotation, there are only four starters.

“Renaldo is a first-class vet who has played the game longer than I have,” Carter said. “I’m looking forward to working with him. We already have good chemistry.”

Wynn, 31, noted that the line, despite its success the past two seasons, had been thin. Rookie free agent Ryan Boschetti went from the practice squad in September 2004 to starting less than three months later. Last year career end Demetric Evans had to step in at tackle after Griffin was hurt.

“It’s unfortunate, but injuries do happen,” Wynn said. “Another quality guy was very much needed. We got a guy in Andre who can fit in with us and make us a better defense, a better team. Competition makes everybody better. My main thing is winning the Super Bowl. If this helps us get there, I’m all for it.”

Wynn’s versatility makes him more valuable than the average lineman. He has played all four line spots during his nine seasons with Jacksonville and Washington.

“That’s a benefit,” said Wynn, whose $3.028million salary cap number makes him the ninth-most expensive Redskins player and easily the most costly backup. “I can play inside on third down and outside on first and second down.”

For now, Wynn’s forearm is preventing him from fully preparing to play any spot. He can’t do any weight room work on his upper body, which he typically spun as a positive “because it allows me to work more on my legs, and that’s where your power comes from. My main goal is to be 100 percent for training camp [which opens Aug.[ThSp]1].”

Redskins director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said Wynn’s forearm is healing well and he could be on the field for minicamp in June.

Middle linebacker Lemar Marshall doesn’t doubt it.

“Renaldo’s going to persevere, work hard and let everything fall into place,” he said. “In this business, if you’re worried about the next man, that will drive you crazy.”

Wynn cited his former Notre Dame teammate, Jerome Bettis, who took a pay cut and a reduced role to stay in Pittsburgh for one last season and wound up helping the Steelers win the Super Bowl.

“As you get older, you see the big picture more,” Wynn said. “It wasn’t about the money or the playing time with Jerome. It’s not about that for me either. It’s about winning the ring.”

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