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Receivers impress in tryouts

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D.J. Hackett and Kelley Washington have both racked up decent numbers as NFL receivers. But both spent the weekend at Redskin Park competing with each other and college unknowns on a tryout basis.

So when Washington beat starting safety LaRon Landry and third cornerback Fred Smoot on a long touchdown on Saturday, he celebrated by tossing the ball over the goal post. By Sunday afternoon, Washington could celebrate a contract offer from the Redskins, one he has put on hold until he visits the Baltimore Ravens this week.

"This is what the league is all about, getting a chance to show your ability and for the coaches to evaluate you," Washington said. "You never want to turn down an opportunity. I'm a big, physical receiver. The [Redskins] have had the [shorter] Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El style. And I play special teams really well. In this league, it's the more you can do."

Washington, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, went to Sherando High School in Stephens City, Va., before attending Tennessee.

In 69 career games, Washington has 73 catches for 896 yards and nine touchdowns. He caught only one pass the past two seasons with New England, developing into a special teams standout after being the third receiver in Cincinnati with Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh for four seasons.

The 6-2, 208-pound Hackett, who washed out with the Panthers in 2008 after rejecting a minimum contract offer from the Redskins, was glad for the second chance. It's likely that he also received an offer from the Redskins on Sunday, but his agent couldn't be reached, and a team source denied that he had been tendered a contract.

"They're familiar with me and I'm familiar with them, so it's a good fit," Hackett said. "I bring something different to the table - height with a certain amount of athleticism."

Hackett has 118 catches, 1,575 yards and nine touchdowns in 42 career games.

Bridges likely to sign

With veterans Pete Kendall and Jason Fabini unlikely to return as free agents, the Redskins appear ready to sign guard Jeremy Bridges on Monday.

Bridges made the biggest impression of the 28 players who attended minicamp on a tryout basis and would be signed if he passed his physical, coach Jim Zorn said.

The 6-4, 326-pound lineman appeared in 14 games and started four last season for the Carolina Panthers. Bridges, 29, will be entering his seventh NFL season this fall, having started 39 games with the Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.

Bridges was convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge in 2007 for pointing a gun at a stripper outside a Charlotte, N.C., nightclub. He received a 60-day suspended sentence, a year of unsupervised probation, 60 hours of community service and a $500 fine. Bridges admitted having the gun but said he didn't point it at the woman. The Panthers suspended Bridges for the first two games that season for conduct detrimental to the team.

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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