The Washington Redskins answered one of their biggest free agency questions Tuesday by agreeing to terms of a contract extension with Santana Moss, their reigning top receiver.
The sides settled on a three-year, $15 million deal that includes $6 million guaranteed, according to an ESPN report. A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed the agreement and the terms.
The Redskins would not confirm the agreement, which cannot become official until Friday evening under league rules. Moss could not be reached for comment, and agent Drew Rosenhaus did not respond to several messages.
Moss, 32, has led the Redskins in receiving yards in each of the past six seasons. His 93 receptions last season were a career high, and his 1,115 yards were the second-highest single-season total of his career. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan last year frequently deployed him out of the slot and put him in motion before the snap, tactics that exploited his shiftiness. Moss raved about the strategy, even as he became less of a deep threat.
Washington's first major roster move since before the NFL lockout brought some clarity to the team's offensive outlook.
Whether the Redskins will add another receiver, such as free agents Santonio Holmes or Sidney Rice, is uncertain. But now that Moss' tenure will continue, the Redskins at least will have the top three pass-catchers (Moss, tight end Chris Cooley and wideout Anthony Armstrong) back from a passing offense that ranked eighth in the NFL in yards last season.
"lets build on last season bro!" Armstrong messaged Moss on his Twitter account after news of the deal broke.
"U already knw!!! Lets go it bro," Moss responded.
Team officials spent Tuesday churning through their to-do list after the league re-opened for business at 10 a.m.
Near the top of that list is deposed quarterback Donovan McNabb, and his ill-fated Redskins tenure could be nearing its conclusion. The Redskins and Vikings have agreed on the parameters of a trade, the NFL Network reported. However, McNabb's contract remains an obstacle to completing the deal.
The five-year contract extension he signed last November includes a $10 million bonus to be paid before the 2011 regular season starts, according to a league source with knowledge of the deal. That's prohibitively expensive for a 34-year-old quarterback coming off the worst statistical season of his career.
Any team that trades for McNabb almost certainly would require him to restructure the contract. Washington is not expected to receive more than a late-round draft pick in return.
Early Tuesday, one of the competitors for McNabb's vacated starting spot reported to work. John Beck met with reporters before he spoke to coach Mike Shanahan.
Other offensive players are preparing for all the scrutiny and hoopla that accompanies a quarterback controversy. Beck versus Rex Grossman is just beginning.
"I think John Beck has definitely stepped up in his leadership role this offseason," center Casey Rabach said. "He has worked tirelessly to put himself in the best position to win that job. It'll be interesting to see who will be our starting quarterback."
Almost 20 players went to Redskins Park on Tuesday for voluntary conditioning and meetings. Beck threw passes to receivers, and offensive linemen met with coaches as a group. Star linebacker Brian Orakpo reported desperate for a clean slate. He has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons, but the Redskins have won only 10 of 32 games during his tenure. Drama and dysfunction in the front office and the locker room have been the norm, overshadowing any on-field accomplishments.
"Last year, man, and in the years previous, we talked too much about individuals that had problems with the organization instead of trying to go out there and perform well," Orakpo said with obvious passion behind his words. "It just harps on you at times.
"It's something we need to do this year — forget about all the nonsense and all the negativity and just focus as a team, man. We need to stop talking about being a great team and actually start doing some action out here and preparing as a great team."
Wednesday is another optional conditioning day. All players must report Thursday, and practice begins Friday.
NOTES: North Carolina running back Shaun Draughn and South Florida tight end Kevin Gidrey announced on Twitter that they have signed undrafted free agent contracts with the Redskins. Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell and East Carolina tackle Willie Smith also agreed to terms, according to various reports. The Redskins would not confirm the signings.
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