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Donovan McNabb saga ends on day of change
Wilson is added to aid secondary; 3 receivers sign
Quarterback Donovan McNabb’s disastrous tenure with the Washington Redskins reached its anticlimactic conclusion Wednesday night after the team reshaped its roster with a handful of player acquisitions during the day.
The Redskins added starting cornerback candidate Josh Wilson and three veteran receivers before finalizing their trade of McNabb to the Minnesota Vikings. ESPN reported the completed trade will be announced Thursday.
Washington reportedly will receive a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth-rounder in 2013. The Redskins would not confirm the trade, and McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, did not return a phone message.
McNabb “was going to come in and really help us win more games, but it didn’t work out,” special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “Relationships broke down, and now he’s not here, but you can’t really focus on that.”
The Redskins moved forward by adding more players to a team that went 6-10 and finished in last place in the NFC East last year in McNabb’s only season with the club.
Washington traded second- and fourth-round draft picks for McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler, in April 2010 and proclaimed him their franchise quarterback. However, his relationship with coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan frayed as McNabb’s play did not meet their expectations early on.
The Redskins agreed with Wilson, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens and University of Maryland, on a three-year deal worth $13.5 million, including a $6 million bonus. The Baltimore Sun first reported the agreement, and ESPN reported the terms.
Wilson declined comment when reached by phone.
Washington also agreed to one-year free-agent contracts with receivers Donte Stallworth and Brandon Stokley and traded defensive end Jeremy Jarmon to the Denver Broncos for receiver Jabar Gaffney. They agreed to a one-year free-agent contract with quarterback Kellen Clemens.
Wilson was the biggest acquisition as a busy day turned to night. The Redskins need a cornerback to start opposite Pro Bowler DeAngelo Hall, and incumbent Carlos Rogers is not expected to re-sign.
Wilson, 26, has nine interceptions in 42 games over the past three seasons. He injured his hamstring last season and started only nine games.
On the other side of the ball, Washington added veteran depth to a position that management clearly was unhappy with last season.
The Redskins drafted three receivers — Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson — in April. By adding Gaffney (age 30), Stallworth (30) and Stokley (35), the Redskins have 14 receivers, including the unsigned rookies, entering the start of training camp Thursday.
Incumbent No. 2 receiver Anthony Armstrong welcomed Gaffney and Stallworth to the Redskins with a message posted on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.
“Gonna be some thick competition. Can’t wait to learn from them!!” he wrote.
Gaffney, who is 6-foot-2, set career highs last season with 65 catches and 875 yards. The nine-year veteran also had two touchdowns.
“It shocked me,” Gaffney said during a teleconference. “I didn’t have any proof it was going to happen.”
Stallworth comes to the Redskins from the Ravens, where he caught only two passes for 82 yards last season. They’re his only two catches since he served a 24-day prison sentence in 2009 for DUI manslaughter.
“I haven’t been able to really show it much [recently], but my favorite thing has always been to catch the short passes, break a tackle or two and take it the distance,” Stallworth said in a phone conversation. “Hopefully that’s what I can do this year, and we can be successful not only as an offense but as a team.”
The New Orleans Saints drafted Stallworth in 2002 when current Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was their coach.
Stokley played for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan in Denver from 2007-08. In 11 games with Seattle last season, he had 354 receiving yards and no touchdowns on 31 catches.
Clemens, 28, was the New York Jets’ third-string quarterback last season. The Jets drafted him in the second round in 2006, but he has only nine career starts.
Acquiring him leaves the starting quarterback spot open for John Beck or Rex Grossman, although Grossman has not agreed to a free agent contract extension with the team.
The Redskins parted with Jarmon, who is undersized for the end position in the 3-4.
In the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, the Redskins and defensive lineman Barry Cofield agreed to a six-year, $36 million deal with $12.5 million guaranteed, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
Cofield, 27, has started all but two games in his five NFL seasons as a nose tackle in the New York Giants’ 4-3 front. At 6-4 and 306 pounds, he’s a bit light for a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation indicated the Redskins will decide whether to play Cofield at nose tackle or defensive end depending on other free agent moves with this week.
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About the Author
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