- The Washington Times - Friday, June 9, 2000

The Washington Redskins have found their minimum wage defensive end, coming to terms with nine-year veteran Nolan Harrison to replace Anthony Cook.

Harrison, 31, will sign a one-year contract Monday, team and league sources said Thursday. The deal is for $440,000, the minimum for veterans of five or more years, with no signing bonus.

Harrison's signing means the Redskins will not re-sign Cook, 28, a five-year veteran who started the final seven games of 1999 and both playoff games. Cook signed a one-year contract last offseason, then earned Kenard Lang's starting job and proved valuable as a run-stopper. This offseason the Redskins have signed Bruce Smith to start in Cook's spot.

Harrison, a former sixth-round pick out of Indiana, played just five games for Pittsburgh last season after tearing and re-tearing a pectoral muscle. He was similarly limited in 1998, when he injured a hamstring and suffered a high ankle sprain. Harrison started all 16 games for the Steelers in 1997 and has played tackle during his career.

Cook's agent, Jim Sims, was pessimistic about Cook's future with the Redskins when contacted earlier this week. Sims last week was unable to negotiate a deal worth $1 million against the 2000 salary cap. Cook had said he was willing to play for $500,000, his 1999 salary.

Cook has drawn interest from Tennessee, the franchise for which he played his first four seasons, as well as Carolina and Seattle. However, the Redskins retain right of first refusal on offers to Cook until July 15.

Mum on Mitchell

Negotiations took place but a deal was not finalized between former Redskins specialist Brian Mitchell and the Philadelphia Eagles, who Mitchell visited Wednesday. Mitchell is interested in the Eagles because they are an NFC East team and they have needs at both returner and running back. He also is considering Arizona. Detroit, among other teams, also is interested.

Meanwhile, former Redskins strong safety Leomont Evans worked out for the Eagles. Evans, 25, started 15 games for the Redskins last season, missing one because of a concussion. Philadelphia's interest in Evans, a former Clemson teammate of Eagles starting free safety Brian Dawkins, appeared to lack immediacy. Evans last week visited Seattle but appears unlikely to sign there.

"I'm just a guy trying to stay in the league," Evans said. Of his possible future appearances against the Redskins, he said, "I'm going to make a play against them that's a promise."

Extra points

Thursday's practice was the last of the Redskins' quarterback school. Rookies will remain in town next week, going through the running and lifting program and receiving individual instruction. Training camp begins July 20, with rookies, quarterbacks and players returning from injury due to report July 17.

The Redskins concluded with a pair of two-minute drills. The first-string offense, quarterbacked by Brad Johnson, scored against the first-string defense on a catch by Michael Westbrook in the corner of the end zone. The second-string offense, led by Jeff George, failed to score against the second-string defense… .

Tight end Stephen Alexander missed practice because his father was having heart surgery. Rookie safety Clay Scanlon missed practice to attend a wedding… . Rookie linebacker LaVar Arrington concluded quarterback school with the second-string defense… . Rookie wide receiver Jamie Deese worked out as a kick returner. Running back Skip Hicks worked out on the first-string tandem with James Thrash, after Adrian Murrell had worked out there Thursday… .

The Darrell Green Celebrity Golf Classic will be held Monday at the Country Club of Fairfax. Turner, player personnel director Vinny Cerrato and linebackers Shawn Barber and Greg Jones will be among 19 Redskins participating. Information: 202/269-1207.

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