- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2002

The Washington Redskins finally kept one of their unrestricted free agents, re-signing linebacker Eddie Mason yesterday to a one-year, $650,000 deal.

Mason is the first of 17 unrestricted Redskins to return. Eight others, including defensive tackle Kenard Lang, center Cory Raymer and tight end Stephen Alexander, signed elsewhere. Indeed, Mason may even be the only one of the remaining nine back this season.

Running back Ki-Jana Carter and receiver Michael Westbrook rejected earlier Redskins offers that weren't much above the minimums, though neither has been heavily sought after league-wide. Center Mark Fischer could return as a backup after joining Mason as the only unsigned veterans to participate in minicamp last month.

Mason is considered a standout special teams player and started one game last year for injured linebacker LaVar Arrington. One of the more popular players in the locker room, Mason was among the final cuts last season after two years with Washington before he re-signed after the opener when San Diego scored on a kickoff return. Mason's 19 special teams tackles were third most on the team while also becoming one of the top blockers on return units.

Meanwhile, NFL sources said the Redskins' trade for New York Jets guard David Loverne on Saturday involved swapping fifth-round picks. The Redskins sent the 154th overall pick in the April 20-21 draft to the Jets for Loverne and the 160th selection.

Safety Keith Lyle signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

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