- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

The Washington Redskins sent rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey a second contract proposal in as many days last night after exploring a long-shot possibility to trade him, NFL sources said.

Trade talks with the Chicago Bears failed late last night. They had to be completed by midnight under NFL rules. Ramsey would have to have signed with the Redskins, because of rookie pool guidelines, and then been traded by a midnight deadline unique to draft picks.

It was extremely unlikely that a trade would have happened, because a whole new contract would have to have been negotiated (one not particularly player-friendly) and then the other team would have to have come up with the proper compensation. Also, Washington would have to have decided to part with the player it dubbed its quarterback of the future.

Owner Dan Snyder did speak with the Bears and there were indications the Redskins were hoping to pry guard Mike Gandy (a 2001 third-round pick) and a future first-round selection.

Despite eyeing a trade, Washington was fairly close to a contract with Ramsey. The Redskins submitted a proposal shortly before midnight, and there was speculation that the offer could bring the sides close enough to finish off a deal.

Negotiations had intensified in recent days as Ramsey's holdout surpassed the two-week mark. Agent Jimmy Sexton's first proposal came Saturday while the club was in Osaka, Japan, and a Redskins counter-proposal came late Monday.

The club liked certain conciliatory aspects of Sexton's proposal but remained hard-line in its first counter-proposal, apparently using as leverage the solid play of its quarterbacks in Saturday's 38-7 preseason win over the San Francisco 49ers.

That confidence then seemed to govern Washington's attempts to trade Ramsey. Although a deal was considered a remote chance from the start, the lasting significance of talks could be that Washington might make another trade for Gandy, who has the distinction of being a fairly talented guard who is likely to be cut in training camp.

But while Ramsey appeared all but certain to remain with Washington late last night, his chance to be the Redskins' starter at the outset appears gone. The rookie played well enough in late offseason practices to earn an outside shot at the job, but he has been eliminated from playing-time consideration Saturday at Carolina meaning he has basically two preseason games left to win the job (starters will be set by the final exhibition).

Coach Steve Spurrier said yesterday that Shane Matthews would play only a half against the Panthers with Sage Rosenfels and Danny Wuerffel each getting a quarter. Earlier the plan was for Matthews to play three quarters with the fourth quarter undecided presumably saved for Ramsey.

Sexton's proposal over the weekend made progress in that it agreed to stiff terms for Ramsey to meet his escalator clauses (increases in future salaries). Under its terms, Ramsey can attain the deal's maximum value by becoming a starter this season or next season, but he must hold the job.

The package of escalators and incentives had emerged as the biggest hurdle in talks, to some extent because of Washington's uncertainty at quarterback. Because many expect Ramsey to win the job as soon as this year, he wants to be paid like a starter as soon as next year. But that is unheard of in late first-round deals.

Meanwhile, agent Rick Smith is set to arrive in Redskins camp in Carlisle, Pa., tonight to have preliminary discussions about extending the contract of offensive tackle Jon Jansen. Jansen, 26, is one of the NFL's premier young right tackles and his rookie contract is set to expire at the end of this season.

There are indications that the organization wants to wait until midseason to discuss Jansen's future in any substantive way. Jansen has said he could accept in-season talks but some close to him believe, at that point, he would wait a few more months until free agency to increase his options (and pay) dramatically.

Rick Snider contributed to this report.

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