- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

The Washington Redskins began rebuilding their interior offensive line yesterday, signing Indianapolis center Larry Moore to a three-year, $3million deal.

A former 1997 practice squad player released after one week with Washington, Moore spent the last four years with Indianapolis. He replaces unrestricted free agent center Cory Raymer, who signed a $10.5million deal with San Diego. Reserve center Mark Fischer may still return as an unrestricted free agent.

Moore's experience at right guard and center gives the Redskins versatility along the line if either guard is injured. Moore (6-foot-2, 296 pounds) played right guard three of the past four seasons but spent 1999 at center. The Redskins his experience and mobility.

Given the incoming "Fun 'N' Gun" offensive system's reliance on protecting the quarterback, the Redskins are trying to rework a line that gives the passer more time to find several targets.

The Redskins rebuilt the interior line last year successfully with running back Stephen Davis gaining a team-record 1,432 yards. However, the new scheme will rely less on Davis.

Both starting guards are unsigned. Right guard Ben Coleman wants to return, but left guard Dave Szott has visited both the New York Giants and Jets hoping to stay near his Morristown, N.J., home. The Redskins could try guard David Brandt, who started the opener as a rookie free agent last season. Brandt also can play center if the Redskins need to shuffle linemen. Washington also may look for a lineman who can double as a deep snapper if Ethan Albright becomes a salary cap casualty.

Moore joins New York Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead as the only starters signed by Washington since free agency's start with none of the team's 17 unrestricted free agents yet re-signed. The Redskins remain restricted by the $71.1million salary cap limit. Washington is expected to clear more cap space by cutting receiver Kevin Lockett before receiving a scheduled $250,000 roster bonus tomorrow.

Meanwhile, tight end Stephen Alexander visited Dallas yesterday after previous stops in San Diego, Houston and Detroit.

The Cowboys canceled a visit with Alexander last week after signing tight end Jeff Robinson, who doubles as a deep snapper. Dallas recently passed on Indianapolis tight end Ken Dilger after injuries, leaving Alexander as the top receiving end candidate with Robinson focusing more on blocking.

Alexander suffered a high ankle sprain and a fractured ankle against Dallas last season. The Cowboys don't seem in any hurry to sign Alexander, though.

Linebacker Shawn Barber met with the Giants, who say they're not looking to sign free agents until June. Barber also is expected to visit Philadelphia and Carolina after meeting with Cleveland on Tuesday. Cleveland could sign Barber to a modest contract.

Middle linebacker Robert Jones visited Green Bay. The Packers are meeting several prospective candidates, but Jones proved a steady run stopper last year while starting nine games at middle and outside linebacker.


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