- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Washington Redskins last night made their most important addition yet to coach Steve Spurrier's high-powered offense, agreeing to terms with free agent wide receiver Jacquez Green of Tampa Bay.
Green, a former Gators star under Spurrier, is considered by some to be the prototypical wideout for Spurrier's scheme. Although small (5-foot-9, 168 pounds), he is extremely quick and able to get open with sharp route-running. He agreed to a three-year, $4.3million contract, NFL sources said, and should start alongside 2001 first-round draft pick Rod Gardner.
Green's agreement came one day after Washington lost three more starters in free agency, bringing the total to five since the market opened March 1. Also Friday, the Redskins visited with free agent quarterback Jeff Blake, who could become the starter if he selects Washington over Buffalo.
The other key possibility at quarterback is Chicago backup Shane Matthews, another former Spurrier star. The Redskins attempted to trade a seventh-round pick for Matthews and the Bears declined. But Washington's pursuit of Blake could lead Chicago to reconsider, because Matthews does not appear to be in the club's plans.
Green joins three former Florida standouts in Washington, quarterback Danny Wuerffel and receivers Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering. Anthony and Green spent their NFL careers to this point in Tampa Bay, where Anthony was a 1997 first-round pick and Green was a 1998 second-rounder.
Green, however, clearly is the key pickup, having won Anthony's starting job midway through 1999 and established himself as a legitimate NFL deep threat. He finished that season with 56 catches for 791 yards and three touchdowns, but declined from there and last season lost his starting job to Karl Williams. Battling injuries, he caught just 36 balls for 402 yards and one touchdown.
In free agency, Green visited St. Louis, where he might have become the No.3 receiver on the Rams' talented offense. He also intrigued new Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, and it appeared late last week that he would re-sign or go to the Rams. Washington has kept its negotiations in free agency to this point extremely quiet.
Sources said Green's decision came down to the opportunity to reunite with Spurrier. Part of his decreased production with the Bucs apparently came out of frustration with the offensive scheme, and he appeared ready for a change.
Washington last week also reworked the contract of receiver Kevin Lockett, who was the club's No.3 wideout in 2001 and could perform the role again under Spurrier. Lockett, too, is a shorter receiver (6-foot) who relies more on getting open than establishing position and fighting off defensive backs for receptions.


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