- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 9, 2002

Washington Redskins tight end Stephen Alexander sounded as though he was through visiting teams as an unrestricted free agent following a trip to Houston yesterday.
"I've been to San Diego and Houston so far, and those are really my top two choices right now," Alexander told reporters in Houston. "I've got four or five trips planned next week, but I'd rather not take them. I'd like to sit back and weigh my options with the places I've been."
Alexander could become the Redskins' third free agent to depart, following defensive end Kenard Lang (Cleveland) and center Cory Raymer (San Diego). Washington has not re-signed any of its other 14 unrestricted free agents as it follows a conservative offseason strategy.
Alexander, 26, battled an ankle injury most of last season and finished with just nine catches, a big disappointment after his trip to the 2000 Pro Bowl. The 1998 second-round pick totaled 122 receptions in four seasons with the Redskins.
Houston's interest in Alexander stems in part from general manager Charley Casserly, the former Washington GM who drafted Alexander. In San Diego, Alexander could be reunited with former Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer. One of his planned trips next week reportedly is to Cincinnati.
Alexander called Houston "a perfect fit" and listed its attractions as Casserly, the coaching staff led by Dom Capers, proximity to his family (he grew up in Oklahoma and went to the University of Oklahoma) and a modern training facility.
"The weather's great here and it's a great place to live," Alexander said. "A big thing with teams right now is the offseason conditioning program, and I think a lot of guys would want to stay here and work out."
Linebacker Shawn Barber, another Redskins free agent, is scheduled to visit Cleveland and the New York Giants next week.
One free agent in whom Washington is interested, New England defensive lineman Brandon Mitchell, also visited Houston yesterday.
The Redskins also are looking at Miami defensive end Kenny Mixon, who reportedly is being offered a multi-year deal of about $2.5 million annually to become Minnesota's starting left end, and New York Jets defensive tackle Steve Martin.
Redskins tight end Marco Battaglia, who was picked up off waivers late last season, reportedly is visiting Tampa Bay this weekend.


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