- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2003

The Washington Redskins could get their No.3 defensive tackle before rather than during the draft. NFL sources said yesterday the club has intensified efforts to sign run-stopper Jermaine Haley to an offer sheet before tonight's midnight deadline for restricted free agents.
A seventh-round pick would be required as compensation for Haley, who is viewed as one of the few quality defensive tackles available. Haley, 30, was solid last season as Miami's No.3 interior lineman but recently was supplanted by free agent Jeff Zgonina. Elsewhere on the market, only Dallas' Mike Myers seems compelling.
Despite Haley's potential, Washington's interest was slow to blossom. Even late last week, the Redskins seemed lukewarm on him. But the club, engaged this week in draft meetings for defensive players, apparently decided Haley was attractive enough to step up pursuit.
Green Bay was the other major contender, having recently made Haley an offer that fell below his expectations. The Packers are offering Haley a solid chance to start, while in Washington he probably would be a frequently used reserve behind Dan Wilkinson and newly signed Brandon Noble.
Haley's other option is to sign his one-year, $605,000 tender offer with Miami and wait for unrestricted free agency next year. However, that could have some downside; with the Dolphins, he might not get much playing time as the No.4 guy or could be traded somewhere he doesn't want to go.
Washington had been expected to look for a defensive tackle in the April 26-27 draft, perhaps using its top pick (12th of the second round) in a deep class of interior linemen. Obtaining Haley would leave the Redskins with just three selections the second-rounder, one in the third and one in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Washington's lone restricted free agent, safety David Terrell, is talking to San Diego about a potential offer sheet. Terrell remains likely to sign his one-year, $605,000 tender offer and remain a Redskin, but there is a chance former Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer could make a play for him, agent George Mavrikes said.
The Redskins would not be expected to match an offer sheet for Terrell, particularly if it was at all substantial. Green Bay's Matt Bowen already was signed to start ahead of Terrell, and the Redskins will look in the draft for further upgrades.
Bowen also was a restricted free agent; when the Packers declined to match his offer sheet, the Redskins surrendered a sixth-round pick. Terrell would generate a seventh-round selection as compensation.
Terrell, 27, was taken in the seventh round in 1998 but didn't earn a spot on Washington's active roster until 2000, when he emerged as a special teams standout. Schottenheimer then promoted Terrell to the starting lineup in 2001, liking his athleticism and hoping he would blossom. Terrell's play since then has been mixed, and some in the Redskins organization now see him as expendable.
Elsewhere, agent Ken Sarnoff said the Redskins have expressed "mild" interest in wide receiver Marcus Robinson, cut yesterday by Chicago. Several other teams seem to have more urgency, including Arizona.
Robinson, 28, was one of the NFL's premier wideouts in 1999, catching 84 passes for 1,400 yards (still a Bears record) and nine touchdowns. But injuries in 2000 and 2001 limited his play, and he was only marginal by last season. He remains an intriguing prospect because of his size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), athleticism and an anticipated small price tag.

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