- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2003

The Washington Redskins will not re-sign controversial defensive tackle Darrell Russell, vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said yesterday.

Russell, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, signed in October after being reinstated by the NFL from 1 seasons of suspension. Coach Steve Spurrier wasn’t totally on board with the pickup and Russell ended up playing limited snaps and recorded only four tackles. Russell was made inactive for Saturday’s finale against the Eagles for violating team rules.

Cerrato called Russell’s contract, the prorated portion of a one-year, $1.5million deal, “an eight-week dating period” that apparently didn’t work out.

“It’s not going to consummate in marriage,” Cerrato said. “He doesn’t fit into the kind of guys we’re looking for.”

Russell wasn’t available to comment after Cerrato’s comments, but earlier in the day he expressed disappointment at having let his team down when he was late for a team function.

“I got lost and my battery went dead,” Russell said. “It was like a movie set-up, but I still felt bad personally. I let the team down.”

In addition to a pair of drug suspensions from the NFL and dropped charges that he drugged a woman and videotaped two friends raping her, Russell was known for chronic tardiness to team functions while with the Oakland Raiders. In Washington, he was being scrutinized to see if he could avoid similar problems.

With Russell out of the picture, the Redskins will sift through free agency and the draft for two impact defensive tackles. Available veterans should include Tampa Bay’s Warren Sapp and Denver’s Daryl Gardener. The Redskins almost certainly could draft a promising tackle with a top pick which is projected to be No.5 following yesterday’s games.


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