- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

A deal to re-sign defensive lineman Carl Powell fell through in the final stages yesterday for the Washington Redskins.

NFL sources said Powell, a key reserve last season, rejected a three-year contract with a signing bonus of about $450,000. He now hopes to test the market as an unrestricted free agent. The signing period begins at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.

Washington's key question before free agency remains defensive tackle Daryl Gardener, who appears unlikely to re-sign. However, owner Dan Snyder did have another conversation with agent Neil Schwartz yesterday.

Gardener has indicated that he wouldn't consider the Redskins once the market opens, but Schwartz said the Redskins won't be excluded.

That said, Gardener is very confident he can get the deal he is seeking (including $15 million over the first three years) through free agency. Denver is a likely suitor, and he has said he would like to play for Cincinnati and Dallas.

Meanwhile, sources said Washington issued seven tender offers one to safety David Terrell, a restricted free agent, and six to exclusive-rights players.

The only player who could have received a tender offer but did not was wide receiver Chris Doering, the last of Spurrier's four former University of Florida receivers. Doering still could re-sign at the minimum but probably wouldn't be a factor as Washington remakes its receiving corps.

Terrell, a two-year starter at free safety, could attract some interest after receiving the one-year, $605,000 tender. A team who signs him away would have to compensate Washington only at the level where Terrell was drafted, meaning the club would owe a seventh-round pick. Former Redskins and current San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer was a big fan of Terrell's athleticism and could make a bid.

The six exclusive-rights players who received tender offers were fullback Bryan Johnson, tight end Leonard Stephens, offensive linemen Wilbert Brown and Alex Sulfsted, linebacker Antonio Pierce and Ohalete.

The club technically didn't have to make a tender offer to defensive tackle Del Cowsette because he went ahead and signed a one-year contract for the tender amount, $375,000. Exclusive-rights players like Cowsette cannot negotiate with other teams anyway.

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