- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2003

The Washington Redskins hired Eric Schaffer, staff counsel for one of the nation’s largest sports marketing firms, as contract negotiator and salary cap expert.

Schaffer, a licensed agent who previously headed the legal team at IMG Football, joined the Redskins’ front office this week and has begun working for owner Dan Snyder and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato.

Schaffer essentially takes over for Joe Mendes, who parted ways with the club this spring after seeing his responsibilities diminish from de facto general manager to salary cap and contract negotiator.

One of Schaffer’s first responsibilities will be to play a role in negotiations with Washington’s three draft picks. The agents for second-round selection Taylor Jacobs, third-round pick Derrick Dockery and seventh-round pick Gibran Hamdan have not opened formal discussions with the Redskins yet, though are expected to start within the next week.

Schaffer’s previous duties at IMG included assisting agents Tom Condon and Ken Kremer with contract negotiations, research and dealing with salary cap issues.

The Redskins also have made four additions to their personnel department, hiring former quarterback Cary Conklin and Marcus Dupree as college scouts, Mike Kelly as pro scout and former assistant coach Foge Fazio as special assistant to personnel.

Conklin, who was the Redskins’ backup quarterback from 1990 to 1994, has been an assistant coach at the University of Washington and Eastern Michigan in recent years. Fazio, the Redskins’ linebackers coach in 2000 and the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator the last two years, will be a part-time consultant to Cerrato.

Kelly spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, serving as offensive assistant/quality control coach last year, while Dupree most recently was general manager of the Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings of the Arena League.

Note — The Redskins cheerleading squad will perform a variety show for allied troops in Iraq today, the culmination of a three-week tour of the Middle East.

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