- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2003

Add the name Gilbert Brown to the Washington Redskins’ list of possible alternatives to defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson.

NFL sources confirmed last night that the Redskins are considering signing Brown, who has been balking at a minimum-salary offer to re-sign with Green Bay.

Acquiring Brown, 32, would allow the Redskins to release WilkinsoAn, who is refusing to take a pay cut. The club appears increasingly determined to have Wilkinson play for less than the $3.5million he is scheduled to make, and so far threats to cut him haven’t been taken seriously.

Washington also is monitoring several other defensive tackles around the league who might be cut or become available via trade during training camp, NFL sources have said. Among those potential options are Chicago’s Ted Washington.

In essence, the Redskins are starting to broaden their thinking on the interior line as camp approaches. The club initially demonstrated scant interest in Brown, and even early this week sources said Washington wasn’t considering any of the available defensive tackles as replacements for Wilkinson.

Pursuing Brown could apply some pre-camp pressure to Wilkinson to drop his salary. The Redskins want a pay cut sooner than later because a camp injury to Wilkinson would leave them on the hook for his entire salary. The defensive tackle has felt little pressure to take a pay cut, knowing that a player like Washington wouldn’t be available for several weeks, if at all.

Brown would have the opportunity to start in Green Bay but wants more money. The Packers’ current offer (one year, $680,000) is the most that can be made and still qualify for the veterans’ cap credit. Any increase would result in a significantly higher salary cap charge.

In Washington, Brown likely would back up nose tackle Brandon Noble, while No.3 tackle Jermaine Haley would slide into the starting lineup. Del Cowsette, Bernard Jackson and newly signed Bernard Holsey then would compete to back up Haley.

Currently Noble and Wilkinson would start, with Haley backing up both spots.

Meanwhile, third-round draft pick Derrick Dockery moved closer to a contract agreement as Redskins players prepared to report to camp tomorrow.

The offensive lineman was set to receive the three-year deal he sought, NFL sources said, worth a bit more than $1.39million. The Redskins had been pushing for a four-year contract that would have kept Dockery from becoming a restricted free agent in 2006 but backed off yesterday.

Dockery’s signing bonus was in line to be between $485,250 (given to San Diego tackle Courtney Van Buren, selected right before Dockery) and $482,130 (given to Carolina cornerback Ricky Manning Jr., selected right after Dockery).

The Redskins remained optimistic that second-round pick Taylor Jacobs would be in camp on time. Serious negotiations with agent David Ware began only yesterday after Ware had finalized a deal with Dallas on Thursday to get No.5 overall pick Terrence Newman into Cowboys camp.

Notes — Defensive end Regan Upshaw expects to practice only once a day until his surgically repaired knee proves sound. Upshaw, who tore an ACL last summer and missed much of the 2002 season, underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-May and was held out of the final offseason practices while rehabilitating.

“I’m anxious to see how it’s going to react on the field,” Upshaw said. “I think my schedule is to be practicing once a day. That’s what they told me. … My goal is to see how my knee reacts to the banging on it. Hopefully it will be in good enough shape where I can do more than they’re expecting out of me.” …

Wide receiver Justin Skaggs was waived after passing a physical. His NFL Europe-exempt roster spot had been given to cornerback Larry Austin, and the Redskins decided to keep Austin instead of reinstating Skaggs.

Staff writer Mark Zuckerman contributed to this article.

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