- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2004

The Washington Redskins resumed visits with prospective draftees yesterday, playing host to three defensive stars, including Miami safety Sean Taylor.

Taylor and Miami tight end Kellen Winslow II, who visited early last week, are the Redskins’ top two options with the No.5 overall pick, sources familiar with the team’s draft preparations have said.

Taylor (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) is viewed as an impact safety of rare talent. His range would allow him to play free safety in Washington’s defense, moving Matt Bowen to strong safety, which some club officials consider Bowen’s more natural spot.

Washington also is considering trading down, which is why Miami linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Virginia Tech cornerback DeAngelo Hall also arrived in town to begin visits.

Taylor, Vilma and Hall will be at Redskin Park today and depart as another trio arrives. Scheduled to fly in tonight are Oklahoma defensive tackle Tommie Harris, South Carolina cornerback Dunta Robinson and Miami linebacker D.J. Williams.

Later this week, Washington will play host to Southern California defensive end Kenechi Udeze. Ohio State defensive end Will Smith was supposed to begin a visit last night but missed the trip for personal reasons. There has been some evidence the Redskins are high on Smith.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether Washington is considering a move up to No.2 to grab Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery. Vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato denied an ESPN.com report that the team is eager to pull off such a deal, but Washington did have Gallery in for a visit last week.

One official with another NFL club characterized that scenario as more of a media rumor than a real possibility. And a number of sources familiar with the situation believe the Redskins do not possess the ammunition to move up from No.5 to No.2.

One scenario would have the Redskins trading offensive tackle Chris Samuels and the No.5 pick to Oakland for the No.2 pick and something else of value, perhaps later selections. However, the Raiders will field draft-day offers that include selections, most likely from the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. Also, there is some skepticism that Oakland is as eager to drop back as is generally assumed.

At the foundation of the Samuels-Gallery rumors seems to be at least one shaky premise, that Washington is fed up with Samuels for failing to redo his contract.

According to a source close to the situation, Samuels has been willing to restructure the remainder of his deal for 2004 cap room or to consider a long-term extension next year, when he has just one year left on his deal.

The only scenario Samuels will not consider is one in which he negotiates a new extension now, while he still has two lucrative years remaining, as linebacker LaVar Arrington did in December.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide