- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2004

The Washington Redskins will issue the lowest tender offer to their four restricted free agents: wide receiver Darnerien McCants, fullback Bryan Johnson, linebacker Antonio Pierce and safety Ifeanyi Ohalete.

The one-year, $628,000 offers will do little to protect the Redskins from being raided, but of the quartet only McCants is likely to be much of a commodity. Plus, vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said Washington intends to match any offers from other NFL teams.

Restricted free agents, who must be tendered by today, can test the market and sign an offer sheet with one other club. If the offer sheet is not matched by the original club, the original club receives draft-pick compensation.

At the lowest tender level, the compensation is based on the player’s original draft round. McCants would trigger a fifth-round pick as compensation; the others, all undrafted, require no compensation.

The middle tender level is $1.368million and requires first-round compensation, while the highest level is $1.824million and requires first- and third-round picks.

McCants, who has great size and eight touchdowns in two seasons of sporadic NFL action, should see some activity. But the Redskins, who signed Laveranues Coles, Chad Morton, Matt Bowen and Jermaine Haley as restricted free agents last year, are confident none of the four will get away.

“We tendered all four of them at the low number with the idea that we’ll match any offer,” Cerrato said.

Meanwhile, the Redskins are expected to pursue defensive end Phillip Daniels, who was released by the Chicago Bears. Chicago already had given permission for Daniels to speak with other teams, and Washington has been in contact with him. Daniels, 30, is viewed as a potential reserve on the defensive line.

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