- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 13, 2004

New York Giants defensive end Kenny Holmes is expected to visit the Washington Redskins next week as the club searches for a modestly priced reinforcement for its pass rush.

Holmes has told associates he will visit, but a Redskins official said no meeting was scheduled as of yesterday evening. The official said Washington’s interest in Holmes “depends on the price.”

After pulling out of the Jevon Kearse chase early on free agency’s first day, Washington has eschewed pass-rushing options like Grant Wistrom, Bertrand Berry and Marcellus Wiley, all of whom signed with other clubs in recent days.

Holmes, 30, isn’t expected to command a premium to sign but would provide Gregg Williams, the Redskins’ assistant head coach for defense, another option in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Williams coached Holmes in Tennessee from 1997 to 2000.

Holmes registered eight sacks in his contract year with the Titans, then bolted to the Giants. Although he had eight sacks in 2002, his performance in New York was viewed as largely disappointing until last season, when in nine games he flashed some of his old form and recorded 51/2 sacks.

Arthroscopic knee surgery ended Holmes’ 2003 season early but isn’t expected to be much of a factor moving forward. He voided the final two years of his contract to set up a trip to free agency, but so far he hasn’t drawn much interest.

Washington officials have contended they don’t need reinforcements at defensive end and that newly signed Phillip Daniels could start at right end this season. Washington also has Regan Upshaw at the crucial pass-rushing spot. The club seemingly expects the bulk of its pressure to come from outside linebackers LaVar Arrington and Marcus Washington.

Another Giant, cornerback Ralph Brown, is scheduled to visit at some point next week, the Redskins official said. Brown worked last season with defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker, who is now with Washington.

The Redskins have offers of similar value out to Carolina Panthers linebacker Greg Favors and Giants linebacker Brandon Short, but no signing is imminent in either case. Short appears to be looking for a starting job, which isn’t available in Washington. The Redskins intend to sign only one or the other.

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Warrick Holdman is scheduled to visit Monday, and former Giants linebacker Michael Barrow could make a trip at some point as well.

Meanwhile, safety Todd Franz and linebacker Lemar Marshall, both special teams regulars last season, re-signed with the Redskins.

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