- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Washington Redskins were in position last night to add two free agents to the mix for their nickel cornerback job, but neither was standout Bobby Taylor.

Agent Ken Zuckerman confirmed that Ralph Brown agreed to a two-year deal, valued at $1.4million, and sources close to talks for Walt Harris said he was nearing a pact as well.

Taylor’s visit today will be canceled. The nine-year veteran of the Philadelphia Eagles remains the best available corner in free agency, but his contract expectations were far above what the Redskins hoped to pay.

The cornerback position now is expected to have Fred Smoot and newly signed Shawn Springs starting with Brown, Harris and 2002 third-round draft pick Rashad Bauman competing for the No.3 spot. Brown, Harris and Bauman also are expected to contribute to special teams.

Bauman performed fairly well as the Redskins’ third corner last season but is 5-foot-8 and would be somewhat suspect if Smoot or Springs were injured. Also, the Redskins are keeping an eye on 2005, when Smoot will be an unrestricted free agent.

Both Brown and Harris have some injury concerns. Brown underwent shoulder surgery this offseason and might not be available until May or June. Harris tore a tendon in his knee several weeks ago and probably won’t be ready until training camp.

Brown, 25, received a $250,000 signing bonus in his pact. He started four games in the New York Giants’ injury-depleted secondary last season before dislocating his shoulder and pretty much missing the rest of the year. The four-year vet, who has played only for the Giants, has three career interceptions.

Harris, 29, started 15 games for the Indianapolis Colts last season but was released in late February in a move at least partly related to the salary cap. The eight-year veteran played his first six seasons for the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the first round of the 1996 draft. He has 17 career interceptions.

Washington was scheduled to meet last night with New York Giants defensive end Kenny Holmes, who will stay through today and undergo a physical. Holmes, 30, played for Redskins assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams in Tennessee.

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