- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2004

The Washington Redskins picked up a key blocker for coach Joe Gibbs’ offense yesterday, agreeing to terms with tight end Walter Rasby.

Rasby, 31, probably will start and is expected to provide pass protection and run blocking on the edge of Gibbs’ offensive scheme. Rasby played in Washington in 2001 and 2002, was a New Orleans Saint last season and was courted by the Houston Texans in recent days. A Redskins source said Rasby accepted a three-year deal.

The agreement marks the Redskins’ 11th pickup in less than a week of the signing and trading period. Washington has paced the market for a second straight year in making key acquisitions on both sides of the ball.

Next to visit the Redskins will be Carolina Panthers linebacker Greg Favors. Favors, 29, started 14 games for the NFC champions last season in place of Mark Fields, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. The Redskins view Favors, who played for defensive boss Gregg Williams in 1999 and 2000 as a Tennessee Titan and in 2002 as a Buffalo Bill, as a depth player at outside linebacker.

Washington has a six-year, $15million offer sheet out to a restricted free agent, St. Louis Rams cornerback Jerametrius Butler. A fifth-round pick would be required as compensation if the Rams don’t match the offer for the 25-year-old Butler by Friday. A starter in St. Louis, Butler is viewed as the nickel corner in Washington.

The Redskins are expected to speak to the agent for interior offensive lineman Eric Beverly today. Beverly, 29, visited Friday, but agent Vern Sharbaugh said he also would make visits to other teams.

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