- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 9, 2004

The Washington Redskins met with free agent center Cory Raymer yesterday and appear to have serious interest in signing the one-time local fan favorite.

Raymer, who was released by the San Diego Chargers last week, was at Redskin Park yesterday to talk with club officials. Sources said no deal was imminent, but Raymer, who has battled injuries throughout his career, appeared to be in good health after passing a physical.

If signed, the 31-year-old could have a chance to compete with Lennie Friedman for the starting center job. Veteran Larry Moore, who started eight games before missing the second half of the season with a foot injury, is likely to be cut.

A popular player among fans and teammates alike, Raymer started 53 games with the Redskins from 1995 to 2001. The former second-round pick from Wisconsin signed with San Diego as a free agent in 2002 and suffered a season-ending Achilles’ heel injury after three games. He came back to play in 15 games last year, starting eight, and was voted “Co-Lineman of the Year” by his Chargers teammates.

Raymer’s visit to Washington came on the same day fellow free agent center Eric Beverly signed with the Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins were one of several teams to meet with Beverly.

New York Giants linebacker Brandon Short is scheduled to be at Redskin Park today. The four-year veteran recorded 48 tackles and three sacks last year and was a college teammate of LaVar Arrington’s at Penn State. In Washington, Short likely would be a key backup at linebacker and a contributor on special teams.

The Redskins also met with Carolina Panthers linebacker Greg Favors yesterday, but he left town without a deal.

Though things have slowed down considerably since last week’s frenzied march through the free agent market, Washington is not finished assembling its 2004 roster; the club yesterday formally announced the signing of punter Tom Tupa.

The Redskins are still waiting to hear from the St. Louis Rams, who have until Friday to match a six-year, $15million offer sheet for restricted free agent cornerback Jerametrius Butler. If the Rams let Butler go, Washington would have to give up its fifth-round draft choice.

One high-profile player the Redskins continue to insist they are not going after is defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Despite renewed speculation that Washington could be interested in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran, club sources reiterated that Sapp is not on their radar screen.

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