Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Washington Redskins yesterday eyed another addition to their defensive secondary as former Chicago Bears cornerback RW McQuarters visited Redskin Park, but no signing appeared imminent.

McQuarters, a first-round draft pick by San Francisco in 1998, when current Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato headed up 49ers scouting, was released by the Bears on Monday. Over seven NFL seasons McQuarters has started 58 games, including 14 last season with Chicago.

The Redskins already have acquired one veteran defensive back this week, signing safety Cory Hall on Tuesday.

McQuarters, 28, could add experience and depth to the Redskins’ reserve cornerbacks. The club, which plans to open the season with Shawn Springs and Walt Harris starting, used the draft’s ninth overall pick on Carlos Rogers and otherwise has options like Garnell Wilds, Rufus Brown and Ade Jimoh.

Another potential benefit of obtaining McQuarters might come on special teams. He has returned punts and kickoffs, averaging a career-high 12.2 yards on punts in 2003. The Redskins remain uncertain in both areas, largely because Chad Morton was modestly effective the past two seasons and still is recovering from a torn ACL.

McQuarters was scheduled to make $3.05 million this season with the Bears, who traded a conditional pick to the 49ers in 2000 to obtain him. That hefty salary, combined with a dispute with coach Lovie Smith last season and Chicago’s desire to test younger players, reportedly led to his release.

It remains unclear how much interest McQuarters is drawing around the league. Among other teams who might have him visit are the New York Giants.

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