- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2006

Washington Wizards restricted free agent Jared Jeffries is strongly considering signing the team’s one-year qualifying offer of $2.8 million, which would allow the forward to pursue unrestricted free agency after next season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

This comes as negotiations between Jeffries’ agent, Andy Miller, and Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld have cooled over the last week.

Jeffries is restricted, meaning the Wizards can match any offer he receives. But the number of teams with available cap space has dried up considerably, leaving undesirable destinations such as Atlanta (with its ownership quagmire), Charlotte and Toronto as the only teams with much room under the $53 million cap.

Most teams Jeffries would prefer to play for have only the mid-level exception available.

Jeffries can mull the qualifying offer until October. He also could be packaged in a sign-and-trade agreement, something the Wizards don’t seem anxious to do.

Meanwhile, a team spokesperson confirmed a report in yesterday’s editions of The Washington Times that coach Eddie Jordan and the team have reached an agreement on a contract.

“An announcement is coming soon,” the spokesperson said yesterday. “It’s all a matter of finalizing the contract at this point.”

Jordan will sign a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth season. The first three years are guaranteed at $12.5 million. Jordan has one year remaining on his original contract.

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