- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shawn Springs has been one of coach Joe Gibbs “core” Redskins during his three-year tenure in Washington. However, Springs isn’t feeling the love from the organization these days. The veteran cornerback said yesterday that he wouldn’t be surprised if he were cut soon as the Redskins revamp their roster following the 5-11 debacle of 2006.

“I’m in the dark,” said Springs, who missed half of last season with three different injuries. “The last time I talked to them a couple of weeks ago, they said they didn’t know what they were going to do, so how I am supposed to know? But you know what? I can’t worry about it. If they do cut me, I’ll be somewhere else and I’ll be fine.”

Springs is vulnerable to being released by the salary cap-strapped Redskins for several reasons. He’ll be 32 two weeks from tomorrow; he missed so much time last year; and because his $7.35 million cap cost for 2007 is Washington’s second-highest.

Contrary to published reports, Springs said that the Redskins shouldn’t feel any urgency to make a decision about his future because his roster bonus isn’t payable on Thursday. Instead, Springs said he’s due $1 million on April 1 and another $1 million on June 1.

“We have to work through the situation and see what we can do,” Gibbs said. “The good thing about Shawn is that he can start at corner, he’s … a bright guy who can play nickel and he can certainly move to safety at some point. He’s somebody that has real value. We’re trying to talk through that game plan that will be good for him and us.”

Springs, a starter throughout his 10-year career with Seattle and Washington, signed a six-year, $30 million deal with the Redskins in March 2004 immediately after the team traded perennial Pro Bowl corner Champ Bailey to Denver for running back Clinton Portis.

Springs was superb in his first season in Washington and helped the Redskins end a six-year playoff drought in 2005. However, 2006 was very frustrating. Springs missed two months following pelvic surgery on Aug. 15, sat out another game with a bad hamstring. He ended the season on injured reserve after breaking a shoulder blade in St. Louis.

“Things happen,” Springs said from Arizona, his offseason home. “The shoulder wasn’t that big a deal. I was moving around real well two weeks later and my [pelvic injury] is fine. I’m running fast and bench-pressing 300 pounds. I hear how I’m going to be 32, but [receivers] Joey Galloway, Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens are all older than me and no one says anything about their age.”

Springs is obviously at home in Washington after starring at Springbrook High while his father Ron — a former Dallas running back — was an assistant coach at Howard. However, Springs said whether he stays put or not isn’t his choice.

“I’d love to stay here, but that isn’t up to me,” said Springs, who figures to be a hot free agent if he’s on the market in early March when teams will have plenty of cap room. “That’s up to Coach Gibbs.”

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