- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2008

Seattle Seahawks free agent D.J. Hackett is exactly the type of player Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn wants to add to an offensive arsenal that includes vertically challenged receivers Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El.

But that doesn’t mean Hackett, who yesterday became the first free agent to visit Washington this offseason, will sign with the Redskins.

“This will all be up to him,” Zorn said of Hackett, who declined comment. “We’re not going to risk it all to try to pay him. The financial package has to work. But if we have a chance to get him, we’d like to have him. He’s got two other teams plus Seattle that wants to match [his contract offers].”

The Redskins made an offer to the free agent wideout, according to Hackett’s agent, Kevin Robinson. But Hackett left Redskin Park with Tampa Bay and Carolina still on his itinerary. He also could return to Seattle.

“I tried to instigate this a little bit,” said Zorn, a Seahawks assistant during Hackett’s four seasons in Seattle. “Nobody was bringing him anywhere. I said, ‘Let’s try to get him out here.’ We brought him out here, and now [it’s like], ‘Oh, they’re interested? Let’s see if we’re interested.’ ”

Teams are interested in the 26-year-old Colorado product because he’s a 6-foot-2, 208-pound receiver who runs smooth routes, has good hands and won’t shy from going over the middle.

In his final five games last season, Hackett caught 29 balls for 377 yards and four touchdowns. He added six catches for 101 yards and the winning touchdown in the NFL wild card playoff victory over the Redskins.

“When you run slants and things like that, you like to be big enough to where you can take a pounding,” Zorn said. “[When] you’re running inside on curl routes and crossing routes, you like to have a bigger target. And in the red zone when we’re going for the end zone, you like to have a target that you can throw to. D.J. fits that bill.”

However, Hackett was left out during the first 13 days of free agency. He never has had more than 45 catches, 610 yards or four touchdowns in a season, and he has a reputation for getting hurt. Hackett missed his rookie season with a hip pointer and the 2005 NFC Championship game and 10 games last season because of sprained ankles.

“One of the reasons he’s kind of looking around is because last year he was injured enough to where he only played six games,” Zorn said. “This guy is going to have to earn a position on any team he goes to right now because of what he didn’t do last year.”

Hackett also has endured criticism for his deceptive running style.

“If D.J. comes here, you guys will go, ‘Is he loafing?’ ” Zorn said. “And then you realize he’s behind the defender. He’s a smooth runner. It does look different. It’s different than Santana or Antwaan. If you can get by that, you’ll see that he’s pushing it.”

Notes — Mark Brunell, the Redskins’ starting quarterback for most of 2004-06, signed a two-year deal with New Orleans last night, according to a league source. The 37-year-old Brunell, who was third-string in Washington last season before voiding his contract last month, will replace free agent Jamie Martin as the backup to Saints quarterback Drew Brees. …

Zorn said the Redskins remain interested in re-signing their remaining free agents, including punter Derrick Frost, but not at their current prices.

“You just have to wait and see who’s coming after these guys,” Zorn said. “If nobody’s coming after them, it confirms to you that you’re at the right financial package.”

Voluntary offseason workouts begin Monday. Minicamp will run May 2-4, the weekend after the NFL Draft.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide