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ESPN Insider: Redskins opt not to deal for tackle


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Redskins opt not to deal for tackle

By Darrell Trimble

NFL Insider


The Washington Redskins will no doubt be on the receiving end of criticism for not pulling the trigger on a trade for Lional Dalton or Ted Washington, especially considering the interior of their defensive line is extremely thin. But the Skins should be commended and not derided for not letting panic cloud their judgment.


This is not to say that the Redskins don't have serious issues with their defensive tackle rotation. They currently have Jermaine Haley and Bernard Holsey as their starters, and both are not quite good enough to be effective starters. In fact, they might be the worst defensive tackle duo in the league.

But the price for Dalton and Washington was too high. The Redskins wanted to acquire Dalton, but only if the Broncos would agree to accept a conditional draft choice, according to the Washington Post. That way, the Skins wouldn't be out of a pick if Dalton failed to make the squad. Denver instead found another team to deal with who was willing to take a risk on the sixth-year player.

Washington's caution is understandable. Dalton is a player that came to Denver with great expectations. Although he had started only five games and had a total of one sack in his four-year career in Baltimore, he was a hot commodity and the Broncos gave him a seven-year, $22 million deal in February 2002. But after starting 13 games he was benched due to poor play.

He did work hard on the offseason, shedding 36 pounds and was at his lowest weight since his rookie season, but the Redskins spoke to Marvin Lewis, who was their former defensive coordinator and the coordinator at Baltimore when Dalton was there, and they didn't hear anything positive enough to make them move on a deal.

Washington was a different story. As his surname would suggest, he'd be a perfect fit for the team, but his price was also too steep. He was traded for a fourth-rounder and the Redskins would likely have been willing to pay that, but because they didn't have one next year they were not willing to give up a third-rounder to bring Washington to D.C.


A third-round pick is far too much for a player who carries as much risk with him as Washington. He is a 35-year-old man who is trying to come back from leg and foot injuries that limited him to only two games last season. Taking into account that those legs and feet will be trying to support 375 pounds, there is a good chance that he may not be able to recapture the form that made him one of the best run-stopping interior lineman in the league.

Still, the Redskins are aware they need help and are still looking. They are interested in getting Grady Jackson from New Orleans, but the Saints won't let him go. Instead they're offering backups Kenny Smith or Martin Chase in a deal involving one of the Redskins' backup tailbacks, Ladell Betts or Kenny Watson.

If that's the best they can do, they can do, the Skins could be in for a long season on defense, but at least they didn't give up future draft picks to get players who might not be an upgrade at all. It's a rather tarnished silver lining, but a silver lining nonetheless.

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