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Redskins Deal For DT Chase


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Wednesday, August 20

Redskins deal for DT Chase


By Len Pasquarelli


Rebuffed in their attempts to deal for defensive tackle Ted Washington, the Washington Redskins recovered on Wednesday by trading for Martin Chase, a six-year veteran who has spent most of his career with the New Orleans Saints.

New Orleans will receive a seventh-round choice in the 2004 draft. The selection can escalate to a sixth-rounder if Chase participates in more than 40 percent of the defensive snaps this season.

The deal came after days of talks between the tackle-needy Redskins, who lost starter Brandon Noble to a season-ending knee injury last week, and Saints officials. The Saints were one of the few teams in the league with solid tackle depth. Washington had been attempting to deal for another Saints tackle, third-year veteran Kenny Smith, but New Orleans wanted to retain the athletic youngster.

The Redskins might have been able to land Ted Washington on Tuesday night had they matched the fourth-round draft pick the New England Patriots sent to the Chicago Bears for the five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle. But the Redskins didn't have a fourth-round pick in the 2004 draft -- ironically, because they sent it to the Patriots during the '03 draft -- and Washington declined to surrender a third-round pick for a 35-year-old veteran.

Chase, 28, is a career backup, who has played in 41 games and started five. The former Oklahoma star has 45 career tackles and one sack but at least provides the Redskins another experienced body for their interior rotation. The Green Bay Packers had also spoken to the Saints about a possible trade for Chase.

There figure to be even more defensive tackle trades in the next few days.

As illustrated by the blockbuster contract extension the Tampa Bay Buccaneers awarded Anthony McFarland earlier on Tuesday, the tackle spot has become a key position. And those clubs who need interior line help, like the Redskins, have been burning up the phone lines to the few franchises with viable depth at the position.

Look for the Denver Broncos to deal Lional Dalton, possibly as early as Wednesday, for a middle- or late-round draft pick. Broncos officials have apprised the Redskins, who had some interest in Dalton, that they have a deal in place with another needy team. Dalton apparently will facilitate a trade by reducing his $1.6 million base salary for 2003.

Green Bay offers one example of how teams will reach for even moderately talented players to fill tackle holes. The Packers on Sunday signed four-year veteran Larry Smith, just days after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Smith had several off-field incidents during his Jacksonville tenure, and was the first player in the Jaguars camp this year to suffer a heat-related illness.

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I'm glad to see the Front Office is not panicking, and signing any warm body they can find for any price.

Chase is a big guy, who can make a difference just by not being pushed out of the way.

Hopefully, though, he'll do more than just stand there. :bow:

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