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Redskins Complete Deal With Free Agent Tight End

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, October 6, 2003; 12:41 PM

The Washington Redskins completed a contract agreement today with free agent tight end Byron Chamberlain, sources said.

Chamberlain was at Redskins Park this morning, although the deal perhaps was contingent on him passing a physical later today. Tight end Zeron Flemister said he was released by the club this morning to clear a roster spot.

"I was a little surprised, but I can understand," Flemister said. "I haven't played well this year. I've been hurt. They had to get rid of somebody, I guess."

The Redskins signed Flemister to a three-year, $2.02 million contract extension in December. The deal included a $350,000 signing bonus. But he had only one catch this season and missed two games because of a foot injury. The injury had been described as an strained Achilles' tendon. But Flemister said as he left Redskins Park that he had bone spurs with a slight fracture in his heel. He said he was well enough to play, however. He participated in about 10 plays in the Redskins' 27-25 loss on Sunday at Philadelphia.

Chamberlain, 31, reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth slightly more than $2 million, including incentives. He impressed Redskins officials during a workout on Friday after being released by the Minnesota Vikings last Monday. The Vikings chose not to retain him after he was reinstated by the league following a four-game suspension for testing positive for ephedra. He had 57 catches for the Vikings in 2001 and was selected to the Pro Bowl. He has 163 receptions in eight NFL seasons for the Denver Broncos and Vikings.

He joins second-year pro Robert Royal as the tight ends on the Redskins' 53-man roster. Team officials had been trying to add a proven pass-catching tight end since the offseason and moved quickly when Chamberlain became available. The two sides had a deal basically in place before the Redskins' defeat in Philadelphia, sources said, and applied the finishing touches today. Royal had two catches in that game to give Redskins tight ends six receptions in five games this season.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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Well done by FO to move in and grab this guy. I think the reason we weren't throwing to the TEs much this year is because they had lost all confidence in Flemister (and he was hurt of course) and Royal is still developing but very slow.

So good move, here. I wonder how long it will take him to get up to speed.

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Originally posted by El fantasma de Bufford

I can't see him even being ready to play until after the bye-week....at the earliest.

yeah its gonna take quite a bit of time for him to digest the playbook.

Well at least we know Royals will get plenty of playing time until then.

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I agree Bufford, but seriously, how hard is it to learn some basic stuff: Ok, it's 3rd down Byron, go in there, run ten yards turn around and look for the ball.

I can't imagine he'll see extensive action till after the bye, but that's not to say he can't be productive here and there.

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