88Comrade2000 Posted January 1, 2002 Share Posted January 1, 2002 Bledsoe in Burgundy and Gold? Redskins Could Join Chase for Demoted Quarterback, but Price May Be Steep By Mark Maske Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, January 2, 2002; Page D03 The Washington Redskins probably will be among the teams investigating a trade for quarterback Drew Bledsoe this offseason but would be unlikely to complete a deal if the New England Patriots set a high asking price for their demoted starter, league sources said. Jim Miller, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency in the offseason, apparently could be another quarterback candidate for the Redskins if his team, the Chicago Bears, were to trade for Bledsoe instead of re-signing Miller. The Bears reportedly have made Miller a two-year contract offer worth about $3 million. The Redskins likely will attempt to upgrade at quarterback. Only one quarterback, rookie Sage Rosenfels, is under contract for next season. Starter Tony Banks and veteran backup Kent Graham are eligible for unrestricted free agency. Team officials are evaluating where Banks might fit into the club's plans, but Coach Marty Schottenheimer declined to say this week where Banks will stand when the season ends. The Redskins (7-8) have been eliminated from playoff contention and finish their season Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field. "I think what we'll do is wait until the season concludes and we'll evaluate every and all positions with regard to next year," Schottenheimer said. Schottenheimer said the Redskins have not begun the formal process of considering their quarterback options. But some club officials have begun to sort through the options informally and sources said the Redskins, like virtually every other team in the league in need of help at quarterback, plan to monitor the Bledsoe situation. Many NFL executives believe that Bledsoe, who turns 30 in February, will be traded in the offseason. He has not regained his starting job since suffering a serious chest injury during a game in September. Tom Brady has led New England to the playoffs and is a younger and less expensive quarterback. But Bledsoe's 10-year, $103-million contract does not necessarily preclude him from being traded for salary cap reasons. Trading Bledsoe would, in effect, cost New England only an additional $1 million against next season's salary cap. The Patriots would have to absorb a $6 million salary-cap hit for the previously uncounted portions of Bledsoe's signing bonus, but they would save $5 million in cap costs by unloading his 2002 salary. Any team trading for Bledsoe would inherit his contract and would have to either rework the deal or pay his scheduled salaries of $5 million next season, $5.5 million in 2003 and $6 million in 2004. The team would have until Nov. 1, 2004, to decide whether to exercise an option in Bledsoe's contract for the 2005 to 2010 seasons. The Patriots could try to wipe Bledsoe's contract off their salary cap completely by making him available to the Houston Texans in the expansion draft. But if they lose Bledsoe in the expansion draft or release him, the Patriots would get nothing for him, and some front-office executives believe New England's initial asking price for him in a trade could be two first-round draft picks. The Redskins would be unlikely to meet that price, sources said, but perhaps would consider trading for Bledsoe at a lower cost. He is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who threw for at least 3,200 yards in each of the previous seven seasons. But teams are concerned about the severity of the injury he suffered this season, and about his mobility and potential future durability. The Bears reportedly have had Bledsoe under consideration. But they have been one of the league's success stories this season with Miller, 30, and could re-sign him instead. If Miller is available when the NFL's free-agent market opens in March, though, he could be an option for the Redskins. Schottenheimer said before the Redskins faced the Bears a few weeks ago that he always has liked Miller as a quarterback going back to Miller's first few years in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1994 and '96. The Baltimore Ravens could consider releasing quarterback Elvis Grbac, who played for Schottenheimer in Kansas City. Jay Fiedler can utilize an option in his contract with the Miami Dolphins to become a free agent. But otherwise, the top free-agent quarterbacks could be Trent Dilfer and Gus Frerotte. © 2002 The Washington Post Company<< Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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