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Redskins Not Alone in Wooing Trotter


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Redskins Not Alone In Wooing Trotter

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 17, 2002; Page D08

A day after they were unable to complete a contract agreement with free agent Jeremiah Trotter before he finished a visit to Redskins Park, the Washington Redskins found themselves negotiating against the Houston Texans for the Pro Bowl middle linebacker.

The Minnesota Vikings also entered the bidding yesterday, and Trotter had planned to visit the Green Bay Packers late this week. But the Redskins and Texans appeared to be the front-runners, and Trotter seemed prepared to cancel his visit to Green Bay if either offered him a contract he deemed acceptable. According to NFL sources, Trotter likely will sign a five- to seven-year contract with a signing bonus of $5 million to $7 million.

The Redskins nearly signed Trotter, 25, on Monday, sources said. Trotter met with defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis on Monday after dining with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on Sunday. Trotter's agent, Jimmy Sexton, also was at Redskins Park on Monday and, according to sources, discussed contract terms with Joe Mendes, the Redskins' vice president of football operations.

Trotter visited Houston last week and the Texans remained in the bidding yesterday, sources said. The Redskins seemed wary of the Texans' ability to offer Trotter a more lucrative deal because Houston has more salary cap space.

The Redskins would like to play Trotter between their two Pro Bowl outside linebackers, LaVar Arrington and free agent addition Jessie Armstead. But they have taken a deliberate negotiating approach this offseason, looking for bargains in a thin free agent market, and that continued Monday in the deliberations with Trotter.

The Redskins likely will clear salary cap room later in the offseason by negotiating a new contract with tailback Stephen Davis and reworking the deals of defensive ends Marco Coleman and Bruce Smith. Sources have said that the Redskins would like to retain Coleman if he agrees to renegotiate his contract, but would release him in June if he refuses.

Trotter, a two-time Pro Bowl selection in Philadelphia, would have earned $5.5 million next season as the Eagles' franchise player. The Eagles gave him that designation in February to limit his mobility on the free agent market. But the club removed the tag 12 days ago after the relationship between the two sides deteriorated, and that made Trotter an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins have Kevin Mitchell to start at middle linebacker if they don't sign Trotter, and may have more pressing needs at other positions.

"I think he's a bonus," Lewis said yesterday. "We could line up and play with the guys we have now."

The Redskins, like other NFL teams, have put most of their free agent deliberations on hold while they prepare for this weekend's college draft. They have negotiated with wide receiver Michael Westbrook and have expressed interest in free agent wideout Willie Jackson.

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I find it funny that a good percentage of the articles from the post continue to mention the ongoing negotiations with MW. What's up with that. I mean,how long should it take if both parties are interested, and if not, why continue to talk.

Sounds like BS to me. Has there been any word on Ben Coleman?

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I have read nothing on Ben Coleman except that he was waiting for an offer from an undisclosed team. My guess is that he is still rehabbing from his knee surgery, in that he has not been making the try-out rounds. My guess also, is that he winds up in San Diego with Marty ball, especially in that he played for the Chargers before coming to the Skins.

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