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Washington Post: Skins still after Trotter

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Redskins Still Pursuing Trotter

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, April 18, 2002; Page D03

The Washington Redskins continued contract negotiations yesterday with the representative for free agent Jeremiah Trotter, hoping to complete an agreement with the Pro Bowl middle linebacker before this weekend's draft.

Trotter, who became an unrestricted free agent when the Philadelphia Eagles lifted their franchise-player tag from him 13 days ago, also has drawn interest from the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.

But a revised contract proposal made by the Texans on Tuesday apparently fell short of Trotter's expectations. The Packers don't appear ready to move quickly or to offer Trotter a hefty contract, and Vikings officials say they expressed only exploratory interest and aren't seriously bidding.

Trotter and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, were in the D.C. area Sunday night and Monday. Trotter dined with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on Sunday and met with defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis on Monday. The Redskins tried to sign Trotter, 25, before he left town Monday afternoon, but were unable to complete a deal. Joe Mendes, the Redskins' vice president of football operations, has continued deliberations with Sexton by telephone.

Trotter likely will sign a five- to seven-year contract worth at least $4 million per season, with a signing bonus of $5 million to $7 million. Some Redskins officials seem concerned about the salary-cap implications of signing Trotter, but the club would love to have Trotter to play alongside its two Pro Bowl outside linebackers, LaVar Arrington and Jessie Armstead.

The Redskins plan to clear salary-cap space in the coming weeks by negotiating a new contract with tailback Stephen Davis and reworking the deals of veteran defensive ends Marco Coleman and Bruce Smith. Coleman would be released in June if he refuses to renegotiate his contract, sources have said, and Davis would be in danger of being released following the 2002 season without a new deal.

The Redskins have put most of their other free agent deliberations on hold to prepare for the draft but remain interested in obtaining quarterback Shane Matthews. Club officials appear interested in Virginia Tech wide receiver Andre Davis, perhaps as a prospective second-round selection Saturday.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

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