Santana Moss resigns with Washington Redskins
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins welcomed old players back Tuesday and reached out to some new ones, the start of a frenetic week for a last-place team trying to rebuild itself in a compressed timeframe.
Yet, in one sense, nothing changed during the 4½-month lockout. Marquee disappointments-turned-distractions Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth were still on the roster — still a pair of simmering, tiresome issues that needed to be resolved.
"Albert, McNabb, you name it, we need to start winning ballgames right here," Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo said, "and forget about all the drama that we go through each and every year."
Orakpo was among several players who walked in the front door at Redskins Park shortly before the 10 a.m. start time decreed for the reopening of NFL business following the lockout.
Quarterback John Beck and tight end Chris Cooley weren't far behind, and soon a group of players were on the practice field, going through some basic conditioning drills. More players arrived throughout the day to meet with coaches and get reacquainted with the play book.
"I came for the free lunch," quipped receiver Anthony Armstrong.
Neither McNabb nor Haynesworth was among the early arrivals, hardly a surprise given the lingering acrimony from last season. McNabb was benched twice by coach Mike Shanahan and demoted to third-string for the final three games, while Haynesworth feuded often with the coach and was suspended for the final four games.
The lockout meant Shanahan couldn't trade or release either player until this week. Now, with time running short, the Redskins had little leverage to strike a deal because other teams know the team has wanted to be rid of both. McNabb and Haynesworth will be required to report when training camp opens Thursday if they're still part of the team, an awkward and potentially divisive reunion for an organization trying to move forward.
"With Donovan, I don't know what's going to happen with that situation," Beck said. "There's no telling. I'm sure they have a plan."
Even if Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen were willing to divulge the plan, they were too busy to spend any time talking about it. They were working the phones to start the process of signing draft picks and undrafted rookies. Tuesday was also the day that teams could begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents, although those players can't be formally sign until Friday afternoon.
Santana Moss was the first of the Redskins own free agents to return to the fold, agreeing to a three-year, $15 million deal that includes a $5 million signing bonus, according to ESPN. The 32-year-old receiver caught 93 passes last season for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns.
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