Free Agency Preview - Redskins RFAs
A Restricted Free Agent (RFA) is any player who has completed three seasons and has an expired contract. A RFA will receive a "qualifying" offer from his old team. After his contract expires, he has 60 days to seek offers from other teams. If another team signs the player to an offer sheet, his old team can match the offer and retain the player. If the offer is not matched, then the player will go to the new team and the old team will receive one or more draft picks as compensation.
The Redskins currently have six Restricted Free Agents heading into the 2005 off-season.
Linebacker Antonio Pierce
Antonio Pierce was slated as Mike Barrow's backup heading into the 2004 season. Barrow suffered knee tendonitis and was forced to sit out the whole season, paving the way for Pierce to start all 16 games and tally career highs in tackles (160), sacks (1) and interceptions (2).
The Redskins have been working on a new contract with Pierce since mid-December. He was named a second-alternate to the 2005 Pro Bowl in late December.
Cornerback Fred Smoot
Fred Smoot played his first season as a No. 1 cornerback and filled in admirably for the departed Champ Bailey. Smoot finished the season with 57 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 12 passes defended.
Smoot, whose agent has been in negotiations with the team since mid-season, was very positive about a deal being worked out. But as of late, he has expressed that he had a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't return. Like Pierce, Smoot was named a second-alternate to the Pro Bowl.
Linebacker Lemar Marshall
Nothing more than a special teams role player before the season, Lemar started the final 14 games in place of LaVar Arrington, who underwent knee surgery after the team's loss to the New York Giants in Week 2. Lemar recorded 82 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the season.
Defensive End Demetric Evans
Evans was bothered by an ankle injury throughout the 2004 season but started 8 games in place of Phillip Daniels and gathered 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks, both career-highs. Evans signed with the Redskins in June after spending 2001-2003 with the Dallas Cowboys and the 2004 off-season with the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe.
Safety Todd Franz
In 2003, Franz led the Redskins in special teams tackles but finished fifth on the team in special teams tackles in 2004. In Week 5, against the Baltimore Ravens, he recorded his first career interception for 22 yards.
Safety Pat Dennis
The Redskins signed Dennis during mid-season as a backup. He played mostly on special teams and ended the season with 13 tackles on special teams in only 11 games.
This article was released on 2005-01-19.
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