Redskins free agency less than a day away

<p><b><center>WR Laveranues Coles</b></center>

With free agency less than a day away, the Redskins continued to move toward resolving two issues: Chris Samuels and Laveranues Coles.

Neither one appeared to be resolved at this point, but don't panic. The Redskins have enough room under the salary cap to at least get involved in free agency when it begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

And their first day, which always contains the usual surprises, could be nothing special. They might get a visit from Baltimore free agent center Casey Rabach on the first day. Rabach is a versatile lineman coming off a good year -- he can also play guard.

Certainly, the Redskins likely will target another player other than him on the first day. But if not it would be a positive sign: more than anything they need to alter their offseason habits if they want to become a strong franchise again.

We can dismiss with the notion about how people want to play here because it's the Redskins. Their glory days are too far gone for that to be the case. They come because Dan Snyder routinely overpays for free agents. Some, such as a Shawn Springs or Brandon Noble, also come because it's home, or close to it. Most, though, see green and not Burgundy and Gold. Such is the way of the NFL.

But perhaps a slow start would also signal a desire to take care of their own guys first, such as Antonio Pierce or Fred Smoot. I wouldn't break the bank on either player -- Pierce was a byproduct of having guys up front keep defenders off him. He's a nice, smart player and good to have; he's a coach on the field. He should be more valuable to the Redskins than to anyone else. I don't think another team will overwhelm him with an offer.

Smoot is intriguing to other teams. At least one team, and likely more, had him rated ahead of corner Samari Rolle in part because he's a couple years younger. By the way, the Rolle story was a mistake from the start, considering there was never any interest. I don't think Smoot is a top-notch No. 1 corner -- does a lot of good things, but is not the athlete Springs is. But he's a good player and could probably squeeze out more than a $10 million bonus the Redskins reportedly offered him.

Washington also tendered Restricted Free Agents Rock Cartwright, Demetric Evans, Tim Hasselbeck and Andre Lott as well as Exclusive Rights Free Agents Chris Clemons, Jeff Chandler and Ron Warner.

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