Bowen officially goes to Redskins

As expected, the Packers have declined to match the Washington Redskins' offer sheet to safety Matt Bowen.<p>

The Packers will receive a sixth-round selection from Washington in the upcoming NFL draft on April 26-27. Compensation is based upon where Bowen was drafted (sixth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2000).

Bowen received a four-year, $6 million offer, including a signing bonus of $1.6 million from the Redskins. He is expected to start for the Redskins. He would have been a backup in Green Bay behind Pro Bowler Darren Sharper and Marcus Anderson. The Packers, tight against the salary cap, obviously felt that matching the Redskins' offer would have been too much to pay a backup safety.

In 2002 out of more than 130 restricted free agents available, only one changed teams.

Free agent John Keith, who played for the San Francisco 49ers last year, is expected to visit Green Bay this week.

Bowen, who joined the Packers as a free agent late in the 2001 season, played in all 16 games in 2002, making six starts. He had 42 tackles from scrimmage (tied for second among reserves), including 1 forced fumble, and posted one interception among 7 passes defensed.

Bowen, 26, finished the regular season third on the team in kick coverage tackles with 18.

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