The Redskins acquired Dalton from Denver for a seventh-round pick, which bumps to a fifth-rounder if he plays 40 percent of the snaps. The Redskins will pay Dalton $900,000 this season, a $700,000 decrease from his pay with the Broncos.
Denver figured he was expendable because it had depth and players who were at his level made much less.
''Lional is a strong player,'' Redskins defensive line coach Robert Nunn said. ''He did a good job last year holding the point of attack. He can help us and you've gotta have as many guys as you can to help inside.''
Dalton lost 30 pounds before this season, cutting out sweets and working out at Cris Carter's speed camp in Florida.
''I'm quicker,'' Dalton said. ''My body is responding well to the weight loss. As you get older you don't need to weigh as much. You rely more on technique than just pushing guys around.''
Dalton will fight for a starting job here. Plus he returns to the East Coast--he spent four seasons in Baltimore. Dalton started 13 games for Denver last season, but was benched for two of the final three games.
Now he's in Washington.
''My wish came true,'' he said.
. . . The Broncos liked Dalton more at the ''three technique'' or the traditional tackle over a guard. But they also used him at nose guard this summer. He'll play both in Washington. Green Bay, in the running for him as well, liked him at the three also.
. . . Nunn said tackles Jermaine Haley and Bernard Holsey ''separated themselves'' from the group with their performance against Baltimore. They were outstanding and freed up the linebackers to make plays. Of Baltimore's seven running plays against the first defense, Washington's linebackers made the tackle five times. That's all you can ask.
. . . But Haley won't play against Jacksonville because of a sprained ankle.
. . . Linebacker LaVar Arrington also will sit out because of a mild knee sprain.
. . . As much as I like running back Sultan McCullough, I have one problem with keeping him on the final roster--if it's at the expense of any of the other running backs. All he can do right now is run the ball. He can't help in the passing game as a receiver or even picking up the blitz--major factors in this offense--and he doesn't help on special teams. Kenny Watson has an edge on him in all three areas. But McCullough runs hard and has speed. Can't coach the latter, as they say.
. . . Today's cuts: corner Alex Molden, tackle Greg Scott, tight end Leonard Stephens, corner Lloyd Harrison, corner Wade Davis and defensive tackle James Cannida.
The only mild surprise was Cannida. But Del Cowsette had looked better. Molden looked bad from the first camp--too stiff and his reaction time was weak compared to others. And Greg Scott looked like an end trying to play tackle, which he was. Scott could never stay low enough to do anything inside.
Those of you who have read these reports since camp started should have anticipated these moves.
Molden's departure is good news for undrafted free agent Ade Jimoh. He's looked good enough to have a serious chance to land the final corner spot. The Redskins like him.
. . . Line coach Kim Helton barked at Pita Elisara this afternoon, chewing him out for not making the correct line call. Elisara has worked at tackle, center and guard this week. He hasn't looked particularly good at any of them.
. . . Defensive coordinator George Edwards to receiver Rod Gardner, after he made a catch while lying on the ground near the end zone, ''You can tell you're getting ready to go to Jacksonville.'' Gardner is from Jacksonville.
. . . Steve Spurrier worked with quarterback Gibran Hamdan on his throwing motion during practice, showing him how to get more shoulder turn.
. . . Safety Jordan Younger dropped a certain interception today, prompting end Ladairis Jackson to yell, ''Come on now, catch the ball! Give me 10!'' So Younger dropped and did 10 push-ups. Even Spurrier yelled, ''That was an easy catch.'' A couple plays later Younger dropped another one.
. . .Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter also didn't practice, taking a day off to rest his knee.
. . . Corner Rashad Bauman dislocated his left pinky finger, but is expected to play Thursday. Guard/center Wilbert Brown (elbow) will not play vs. Jacksonville.
. . . Here's something you didn't know about Dalton: he likes video games and dancing and he plays the cello. His nickname is Jelly. For whatever all that's worth.
. . . Today was the last full day of practice open to the media. Some celebrate; I mourn.
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