Blake decision expected soon

The Redskins could know as soon as Wednesday whether or not Jeff Blake will be their quarterback. But if rumors, and some cold hard facts, are to be believed, Blake likely will land in Buffalo.

Blake visited both Buffalo and Washington last week and said he faced a tough decision.

But it might not be so tough. After all, the Bills have more money to spend (they're nearly $9 million under the salary cap) than the Redskins (who are under $2 million after signing receiver Jacquez Green).

Also, a source close to the Bills says one agent told him that ''the word on the street is that Blake will sign with Buffalo.''

Of course, the word on the street in January said Steve Spurrier wouldn't coach the Redskins.

Still, Blake likes Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, having played one year under him at East Carolina. And Blake wants to be in a place where he can trust the coaches. He already has a relationship with Gilbride, tipping another factor the Bills way.

But it remains to be seen if the Redskins are even serious about Blake. They say they are, but about two weeks ago, Spurrier said the Redskins had no interest in signing a ''10-to-15 year veteran'' which Blake happens to be. The reason? Too costly.

Also, Spurrier anticipated trading for Chicago backup Shane Matthews. It's a trade that could happen soon with the Bears interest in Chris Chandler. Or the Redskins could wait until Chandler signs and the Bears cut Matthews. Either way, the price tag won't be high.

Ideally, the Redskins seem to prefer Matthews and his salary (approximately $900,000) to Blake. That way they could still sign other players who could help. If they sign Blake, they likely must cut at least one player. And be unable to sign another who could help.

As Spurrier said last week, ''Our sins of the past are catching up with us.''

One player it would be surprising to see the Redskins sign is ex-Skin guard Tre Johnson. Naturally, Johnson's agent said he'd love to return. Considering Johnson doesn't have a job, of course he'd like to come back.

There's one thing: why sign Johnson now? He's coming off his second-straight injury season and could be had in June. The Redskins need to toss money at potential starters. And, given Johnson's recent past, he doesn't qualify as that.

He could be a nice pickup in June and he could blossom. But, as of now, he's not a sure thing. Which means he's not a good buy.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers.


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