Mitchell likely headed to Seattle

If the Redskins hope to add a starting defensive tackle, it likely will be through the draft. They're expected to lose out on free agent Brandon Mitchell, his agent said today.

Mitchell is expected to sign with Seattle, perhaps as early as tonight, according to his agent Jeff Durand.

''We're in a heavy negotiation with Seattle,'' Durand told The Journal Newspapers. ''It's very much looking like Seattle. We may have this done before the day is over.''

The Redskins were one of six teams negotiating with Mitchell and the first to respond to Durand's initial proposal. Mitchell had started most of the past three seasons for Super Bowl champ New England.

That means Washington likely will be seeking help along at defensive tackle when the draft starts April 20.

Most draft experts say at least four defensive tackles will be drafted in the first round: Tennessee's John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth, North Carolina's Ryan Sims and Wisconsin's Wendell Bryant. Also, Notre Dame's Anthony Weaver is a possibility.

Pro Football Weekly's Joel Buchsbaum told last week that he rates Weaver with the other four, calling it a five-deep draft at tackle.

The Redskins, though, appear undecided on who they will draft. If they draft a tackle, it's likely to be Bryant or Haynesworth--one of whom could be available here.

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