Matthews is available

Chris Chandler is a Chicao Bear. Finally. And Shane Matthews can be traded. Finally. The question is, do the Redskins still want him?

Chicago thinks so. Which is why Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said today he would contact Washington about a possible trade.

Angelo hinted it wouldn't take much to trade Matthews, a nine-year veteran and ex-Gator. A fifth-round pick would probably complete the deal immediately. Chances are, the Redskins could give up a seventh, plus a possible conditional pick should Matthews start the bulk of the season. A Bears source said that Washington had not contacted Chicago for a while regarding Matthews, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins remained interested.

But, considering Chandler's agent, Frank Bauer, and Redskins vice president of football operations, Joe Mendes, are close friends, Washington probably knew when it needed to call.

A week ago, Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said he'd be content with Danny Wuerffel and Sage Rosenfels as his starters. But few took him seriously, considering he had been talking up Matthews for some time.

Last month, Spurrier had said he'd be happy with his quarterback situation if he could land Matthews. When it didn't happen immediately, Spurrier grew frustrated, not realizing these trades often are made just before the draft.

Also, the Redksins' quarterback situation impressed no one but Spurrier, making the acquisition of another potential starter mandatory.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers.

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