Washington will miss Coleman

The move didn't stun anyone--it had been expected for a long time. It just saddened them. When the Redskins released Marco Coleman on Monday, the players lost a locker room leader.

The Redskins cut Coleman for salary cap purposes. They saved $3.5 million against the salary cap, money that will be used to sign their 10 rookies.

Washington also hopes to sign a guard--free agent Kipp Vickers, a former Redskin, worked out for the team Monday--and a defensive tackle.

Redskins coach Steve Spurrier expressed hope that perhaps Coleman could be resigned.

For Coleman to return, but both sides would have to budge, which is why he was cut rather than have his contract restructured. He would reportedly like a multi-year deal for more than the minimum salary that Washington has offered.

''I hope he's on our team,'' Spurrier said. ''If there was no cap, I can assure you he'd be on our team.''

Coleman was due a roster bonus of $500,000 today, which is why the move occured Monday afternoon. Washington also might release long snapper Ethan Albright and corner Donovan Greer, who doesn't figure into the Redskins' plans at all.

Albright might be kept until camp because the Redskins have two rookie long snappers competing for the job.

Coleman earned his teammates respect for playing hurt and saying what needed to be said. When it needed to be said. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2000 season, his first trip to Hawaii. But he played hurt most of last season and missed three games because of arm injuries.

''We'll definitely miss his leadership,'' Redskins safety Sam Shade said. ''I know that a lot of people can't see that and don't see that, but the guys in that locker room and on the field know who the leaders are.

''Marco was not only a leader of the defense, but he was one of the leaders of the whole team. He wouldn't say, 'I'm a leader, follow me.' He just led. Some people have it in their character; that's Marco.''

Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen said, ''If someone needs extra pushing, there are a lot of ways to do it. Marco had a great feel for how to do that.''

Jansen faced Coleman every day in practice the past two years. Both are known for practicing as hard as anyone, making for interesting battles.

''He helped me tremendously,'' Jansen said. ''He was just always going, always pushing me to do something better. He was an intelligent guy. If you beat him with one move it wouldn't work the next time so I had to come up with all new stuff.''

Coleman's absence means Renaldo Wynn likely will shift to left end. But look for Wynn to still play inside on occasion.


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