That's not surprising given the Redskins desire to land him, and the fact that not many teams were interested in him. But Fletcher fills a hole in the middle and allows Lemar Marshall to move to the weakside. Famed talent evaluator Gil Brandt said he spoke with Marv Levy a few days ago and the Bills executive said Fletcher was still a good player. But we've talked to others who say he's only OK in coverage and is better moving laterally. However, he's also considered a terrific leader, on and off the field.
Another point: If the Redskins had re-signed Antonio Pierce two years ago, they would not have had to pay a 31-year-old linebacker more than $10 million to sign. That's more than Pierce received. Had they played it smart a couple years ago, they would have had a comparable player and they could have spent this money elsewhere.
Who else visited: Corner Fred Smoot left Redskins Park without a contract -- one report said Smoot had signed a deal earlier in the day, but he, his agent and the Redskins all said nothing had been signed. Most likely he'll be easy to sign and he really wants to sign here, saying, ''This is a second chance.'' He's very excited about the chance at playing in Washington again. Very excited. We mean very, very excited.
Who's next: Offensive lineman Leonard Davis and corner Travis Fisher are scheduled to be at Redskins Park on Saturday. Davis was in Dallas today and would be moved to left guard in Washington; he's played right guard, right tackle and left tackle in the NFL. But his size makes him a strong possibility in the interior. One scout told me, ''He's better than Dockery.'' And he called him a ''mauler.'' But others have called him lazy. As for Fisher, he's best served as a nickel corner. He's missed 21 games the past three years with injuries.
Reading into it: If the Redskins sign Smoot and Fisher, that would likely spell the end of Shawn Springs' tenure in Washington. As we've said, Springs will not take a pay cut. And there's no way he hasn't seen what's happened in the league today with the silly contracts. He could be cut and end up with more money from another team.
Goodbye: Derrick Dockery landed a huge deal in Buffalo. Just not sure he's worth it, but it also depends on how much the Redskins sign his replacement for.
Staying put: Safety Vernon Fox signed a new deal. Though he started the last six games of the season, he's much better as a third or fourth safety and special teams ace. He's excellent on teams, but he misses too many tackles despite his willingness to hit. And he's too small for a fulltime role on defense.
Also: Guard Randy Thomas and fullback Mike Sellers both received multi-year extensions. Thomas had three more years on his deal, but he would have counted around $5.5 against the cap this year and $9.4 against the cap next year. Sellers' deal was up after this season.
Irony: It's funny how much silly money is being spent today -- seriously, a $22 million bonus for Nate Clements? That's ridiculous. Much as I like the fellow ex-Buckeye, he's not in the same category as Champ Bailey. And people say the Redskins overspend? Of course they do, but clearly they're not driving the market this year.
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