Teams start looking for deals

The expected announcements that the Washington Redskins would acquire quarterback Mark Brunell from the Jacksonville Jaguars on March 3rd. The Redskins and Brunell have agreed to a seven-year pre-trade deal to secure a trade between the two-teams could be completed.

With the Brunell trade, teams that were interested in the veteran quarterback (Miami, San Diego, New York Giants) now can go onto plans A, B, or C.

If a team is looking for a quarterback through free agency in 2004, the quality and depth at the position is termed as marginal. After consensus number-one quarterback Peyton Manning, the hopes of acquiring a player that can step in and become a viable starter for any team becomes a crapshoot.

In signing Brunell, the Redskins have the veteran presence Joe Gibbs and company wanted to lead the team onto the field. Now, playing the obvious second-fiddle in Washington, quarterback Patrick Ramsey becomes a very hot commodity for teams seeking a quarterback.

A market for the Redskins to move Ramsey is a solid one. There has become a stigma with the teams at the top of the draft list is they appear unwilling to expend the selection on a quarterback, makes a young quarterback with some experience a valuable commodity.

However, the Redskins have expressed no desire to trade the promising Ramsey.

The San Diego Chargers are one team looking for a new starting quarterback, though the team will not openly state this position. Over the past two-weeks, the Chargers have inquired about or have begun monitoring the availability of experienced and viable starting quarterbacks. With the increased interest the Chargers have shown in the wide receivers and offensive linemen this off-season at the college level, a quarterback may not be in the San Diego plans come draft day.

"If the Chargers select a quarterback with the first-pick in the draft, I would be surprised," one league personnel director said. "They (San Diego) appear to be poised to get a quarterback that can step in and lead them, it does not look like the guys there (in San Diego) are comfortable with selecting another quarterback with the first selection in the draft, and have to wait on his development.

With the offensive weapons in place there, they may be better served if they can land an above average quarterback and add talent to the wide receiver corps or along the offensive line to compliment running back LaDanian Tomlinson."

Following the workout of Drew Henson in Texas, the Houston Texans are holding the cards to what may be the hottest prospect at the quarterback position.

The Texans have received calls from over 12 teams regarding the availability status of Henson, a former college quarterback from the University of Michigan. Having not played organized football in three-years, Henson was solid in a scripted workout in front various NFL teams recently.

From teams looking for a quarterback to those, which may be planning for the future, Henson received attention that has not been witnessed at this level for a considerable amount of time. From the Chargers, to the Packers, Bills, Browns, Cowboys, and Dolphins showing a serious interest in the quarterback.

The Dolphins and Texans are expected to meet at the combine Friday about Henson.

Another player, which is available, is Washington cornerback Champ Bailey. Bailey, a standout, shutdown cornerback has been ‘franchised' by the Redskins, but can be acquired in a sign and trade deal. The Detroit Lions have conducted lengthy negotiations with Washington front office personnel, but a deal is far from being in the works.

Matt Millen and Steve Mariucci from the Lions are expected to meet with representatives from the Washington Redskins on Saturday to further discuss the possibility to bringing Bailey to Detroit.

What intrigues Millen and Mariucci is the potential cornerback duo of Bailey and Dre Bly. Undermanned at the cornerback spot, the Lions, with the acquisition of Bailey could arguably sport the best starting cornerback tandem in the game, which would be the first step in significantly improving at times porous defense.

Seeking a high first-round and other considerations, the Redskins have also spoken with as many as ten-teams about the availability of Bailey, Ramsey, and other Washington players. This past week, the Cleveland Browns acknowledged they have had discussions with the Redskins about Bailey and possibly Ramsey.

The Browns and Redskins are expected to talk further at the combine over the weekend, but nothing appears to be close in the making between the two clubs.

As for the Houston Texans and Drew Henson? Henson will be dealt, from evaluator's notes has the physical tools and intangibles to become a successful NFL quarterback. The pressure may be on teams in need to find a quarterback, but it is the Texans that must ensure Henson's name is on a contract April 23rd, or he will enter the NFL Draft.

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