Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Redskins notes, quotes and observations (Mon, a.m., 1/3)
It’s a busy day at Redskins Park. Players filed in this morning to get their exit physicals and clean out their lockers before scattering for the offseason. We’ll meet with coach Mike Shanahan at 4 p.m. to get some state-of-the-team insight. But here’s an early roundup:
DL Albert Haynesworth returned to Redskins Park, as expected. He declined to comment, also as expected. We’ll find out at the top of the hour whether Shanahan met with him. DL Vonnie Holliday suggested that the situation needs “closure,” but that won’t happen until the Redskins trade him or release him later this offseason.
LB/DE Andre Carter seems at peace with the probability that he has played his last game with the Redskins. The team would have to pick up a $4 million option bonus to bring him back next season, which seems unlikely considering how ill-fitted he is for outside linebacker in a 3-4.
“It is tough,” Carter said. “There’s so much history here. I’m very appreciative of the guys I’ve played with: Phillip Daniels bringing me in, Renaldo Wynn, Joe Salave’a, Cornelius Griffin, those are the guys that we had a lot of great battles together. The run we made in 2007 was such a big part of my career. It’s a lot of memories, but the game of football is always going to keep on continuing. That’s just life.”
Carter is best suited to be a 4-3 end; look for him to be in such a situation next season.
“I’ve been a 4-3 end before, and the reasons for coming here to the Washington Redskins in ’06 was to be a defensive end,” he said. “Sometimes the game always evolves, and you’ve got to find what your role is.”
WR Malcolm Kelly’s attempted return to the field will begin in earnest shortly after the Super Bowl, he said. Kelly’s hamstring has been completely healed for months now, and all parties involved admit he should have been put on the physically unable to perform list before training camp instead of risking a setback—which ultimately occurred.
Shanahan wanted Kelly to demonstrate his commitment to the team by attending meetings and workouts despite being on injured reserve, and Kelly believes he did that.
“That’s hard man, coming to meetings every day when you know you’re not going to go out there and play, especially when you have the option to be back home or just hanging out,” Kelly said. “Coming up here on Saturday morning’s for the walkthrough, for some people it’s pointless, but at the same time it’s showing him that I want to be here, I want to be in the playbook.”
If Kelly ever to reach his potential, it would provide an immeasurable boost to the offense and the team’s building process, as a whole. The Redskins need receiver help, especially one who’s 6-feet-4 with good hands, and Kelly already is on the roster. However, Shanahan can’t enter 2011 counting on him to be productive. At this point, whatever they get from Kelly is a bonus.
QB Rex Grossman will drive to Tampa with his wife this week to spend the offseason. His fate is in Shanahan’s hands now.
“I felt like I’ve had a good year from minicamp to training camp throughout the season,” Grossman said. “They know who I am. I feel like I have another level I can reach, and I believe they think that too.”
Shanahan will make his decision on Grossman over the next few weeks, as he reviews game film and weighs the quarterback options in free agency and the draft.
Players left today without knowing when they’ll be back. Because the players’ collective bargaining agreement with the NFL expires in the first week of March, it’s possible that owners will lock them out and prevent them from working out at team facilities this offseason.
“We all want to play football, but this is the business side of the NFL,” DL Kedric Golston said. “It’s a great game but a tough business. We’ll see.”
A worst-case scenario involves some type of work stoppage during the NFL season. Players generally are maintaining an optimistic wait-and-see approach.
“It just doesn’t make sense that they would lock us out and kill the golden goose,” Grossman said. “Maybe I’m naïve about it, but I just don’t see it happening.”
TE Chris Cooley had arthroscopic surgery on one of his knees today. He reported via Twitter that the surgery was successful. C Casey Rabach said he’s scheduled for right shoulder surgery on Thursday.