Reunion With Raheem Morris Important To E.J. Biggers
A day after signing a one-year contract with the Redskins, Biggers said he’s excited to be able to work with Morris, his former head coach in Tampa Bay, once again.
BY ZAC BOYER
E.J. Biggers and Raheem Morris developed a close bond during their three seasons together in Tampa Bay, so when Biggers heard that Morris and the Redskins were among the first teams to reach out to his agent after free agency opened last week, the cornerback wasn’t surprised.
“Hey, you go with what you know,” Biggers said Thursday by phone.
The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback signed a one-year contract with the Redskins on Wednesday, leaving the team that drafted him after four seasons. According to a league source, Biggers will earn a base salary of $635,000 with a $500,000 roster bonus and $365,000 signing bonus in 2013.
A short-term deal was fine was fine with Biggers, who understood that a crowded cornerback market prevented him from getting the long-term, big-money deal he was seeking.
He paid attention to where other players signed, knowing that they would affect his options. And though he was open to returning to Tampa Bay, the Redskins – and Morris, now their defensive backs coach – were persistent, and Biggers decided to head north.
“That’s a guy that knows you, knows the ins and outs of what you can do, and to reach out to you? That speaks enough,” Biggers said.
The Redskins were in need of a cornerback after releasing DeAngelo Hall last week, and head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters Wednesday morning at the owners’ meetings in Phoenix that the team was close to finalizing a deal with a player it “targeted” through free agency.
That long-term interest was important to Biggers, who feels comforted by the organization’s commitment. Yet he hasn’t been granted anything yet; the Redskins have said nothing about slotting him in alongside Josh Wilson as a starter, even though he’s started 24 games for Tampa Bay over four seasons, including 12 last year.
“As a football player, you want to be a competitor, so I mean, you’ve got to always be ready for the challenge,” Biggers said. “Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m gonna be willing to do it, whatever it is. Pass out water – whatever it is. I’m gonna be willing to do it, and I’m gonna do it to the best of my ability.”
Biggers had 51 tackles, a sack and an interception last season, and he also broke up seven passes and forced two fumbles for the Buccaneers.
It was the best season of his career – and now, it’s on to Washington. He will be in attendance for the start of the team’s voluntary workouts beginning next month, giving him as much time as possible to adjust to his new team and familiarize himself with his old coach.
“I mean, we had great times in Tampa, did a lot of great things, and I loved everything about it,” Biggers said. “Now it’s a new journey with the Washington Redskins now. I look forward to the opportunity and can’t wait to get around the guys and just showcase my talents.”