Samuels Agree To Terms With Skins

LaVar Arrington, second from right, and Chris Samuels, second from left, were the No. 2 and No. 3 picks. AP

Chris Samuels settled into his room at the Washington Redskins team hotel and was due at morning practice. LaVar Arrington's bed and locker remained empty.

The Redskins announced Tuesday that they had agreed to terms with Samuels, a tackle from Alabama and the No. 3 overall draft pick in April. The agreement was reached Monday night, and Samuels then reported to the hotel for team meetings.

Financial details were not available, although CBS SportsLine reported that the contract covered six years for $30.6 million, with a $10 million signing bonus and a voidable seventh year. The two sides had been hovering around the $30 million mark for several days.

Samuels missed Monday's opening day of training camp, which was limited to rookies, first-year players, quarterbacks and players returning from injuries. The full roster reports Thursday.

Samuels is projected to start at left tackle, although he will be asked to win the job from veteran Andy Heck.

His arrival leaves No. 2 overall selection Arrington and Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis as the team's unsigned players. Arrington's contract is nearly complete, although it had been thought that his deal would be finished before Samuels'.

"When you have high picks like that, there's a lot that goes into the contracts," Vinny Cerrato, director of player personnel, said. "You can be close on some things, but it takes a while to get everything together."

Davis is another matter. The NFC's leading rusher last season, designated as the team's franchise player, was less than impressed with the Redskins offer of a $5 million signing bonus, especially given owner Dan Snyder's spending splurge that netted big bucks for Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and now Arrington and Samuels.

Davis offered to sign a one-year contract in May, a variation on the one-year, $3.532 million tender that must be offered to franchise running backs. The Redskins rejected that, Cerrato said, because they don't want Davis becoming a free agent again at the end of the season.

A holdout or two won't be the only distractions at this camp. Snyder broke a contract with Frostburg State University in Maryland and moved the operation to the Redskins' regular training facility

where the name has been changed from Redskin Park to Redskins Park and added "NFL experience" attractions to create a carnival atmosphere.

The sounds of coaches barking orders meshed with the racket of jackhammers Monday as the Redskins finished last-minute preparations for Thursday, when thousands of fans are expected to pay an NFL-first $10 admission fee to watch practice.

Coach Nov Turner approved the change, but the players have mixed feelings. It's nice to be close to home and close to fans, but the Allegheny Mountains feel a lot more comfortable than the humid, insect-infested flood plains of the Washington suburbs in July.

"I can stand out there in the heat because I don't do anything," kicker Brett Conway said. "For the other guys, it going to be hot. ... We also have to get rid of the bugs."

Notes

  • First-year running back Norman Miller twisted his right ankle and is day-to-day.
  • Cornerback and third-round draft pick Lloyd Harrison had a good day, picking off passes thrown by rookie quarterback Todd Husak. To be fair, the receiving corps was undermanned and began to wilt in the heat.
  • Snyder invited veteran Curtis Buckley, who tore his Achilles' tendon in the spring and is out for the season, to help coach the special teams.
  • Snyder really knows how to make an entrance: Minutes into the afternoon practice, his blue helicopter landed just beyond the end zone. Snyder, Cerrato and Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen hopped out and took their seats along the sideline.


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