Irving Fryar was perfectly content spending his football retirement covering football. Then the Washington Redskins changed his mind.
"I really had gotten to a point where I really though it was over," Fryar said Thursday as he signed a three-year contract with the Redskins. "I was out with Channel 6 covering Eagles training camp and everything was fine."
"I didn't have any desires to come back, but now I'm here and everything points to go."
The five-time Pro Bowl receiver said he didn't want to retire at the end of the season, but wasn't in the Philadelphia Eagles' plans and didn't want to move his family again. He was lured back because the Redskins are close enough that he won't have to uproot, and give him a chance to end his career on a positive note after a dismal season with the Eagles.
"For me, personally, last year was the worst year of my life," said Fryar, who caught 46 passes for 556 yards. "My goal this year is to have fun again. I didn't have any fun last year."
Fryar, 37 next month, instantly becomes the only proven 16-game receiver in the Redskins lineup. Initially, he'll compete with James Thrash and Chris Thomas for the No. 3 spot behind Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell.
"I'm not coming here to start now," Fryar said. "I'm coming here to help. I'm not coming here to create waves or cause any trouble."
Although the contract runs for three years to ease the Redskins' burden under the salary cap, Fryar is committed to playing only the first year and maybe the second. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately available.
"He brings so much to the table in terms of skill and veteran leadership," coach Norv Turner said. "He is a welcome addition to the team."
Fryar last made the Pro Bowl in 1997, when he had 86 receptions for Philadelphia. He is 17 yards short of becoming the eighth player to reach 12,000 receiving yards.
"I've been working out a little bit," Fryar said. "It won't take me long to get into game shape and contribute to the team."
Meanwhile, the Redskins are still pursuing another retired player, Chris Doleman, 37, who quit after a 15-sack season last year with San Francisco.
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