Bruce Allen: T.Williams Will Sign On Time, McNabb Priority

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen’s top priority a week before players report to training camp is ensuring that first-round draft pick Trent Williams is among that group. Coach Mike Shanahan and Allen believe it’s extremely important to have the team operating at its first practice on July 29 as a single unit with no outliers.

I asked Allen this morning whether he is confident that Williams, the fourth-overall pick and first offensive lineman drafted, will sign on time.

“Confident? Yes, because I’m optimistic,” he said. “I’m aware that not one first-round draft choice has signed yet. I think we have some unique characteristics to these negotiations.”

What those characteristics are, exactly, he did not say. However, the possibility of a lockout in 2011 is undoubtedly affecting such talks across the league. We saw it in how the Redskins and other teams operated during free agency, as well. How does a team guarantee money to a player for a season that might not be played? Further complicating the matter is that it’s unknown whether a salary cap will be in place under a new collective bargaining agreement.

Some figures to keep in mind, though: Last year’s No. 4 pick, Seattle linebacker Aaron Curry, signed a six-year, $60 million deal with $34 million guaranteed, according to NFL.com.

Also last season, the second- and sixth-overall picks were offensive linemen Jason Smith and Andre Smith, respectively. Jason signed with St. Louis for five years, $61.8 million ($33 million guaranteed). Andre signed with Cincinnati for four years, $26 million ($21 million guaranteed).

Newly-added starting quarterback Donovan McNabb also has a contract issue on the horizon. He’s about to enter the last year of his current deal, and it would seem to make April’s trade for him more worthwhile if the Redskins could secure McNabb’s services beyond 2010.

“Donovan is a priority to us,” Allen said. “He has been everything we wanted when we traded for him—and then some. But I don’t know how to put a date on it. The first thing is to make sure that everyone who is unsigned gets signed this year.”

That means Williams, of course, and restricted free agent cornerback Carlos Rogers, who has not yet signed his tender. However, Rogers vowed this spring that he would sign before training camp. Attempts to contact Rogers’ agent in recent days have been unsuccessful.

Finally, Allen said nothing has changed regarding Albert Haynesworth’s impasse with the team. Haynesworth issued a statement through his agent last month saying he would report to training camp.

“I expect everybody to report,” Allen said.

Even Albert?

“Yep,” he said.

[via]


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