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Griffin Signs, Strengthening D-Line

The Redskins continued to revamp their defensive line this offseason with the signing of free agent defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, a four-year NFL veteran who previously played with the New York Giants.

Griffin, 6-3 and 300 pounds, is regarded as a strong, durable lineman who provides a steady pass rush inside and is solid against the run. He has started 45 of 60 games for New York, recording 190 tackles and 12.5 sacks.

Griffin joins Phillip Daniels as new Redskins' defensive linemen. Daniels, a defensive end formerly with Chicago, signed with the Redskins on Tuesday.

Said Joe Gibbs: "We're real excited, because I think we got another high quality defensive lineman in Griffin. What I love about a number of these guys who we've been able to attract is that we kind of know them. We've had coaches who have been with them. [Defensive backs coach] DeWayne Walker and [head strength and conditioning coach] John Dunn were at New York.

"When you talk to them about the player, you get a thumbnail sketch about what kind of person he is. Cornelius is terrific in the weight room. He's an extremely hard worker. He's a high quality person and a real talented guy. We thought he was one of the top defensive linemen out there. So we worked very hard on him."

With the Giants, Griffin played at left defensive tackle next to Pro Bowl end Michael Strahan. Griffin played a key role in opening up rushing lanes for Strahan, but he was a steady pass-rusher himself, particularly in a Dec. 8, 2002 game against the Redskins. In that game, he finished with 10 tackles, a career-high three sacks and a forced fumble.

LaVar Arrington, who visited Redskins Park on Wednesday, said he has followed Griffin's career, even during college.

"We came out the same year," Arrington said. "He can definitely play some ball. He's a talent. He's been solid with the Giants for a while."

In 2000, Griffin had a solid rookie campaign, appearing in 15 regular season games and all three post-season contests at both defensive end and tackle. He had a career-high five sacks and 24 tackles (20 solo), and added five passes defensed.

In the Giants' NFC Championship run in 2000, he had six tackles and three sacks during post-season play, including two tackles and 1.5 sacks in Super Bowl XXXV.

Griffin was originally a second-round draft pick (42nd overall) by the Giants in 2002.

A native of Brundidge, Ala., Griffin was a two-year starter at Alabama, where he was a teammate of Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels. As a senior in 1999, Griffin had 53 tackles, tied for the team league in sacks with 5.5 and was credited with 12 quarterback pressures.

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