Head coach Joe Gibbs remains hopeful that the NFL and players union will work out an extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement this week. He said on Monday that the team would likely be "limited" in free agency if there is no extension.
"If we go to free agency without a CBA, I would say very few teams are going to be in play and be active," Gibbs said. "If you do have a CBA, there are going to be a lot of teams out there competing for players. If we get an agreement, we're going to be able to do some things."
Even without an extension, Gibbs said the Redskins would still "make the most" of free agency.
Team officials have said they are looking at wide receiver, defensive line and cornerback. With the release of LaVar Arrington on Sunday, weak-side linebacker may also be a position the team addresses this offseason.
The NFL owners are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Dallas. It's expected that owners will consider the union's latest proposal during the meeting.
If there is no extension, the salary cap for 2006 will be $94.5 million. If there is an extension, it's possible that the cap could be anywhere from $100-110 million.
As it stands on Monday evening, the deadline for teams to start reducing the roster to get under that cap figure is 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening. Free agency is now scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Asked how team officials would address team needs if they are limited in free agency, Gibbs replied: "First of all we hope that the CBA goes which would help loosen it up for us. If not, we kind of make a plan on where we think we would be active, what we could get done--and we have the draft which could be anywhere between six, seven or eight picks depending on what happens.
"I think you just make a plan. You spend hours and hours looking at the board and you try and project all the way to the final 53 from here and what that it is going to look like. But you are hoping for the agreement because it frees up a lot of money for all of us."
The team could be forced to release some veteran players if the salary cap comes in at $94.5 million. Gibbs said the team has restructured contracts of 11 veterans, including quarterback Mark Brunell, to help with salary cap relief.
"We have had great cooperation with our players," he said. "I think you get a real appreciation for guys when you get in this scenario because what you are doing is going to them and in a lot of cases between them, our players, and their agents they make choices there.
"We have been very fortunate the last two years because in today's football many times a player can help you by adjusting their contract. They don't have to do it. It is voluntary. In most cases, it does benefit the player. In some cases, there are sacrifices made there."
Gibbs also said that he has talked to all of his players who will be unrestricted and restricted free agents and informed them of their status.
"I've talked to every single guy where we feel like they would be in a category where we feel like we can't do something," he said. "I've talked to them personally."
-- UPDATE ON RFAs
The Redskins have had discussions with the team's four restricted free agents but Gibbs said he would wait on announcing if they have been tendered offers--and at what level.
Left guard Derrick Dockery, linebacker Chris Clemons, cornerback Ade Jimoh and defensive end Melvin Williams are restricted free agents.
"Those are things we'll probably wait on and probably release at some point," Gibbs said. "We think we made good decisions on those. With each one of those, when you tender somebody, there's a money [issue] and what's best for us. So I don't think now is the best time to address that."
Restricted free agents must be tendered contracts by Thursday, March 6. The deadline for them to sign their tender is April 21.
In the interim, they can field offers from other teams, but the Redskins would receive draft pick compensation depending on the offer signed.
There are three levels of tender offers. The low-level offer, which means a team would be compensated with a draft pick equal to the round in which a player entered the league, is $712,000. The middle-level offer carries a first-round draft pick as compensation, is $1.552 million. And the high-level qualifying offer, which includes first- and third-round compensation, is $2.069 million.
On Sunday at Redskins Park, Dockery was asked if he wanted to field offers from other teams.
"No," he replied. "I want to stay here. I love the city and I love this team. I like the direction we're headed in and this is where I want to spend my career."
-- NEW ASSISTANT COACH
The Redskins have hired Bob Saunders as assistant coach-special projects. He is the son of new Redskins associate head coach-offense Al Saunders.
Bob Saunders will work on the offensive side of the ball.
Saunders spent the last two years as an offensive assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs. He helped coordinate the club's self-scouting duties and was responsible for statistical and video breakdowns of opponents and monitoring the club's offensive tendencies. He also designed and diagrammed the Chiefs' offensive playbook.
Prior to joining the Chiefs, Bob Saunders worked in sports administration with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
Saunders played collegiate football at Missouri-Kansas City, serving as a wide receiver and defensive back. He had previously transferred to Missouri-Kansas City from Southern Methodist University.