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News & Notes: McIntosh Signs Rookie Deal

The Redskins have signed rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh, the team's top draft pick, the team announced on Sunday evening.

With McIntosh on board, the Redskins have all six of their draft picks signed for the start of training camp. The entire Redskins roster is now under contract. All players are expected to take the field on Monday for the first practice of training camp.

McIntosh was the Redskins' second-round draft pick, 35th overall, last April. The 6-2, 231-pounder out of the University of Miami is regarded as a versatile defender who fits into the Redskins' aggressive, attacking style of defense.

Last year at Miami, McIntosh started 11 games at strong-side linebacker and led the team with 89 tackles (50 solo). He recorded 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss.

In his first year in Washington, McIntosh is expected to compete for the weak-side linebacker position. While rookies don't typically start right away in Gregg Williams' defenses, McIntosh showed progression during OTA practice sessions in May and early June.

McIntosh is expected to compete with Warrick Holdman and Chris Clemons, among others, for playing time at weak-side linebacker.

Prior to the June 16-18 mini-camp, McIntosh underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery.

Asked about the status of McIntosh's knee, Gibbs said: "It's fine. He's ready to go."

During Gibbs' Sunday afternoon season-opening press conference at Redskins Park, the head coach had labeled negotiations between McIntosh's agent and the team as "very close."

Said Gibbs: "I think we're very close to a contract with Rocky. We don't have anything yet that we can announce. We've been working around the clock on that."

The deal was finalized shortly thereafter. McIntosh signed his contract on Sunday evening.


The Redskins will have a new face on the roster when the team starts training camp on Monday: linebacker Philippe Gardent, a native of Colombes, France, has been assigned to the team as part of the NFL's International Development Practice Squad program.

Gardent, who played outside linebacker for the Cologne Centurions in NFL Europe last spring, will spend the entire 2006 season on the Redskins' practice squad.

Gardent, 26, became the first national player to win an MVP award in NFL Europe when he was named Co-Defensive MVP after leading the league with 71 tackles. He also logged two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The 6-1, 237-pounder has played in NFL Europe for four years, two with Cologne and two with the Berlin Thunder. He was part of a World Bowl championship team in 2004.

Gardent is one of eight players--from five countries--to earn a position on the practice squad rosters from the AFC North and NFC East divisions for the 2006 season. The Redskins will have a season-long practice squad roster exemption for Gardent.

The Redskins also have two players from Canada on the roster: running backs Jesse Lumsden and Kerry Carter.

The last time the Redskins had an international player on the preseason roster was in 2002, when Japan's Akihito Amayo, a wide receiver, participated in Redskins training camp. Amayo was assigned to the Redskins prior to the team's appearance in the World Bowl, against the San Francisco 49ers, in Osaka, Japan.


It's that time of year again, when football fans stand in front of magazine racks browsing NFL preview magazines.

The Sporting News preseason magazine predicts a second-place finish for the Redskins in the NFC East. (The Cowboys, the magazine predicts, win the division.) Written by local beat writer Paul Woody, the magazine says head coach Joe Gibbs "has the Redskins poised to make a serious run at another Super Bowl appearance."

"Gibbs has been putting the team together, piece by piece, just as he did with his last Super Bowl club 15 years ago," according to the magazine.

Later: "There are depth concerns, particularly along the offensive line, but Gibbs has built a balanced team with a capable offense and a powerful defense. The Redskins used to win the offseason, then fade when the real games began. With Gibbs in charge, that dynamic is changing."

Lindy's annual Pro Football preview magazine ranks each team position-by-position, on a scale of 1-10. Using their formula, the Redskins would finish fourth in a highly competitive NFC East. (The Redskins are just 2.5 points behind division-winner Philadelphia, according to Lindy's.)

"The Redskins should be even better in 2006," according to Lindy's. "But that still might not be good enough to win the tough NFC East."

Later: "Washington hasn't made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1991-92, the last two seasons of Gibbs' first tenure. Repeating that feat this fall won't be easy as it might seem on paper."

Street & Smith's 2006 Yearbook came out in June. The magazine predicted a third-place finish for the Redskins in the NFC East, behind division-winner Dallas and the New York Giants.


Running back Kerry Carter was the first Redskins player to arrive at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va., where the players will be housed for the next few weeks during training camp.

Players were scheduled to report to camp by Sunday afternoon. Carter, a roster hopeful, arrived at NCC at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The first returning Redskins veteran to arrive at camp? Defensive tackle Cedric Killings.

On Sunday evening, the Redskins held a team meeting in an NCC conference room. Joe Gibbs addressed the players, coaches, personnel officials and support staff.

Other team officials, including director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer and team nutritionist Ann Litt, also addressed the players as they prepare for the upcoming season.

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