The Washington Redskins announced today they have traded a 2009 conditional seventh-round draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings for defensive end Erasmus James. In addition, the Redskins released defensive end Dorian Smith.
A former first-round pick (18th overall) out of the University of Wisconsin in 2005, James (6-4, 266) appeared in 23 career games with 12 starts for the Vikings. In his three NFL seasons James has totaled 51 career tackles with five sacks. His best season occurred in his rookie season (2005), when he set a career high in tackles (34), sacks (four), games played (15) and games started (nine).
James will be reunited with his defensive line coach John Palermo, who tutored him at the University of Wisconsin. As a senior, James earned All-American honors and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
"We really liked Erasmus coming out of college" said Washington Redskins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato. "He is young, talented and has a great deal of potential. We like the fact that his defensive line coach at the University of Wisconsin--John Palermo--is our current defensive line coach."
In 2007, James had six tackles and one sack in six games with one start for the Vikings. He sustained a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve on December 7.
Smith originally signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent on May 1.