Sports Outside the Beltway

Redskins Sign WR Antwaan Randle El

The Redskins have signed coveted free agent wideout Antwaan Randle El away from the Super Bowl champs.

The Washington Redskins snagged their second receiver in two days of free agency Sunday, agreeing to terms with Antwaan Randle El for a seven-year contract that could be worth up to $31 million.

Randle El, a versatile talent who threw a touchdown pass for Pittsburgh in last month’s Super Bowl, will receive $11.5 million in guaranteed money, an official within the league said on condition of anonymity because the Redskins haven’t announced the deal.

The signing comes one day after the Redskins sent a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a fourth-round selection in 2007 for San Francisco receiver Brandon Lloyd. Randle El and Lloyd are expected to be formally introduced at Redskins Park on Monday.

Receiver was the top free-agent priority for the Redskins, who needed someone to complement Pro Bowl wideout Santana Moss. The surprise is that the team landed not one, but two.

Update: The experts seem to think the Redskins are continuing their stupid ways. At CBS Sportsline, Pete Prisco writes,

After trading for Brandon Lloyd Saturday, the Redskins spent big to land Randle El on Sunday. That is a major question mark in my mind. Randle El had 35 catches last year as a No. 2 receiver for the Steelers. Does that warrant a seven-year deal with $12 million in guaranteed money? Please. We know the Redskins are desperate for help to go with Santana Moss, but paying that kind of money for a guy who has never been a top receiver on his team is crazy — Dan Snyder crazy. There are some Steelers coaches who wonder if he’s even ready to be a No. 3 receiver. Remember Az-Zahir Hakim when he left the Rams to sign with the Lions. He was never good enough to be a go-to receiver. Neither is Randle El. The Redskins blew this one.

His colleague Clark Judge concurs,

The Redskins paid him what? I like this guy, too, but more as a third receiver and a special-teams gamebreaker. So paying him $31 million makes absolutely no sense to me. Of course, I don’t understand paying assistant coaches $2 million each, either. But these are the Redskins, and they were determined to beef up their offense now that Al Saunders is in town and after they had time to digest films of the playoffs when the defense carried them. Randle El is versatile. He can return punts. He can make catches. He can throw passes. But he’s not a difference maker. If he were Pittsburgh wouldn’t have let him walk. Remember, this is the team that three years ago paid Laveranues Coles a $13 million signing bonus — only to return to sender two years later. He gives Washington depth at the position but little more.

Apparently, stupid is as stupid does.

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