When a player’s contract expires prior to the accrual of three complete seasons, that player is deemed an exclusive rights free agent. If the player’s team offers him a one-year contract at minimum salary, the player may only negotiate with his former team. If no such offer is made, then the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Redskins have four exclusive rights free agents, three of which have started for the team in the last two seasons.
Ron Warner seemingly came out of nowhere in relief of the injured Phillip Daniels. While Demetric Evans got the start for most of the games, Warner came in during pass rushing situations, and made his presence felt with 3.5 sacks (fourth on the team) in limited action.
The New Orleans Saints selected Ron Warner in the seventh round of the 1998 NFL draft. After being released by the Saints following the ’98 season, Warner signed briefly with the Redskins in training camp, before signing to the Chicago Bears practice squad. After the ’99 season, Warner was again released and played the season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. Warner then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he remained until the Redskins acquired him mid-way through the 2003 season.
Hasselbeck saw his first NFL action as a Redskin last season, in relief of the injured Patrick Ramsey. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but he does possess football intelligence, an accurate arm and a quick release. In his stint as a Redskin starter, Hasselbeck completed 95 of 177 pass attempts, for 1,012 yards. He threw 7 touchdowns to 9 interceptions and was sacked 9 times. He finished the season with a quarterback rating of 63.6.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001 by Buffalo, Hasselbeck was quickly released and signed by the Ravens before the start of that season’s training camp. Hasselbeck spent most of 2002 with the Eagles, playing in two games as a holder. He joined the Redskins in week 8 of the 2003 season, when Rob Johnson was released.
Lott has mostly been known for his special team play, but he saw some time at safety this season before being injured. Lott got the starting nod over Sean Taylor at free safety to start the season. In four games, Lott recorded 11 tackles (10 solo) and 1 pass defended. Lott’s season ended in week 8 with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgical repair.
The Redskins selected Lott in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft
John Simon is a quick, shifty kind of back, that uses his speed and agility to out-maneuver his opponents. Simon was given a chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp this season. He was the fourth leading rusher on the team with 77 yards on 17 carriers (3.4 yards per carry). He also led the team in kick returns with 26.7 yard per return average – including the longest return of the pre-season for 38 yards – and punt returns, with a 10 yard per return average.
Simon originally signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002. Simon played on special teams that season, leading the team in both kickoff and punt returns. He also saw limited action as a reserve running back and wide receiver. The Redskins acquired Simon in November of 2003 to bolster the depth at running back because of injuries that depleted the position.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey