Redskins tell Noga he isn't wanted


The Washington Redskins continued to make moves yesterday as they prepared for the opening of the first mini-camp of the Norv Turner era today.

One day after severing their ties with receiver Art Monk, they made a $900,000-a-year offer to Los Angeles Rams receiver Henry Ellard and told defensive lineman Al Noga that he won't be invited to the camp.

Noga, who was due to make $1.4 million this year, became the seventh high-paid veteran to depart the team in the off-season.

The others were Monk, linebacker Carl Banks, wide receiver Tim McGee, offensive linemen Jeff Bostic and Joe Jacoby and defensive lineman Charles Mann.

Monk made $1.15 million last year and turned down a pay cut to $600,000 while Mann was due to make $1.6 million, Banks $1.5 million, McGee $1.3 million and Bostic $850,000. Jacoby, who made $900,000 last year, but didn't have a contract for this year, wasn't invited to the camp.

With the money they saved by shipping out those veterans, the Redskins signed four free agents who'll have their first practice at Redskin Park today -- linebacker Ken Harvey, tight end Ethan Horton, center John Gesek and defensive end Tony Woods. They also hope to get Ellard.

Three of the Redskins free agents -- wide receiver Ricky Sanders and running backs Earnest Byner and Brian Mitchell, aren't expected at the camp and may be moving on.

Telling older veterans they're no longer wanted is never easy, but Turner figures it's part of the job.

"As I said when we first got here, we've got some tough decisions to make and one of the things we're going to do is make them," he said.

The toughest one was obviously telling Monk that he didn't fit in their plans if he wouldn't play for $600,000.

"I would have liked to have been a small part of Art's career and would have liked to get it worked out, but we obviously have limitations," Turner said, referring to the salary cap.

But Doug Allen, the assistant director of the NFL Players Association, complained the Redskins are just using the cap as an excuse to get rid of veterans.

"It's outrageous that they would claim that's the reason they treated Art Monk that way," Allen said. Allen pointed out the Redskins refused to give Monk a raise last year when there wasn't a cap and they're offering Ellard more money than they offered Monk.

"The cap doesn't have anything to do with the shoddy way they're treating Art," Allen said.

In any case, Turner is giving the team a new look and he said he's excited about getting the team on the field for the first time today. He also said he has no regrets about leaving Dallas, although he might have gotten the Cowboys job when Jimmy Johnson left if he had stayed.

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