Redskins' Raymer ends holdout, signs 4-year, $2.1 million deal


FROSTBURG -- Center Cory Raymer found out yesterday that this was a tough year to be drafted in the second round.

Raymer ended a five-day holdout by accepting the Washington Redskins' four-year offer with a $712,000 signing bonus that was less than 2 percent higher than the $700,000 figure the team gave to last year's second-round pick, guard Tre Johnson.

Raymer's first-year salary cap number of $428,000 was only 7 percent higher than Johnson's $400,000 figure, although the rookie salary pool went up about 9 percent.

The Redskins argued it wasn't appropriate to compare Johnson and Raymer because Johnson was the second player picked in the round and Raymer was the fifth.

But this year's second pick in the round, defensive back Terrance Shaw of the San Diego Chargers, only got a $436,000 salary cap number and Raymer did top his $685,000 signing bonus.

"I always feel there's a premium on a signing bonus because it's upfront money," said Raymer's agent, Ralph Cindrich.

Raymer's base salaries will be $250,000, $312,500, $375,000 and $437,500 to make it a $2.087 million package. Johnson's package was $1,938,000 last year.

Even Redskins general manager Charley Casserly conceded that the second-round increases were lower than in any other round this year.

"It's hard to say why," Casserly said. "The first round might be the reason."

The Redskins took advantage of the lower market in the second round, but they're being hindered by the higher market in the first round because they're making little progress in their attempt to sign their top pick Michael Westbrook.

Meanwhile, coach Norv Turner plans to give Raymer a crash course -- starting with today's practice against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Latrobe, Pa. -- to overcome missed time.

Two other draft picks besides Westbrook will miss today's practice against the Steelers. Cornerback Darryl Pounds, a third-round pick, is out with a back problem and tight end Jamie Asher, a fifth-round pick, is sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Both will be out all week.

The Redskins also announced that defensive lineman Bobby Wilson has a herniated disk in his back. He had to undergo surgery for the same injury in 1992, but the Redskins are going to treat the ailment conservatively to see if he can avoid surgery this time. If he needs surgery, he will be out for the year.

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