The Redskins announced today they have retained the exclusive rights of safety Todd Franz and linebacker Lemar Marshall. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Franz, a tough and hard-working player, finished his first full season with the Redskins last year and made solid contributions on both defense and special teams. Marshall has utilized his size and speed to contribute on special teams in his two seasons with the Redskins, and stepped up on defense in 2003.
Franz, 6-0 and 202 pounds, joined the Washington practice squad for the last two games of the 2002 season from Green Bay. He came into his own in 2003, appearing in all 16 games as a reserve and valued special teamer. He also started two contests and finished the season logging 25 tackles (20 solo) on defense, while leading the special teams units in stops with 21.
Franz was allocated to NFL Europe's Scottish Claymores in the spring of 2002, where he played in all 10 games with four starts. He recorded 36 tackles and eight passes defensed, with one interception returned for a touchdown.
Franz originally entered the league as a fifth-round selection (145th overall) by Detroit in the 2000 NFL Draft but was released during training camp that season. He has spent time both on the active roster and the practice squads in New Orleans, Cleveland and Green Bay during his four-season career. To date, he has appeared in 25 games with two starts, and posted 29 tackles (23 solo).
Franz was an All-WAC selection as a senior at Tulsa, finishing his four-year collegiate career with 182 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks.
Marshall, 6-2 and 227 pounds, has appeared in 28 games for the Redskins in the past three seasons, seeing most of his time on special teams. In 2003 he appeared in 12 games and finished with three tackles and his first career sack, a half sack at the New York Giants in Week 15. He also finished fourth on the squad in special teams tackles with 14.
Marshall joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Tampa Bay from Michigan State in 1999, and also spent time on the Denver and Philadelphia practice squads before coming to Washington. At Michigan State, Marshall lettered all four years, compiling 261 tackles and 27 passes defensed.