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Redskins Still Interested In McQuarters

The Redskins are keeping tabs on the status of R.W. McQuarters, head coach Joe Gibbs said on Tuesday, and the team remains in the running to sign the free agent defensive back.

Team officials have talked to McQuarters "off and on" since May 26 when the seven-year veteran visited Redskins Park, Gibbs said. McQuarters is expcted to make a decision on his next destination in the next few days.

"He's considering several options right now," Gibbs said. "We've told him what we think we can do. We'll just have to wait now. He had talked about making a decision the first three or four days of this week."

Gibbs said the team has no immediate plans to bring in any other prospective free agents for workouts.

In recent weeks, the Redskins have sought to upgrade their secondary. On May 24, the team signed veteran defensive back Cory Hall, formerly with Atlanta. But Hall abruptly retired from the NFL two days later.

The Redskins shifted focus to McQuarters the same day that Hall left the team. McQuarters was released by the Chicago Bears, his former team, on May 23.

"For us, if there's somebody out there of interest at any spot, we'll look at them," Gibbs said. "We wouldn't rule anything out at any spot. If somebody comes up out there who we think would upgrade a position, we would look at him seriously. And we have looked at safeties."

McQuarters' versatility appeals to Gibbs and the coaching staff. Although he has played mostly cornerback in his career, he also has experience at the safety position.

McQuarters, 5-10 and 195 pounds, was a first-round draft choice (28th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1998 NFL Draft. He was traded to the Bears prior to the 2000 season and played under current Redskins coaches Greg Blache and Dale Lindsey in Chicago.

McQuarters has appeared in 99 games with 58 starts and recorded 386 tackles (288 solo), 10 interceptions and two sacks. Last season, he started 14 of 16 games and amassed 80 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass deflections. McQuarters also excelled as the Bears' primary punt return specialist last season, running back 44 punts for 435 yards and one touchdown.

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