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Tight End Depth Remains a Focus

The Redskins' free agency pursuit has slowed since Sunday, but team officials are keeping an eye on several positions that need depth--particularly tight end.

Chris Cooley remains the starter at tight end. He led the Redskins with 57 receptions last season, for 734 yards and six touchdowns.

What about depth?

The Redskins are exploring several options, but there does not appear to be any urgency in making a move.

"I'd say depth-wise, we'd like to add somebody [at tight end]," head coach Joe Gibbs said.

Gibbs pointed to versatile fullback Mike Sellers as a player who could slide over to play tight end if necessary. He served as an H-back, a hybrid tight end, in the 2004-05 seasons for the Redskins.

"Mike plays fullback, but he also played at the line of scrimmage a lot for us [last season]," Gibbs said.

Sellers caught a career-high 18 passes last season for 105 yards and one touchdown. In 2005, he logged 12 receptions, seven of which went for touchdowns.

Last Friday, Sellers signed a contract extension with the Redskins.

Gibbs said the Redskins also hope to re-sign backup Todd Yoder, an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

"We're talking to Todd," Gibbs said. "Todd is somebody we'd like to have because he'd fit in there for us."

Yoder served as a blocking tight end last season. Along with Cooley, Yoder helped the offense become dominant in the ground game down the stretch.

As a pass receiver, Yoder was used mostly in goal-line situations. He caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell in Week 11 at Tampa Bay.

Eric Edwards, a third-year tight end who was previously with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Redskins in mid-January. He has played in 32 games, with 10 starts, and has caught 17 receptions for 184 yards and one TD in his career.

In terms of free agency, only three tight ends have signed with teams since the start of free agency on March 2: Jaguars' Kyle Brady to New England, Giants' Visanthe Shiancoe to Minnesota and Seahawks' Will Heller stays in Seattle.

The tight end considered the top of this year's free agency class is New England's Daniel Graham, who has 120 receptions and 17 TDs in his career. He has visited with several teams since Friday and could sign soon.

San Francisco's Eric Johnson and Cincinnati's Reggie Kelly are among other tight ends that could draw consideration.

Johnson may be the best pass receiving tight end available in free agency, hauling in 82 passes in 2004. Kelly is an 8-year veteran with 133 receptions and five TDs in his career.

In the NFL Draft, Miami's Greg Olson may have vaulted into the first round with a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

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