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Lorenzo Alexander leaves Redskins for Cardinals

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Special teams captain gets a three-year deal

The Redskins have tried to hold on to as many players as possible. They couldn't hold on to all of them. And on Wednesday, Pro Bowl special teams performer Lorenzo Alexander bolted the Redskins for the desert.

Alexander agreed to a three-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. The financial terms were undisclosed, but he recently turned down a four-year offer for approximately $6 million from the Redskins.

His loss is a sign of the Redskins' troubled times. Given their salary cap restrictions, it's tough for them to spend a considerable amount on a 30-year-old backup linebacker, albeit one who made the Pro Bowl for his special teams prowess.

And considering this was Alexander's first chance at a huge payday by NFL standards, it was tough for him to justify turning down a whole lot less to remain in Washington.

"I'm willing to take less for the Redskins, but they have to be close," Alexander said two weeks ago. "They can't be way off."

Alexander exits after seven seasons with Washington, starting off on the practice squad as a defensive lineman. He also played some on the offensive line, then moved to outside linebacker and this past season to inside linebacker. He became a fixture in the community with his ACES Foundation charity. And Alexander was a two-time winner of the media's Good Guy Award.

Alexander was unavailable for comment, but two weeks ago he addressed the possibility of leaving.

"One of the sad things about playing in the NFL when you have guys who have been part of an organization for a long time and part of the community and then for business reasons you can't come back," he said. "It's something you have to come to peace with because it is hard and you have built loyalty with the team and a family atmosphere with the guys in the organization. With that said, I have to worry about my family and myself and my future."

Aside from losing Alexander, there was no activity from the Redskins on the second day of free agency. But safety Brandon Meriweather's contract was restructured, saving the Redskins an additional $1.2 million against the cap.

But despite the limited cap space -- it's believed the Redskins are about $1 million under -- there are still potential targets. According to league sources, the Redskins have contacted free agent cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Antoine Cason, though no visits appear to have been arranged. However, there's a belief that the Redskins' real target is corner Aqib Talib, but they would need to free up more cap space.

Washington will host free agent tackle Jeremy Trueblood, who was signed in Tampa Bay when current Redskins assistant Raheem Morris was the Bucs' coach. But Trueblood started just one game last season and missed the final seven after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He will visit this weekend.

Meanwhile, right tackle Tyler Polumbus, who started 16 of 17 games this past season, will visit Jacksonville. The Redskins have maintained interest in re-signing him. They've also expressed interest in re-signing safety Madieu Williams, but a source said nothing was imminent.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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