Team adds strong safety Meri­weather, loses out on WR Royal

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports - BY RICH CAMP­BELL

The Washington Red­skins filled their void at strong safety on Thurs­day by agree­ing to terms with Bran­don Meri­weather, a two-time Pro Bowler who joins his third team in less than seven months, but re­port­edly lost out on one of their re­ceiver tar­gets.

Meri­weather, 28, agreed to a twoyear deal worth $6 mil­lion, mul­ti­ple out­lets re­ported. Later on Thurs­day, ESPN and NFL Net­work re­ported for­mer Den­ver Bron­cos wide re­ceiver Eddie Royal agreed to a three-year deal with the San Diego Charg­ers — a move that came two days af­ter re­ports he had a two-year deal with the Red­skins.

Meri­weather made the Pro Bowl as a mem­ber of the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots af­ter the 2009 and 2010 sea­sons, but he didn’t sur­vive New Eng­land’s final cuts last sum­mer. He landed in Chicago and had 32 tack­les in 11 games (four starts).

New Eng­land drafted him 24th over­all in 2007 out of the Univer­sity of Mi­ami. He has 12 in­ter­cep­tions in five sea­sons.

Meri­weather has been in­volved in two shoot­ing in­ci­dents since 2006, but he was cleared of wrong­do­ing in both.

In 2006, po­lice de­ter­mined he used his gun legally in shoot­ing at an as­sailant who shot his col­lege team­mate, Wil­lie Cooper, in the but­tocks. Two men ac­cused Meri­weather of shoot­ing them in 2011, but au­thor­i­ties de­ter­mined he was only a wit­ness.

Washington’s agree­ment with Meri­weather strength­ens the prob­a­bil­ity that in­cum­bent strong safety Laron Landry will be al­lowed to de­part in free agency.

The Red­skins will con­tinue to ex­plore ad­di­tions to their sec­ondary when they host free agent cor­ner­back Aaron Ross on a visit Fri­day.

Left guard Ben Grubbs, a Red­skins free-agent tar­get, re­port­edly agreed to a five-year, $36 mil­lion deal with the New Or­leans Saints on Thurs­day.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bran­don Meri­weather made two Pro Bowls in New Eng­land, but the Pa­tri­ots cut him be­fore the 2011 sea­son. He was sub­se­quently signed by the Bears.

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