NFL: Redskins trade for oft-injured DE
ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins acquired defensive end Erasmus James today for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, a low-risk deal for a former first-round pick whose career is threatened by a pair of serious knee injuries.
The Vikings announced on Friday that they were placing James on waivers after he failed to pass a physical, but the Redskins called before the paperwork was filed. Minnesota will receive a selection in the final round of next year's draft if James makes Washington's 53-man roster.
James was the No. 18 overall pick in 2005 and had four sacks as a rookie, but he tore a ligament in his left knee in Week 2 of the 2006 season. He playing sparingly last year before reinjuring his ACL in Week 13.
With the Redskins, James will be reunited with defensive line coach John Palermo, who was an assistant at Wisconsin when James was chosen as the Big Ten defensive player of the year.
The Redskins are in need of a young pass-rushing end, having failed to significantly address the position in free agency or the draft.
"He is young, talented and has a great deal of potential," executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said.
The Redskins also released undrafted rookie defensive end Dorian Smith.