FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — When new Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder promised to upgrade the roster, no one expected him to pick players older than himself.
The 34-year-old Snyder raided the retirement ranks and agreed to terms with 36-year-old receiver Irving Fryar, the former Nebraska All-American who quit the game at the end of last season. The Redskins planned to sign him as early as today, a team source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
"The signing's a foregone conclusion," the source said.
Furthermore, the source said the Redskins are still pursuing 37-year-old Chris Doleman, who also announced his retirement at the end of last season.
Fryar could be in uniform for Friday's home exhibition game against Buffalo. A five-time Pro Bowl receiver, he played 15 years with New England, Miami and Philadelphia. He has lately been working as a football analyst at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
"I think he's going to sign, definitely," WPVI sports director Gary Papa said. "They've worked out some preliminary numbers. They told him they want to make him their third-down receiver. He likes it because it's close to his home, it's a grass field and he likes the offense. He feels like he can end his career on a better note than he did last year."
The Redskins have been courting Fryar for months, but negotiations have intensified in recent weeks. Papa said Fryar finally agreed Tuesday to come back, left for Washington on Wednesday and had a physical and tryout scheduled at Redskin Park today.
Terms of the agreement were not available. Neither Fryar nor his agent, Michael George, were available for comment. Redskins director of player personnel Vinny Cerrato would only say that the Redskins were in negotiations with Fryar.
The Redskins have Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell as their starting receivers, but neither is a proven 16-game performer. Fryar will initially compete with James Thrash and Chris Thomas for the No. 3 spot.
Fryar caught 46 passes for 556 yards with the Eagles last season. He last made the Pro Bowl in 1997, when he had 86 receptions for Philadelphia.
Fryar became a free agent at the end of last season because he did not meet performance incentives needed for a contract extension with the Eagles. He said didn't want to play anywhere else because it would mean moving his family.
"I won't change my mind. I'm done. I am done," he said at the time.
Doleman's 14-year career includes stints with Atlanta, Minnesota and San Francisco. He had 15 sacks last season with the 49ers, and would essentially be the Redskins replacement for pass rusher Ken Harvey, who retired last week because of a knee injury.