Tackle traded by Broncos for draft pick

Originally Published: August 26, 2003
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

For the second time in a week, the Redskins have acquired a veteran player for their depleted defensive tackle corps, obtaining Lional Dalton from the Denver Broncos for a 2004 draft pick.

Later Tuesday, the 28-year-old Dalton had to be carted off the field in Ashburn, Va., with heat-related symptoms during his first practice with his new team.

"I picked a great day to come back," Dalton, wearing a towel around his neck as sweat dripped down his forehead, told The Associated Press. "I had a long flight. I was a little dehydrated. I didn't eat lunch or breakfast. I had Gatorade, that's about it. I think I need to hydrate myself and eat before practice next time."

Dalton was not hospitalized, and the team hopes he can play in Thursday night's preseason game at Jacksonville.

Denver will receive a fifth-round choice in return for Dalton, but only if he plays 40 percent of the defensive snaps this season. If he falls shy of that threshold, the choice is reduced to a seventh-round pick. Washington last week acquired tackle Martin Chase from New Orleans for a conditional seventh-round pick that can escalate to a sixth-round choice if he plays 40 percent of the snaps.

There were reports, including one by ESPN.com, that Kansas City had offered a "solid" fifth-round pick, with no conditions, for Dalton. It is believed that Dalton agreed to reduce his scheduled base salary of $1.6 million to help facilitate the trade to the Redskins.

But on Wednesday, Chiefs president Carl Peterson told ESPN.com that he never made an offer for Dalton, although he did speak with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan about the defensive tackle last week. "I've never known a team to trade a good player inside the division," Peterson said.

Although he started 13 games for the Broncos last season, Dalton was not a good fit in the scheme being implemented by new coordinator Larry Coyer, who preferred much quicker tackles and decided to play younger veterans. Signed by the Broncos last spring as an unrestricted free agent, Dalton received a $3.003 million signing bonus.

The former Eastern Michigan standout played the first four seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens before moving on to Denver. He has 76 career tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles.

The Redskins have acquired six defensive tackles this offseason. But one of them, projected starter Brandon Noble, suffered a season-ending, and possible career-ending knee injury, two weeks ago. Another, James Cannida, was released Tuesday. The others -- Chase, Dalton, Jermaine Haley and Bernard Holsey -- figure to comprise the team's tackle corps for this season.

The Redskins lost both starters from last season, Daryl Gardener and Dan Wilkinson, in the offseason. Gardener signed with Denver as a free agent and Wilkinson was released early in camp after declining a paycut. He subsequently signed with the Detroit Lions.

Meanwhile, the Redskins released cornerback Alex Molden, a seven-year veteran who had played the previous two seasons with San Diego before signing with Washington in the spring. Molden, 30, has played in 96 games.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE