Several teams interested in end

Updated: March 15, 2005, 11:24 AM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Joe Gibbs wasted no time before starting a pursuit of former No. 1 overall draft pick Courtney Brown.

 Courtney Brown

Within hours after Browns' release by the Cleveland Browns, the Washington Redskins coach flew to Cleveland with defensive line coach Greg Blache and had dinner with Brown and Brown's wife Monday night, an official within the league told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The official said Brown was expected to visit Redskins Park later this week.

Brown, the first overall choice in the 2000 draft, was cut by Cleveland because he would not renegotiate his contract. He would have been due a $2.5 million roster bonus Tuesday. Browns general manager Phil Savage said he still hoped the team could re-sign the oft-injured defensive end.

But Brown quickly drew interest from other teams, including the Redskins. Washington is in need of a pass-rushing end, having relied heavily on linebackers and cornerbacks for many of their sacks last season.

Brown was also a teammate at Penn State with Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, the No. 2 overall pick in 2000. If Washington acquires Brown, the team will have the top three picks from that draft: Brown, Arrington and tackle Chris Samuels.

But Brown also represents a gamble because he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year. He has missed 33 games with injuries over the past four seasons, including the final 14 games last year after tearing a ligament in his foot.

Brown's other injuries have included a torn knee ligament, a high ankle sprain, knee cartilage damage and a ruptured right biceps tendon. Only as a rookie did he appear in all 16 games, and he has just 17 career sacks over five seasons.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press