Free agent wide receiver Keenan McCardell, the No. 9 pass-catcher in NFL history, may decide to finish his career with the franchise that originally brought him into the league.
San Diego Chargers
ESPN.com has confirmed through league sources that McCardell is in active negotiations with the Washington Redskins, who chose him in the 12th round of the 1991 draft. Released by the San Diego Chargers earlier this spring, McCardell is also discussing a contract with the Houston Texans, where he visited club officials and coaches three weeks ago.
There had been some uncertainty over whether McCardell, 37, wanted to continue his career in 2007. It seems, however, that McCardell has decided to return for this season, and now will determine where he will play.
A timetable for his decision is not known.
If he does return for 2007, McCardell will enter the season as the No. 3 active receiver in the NFL, behind only Marvin Harrison of Indianapolis and St. Louis' Isaac Bruce. In terms of receiving yards, he would be the fourth-leading active player in the league, and he ranks 18th in NFL history in that category.
McCardell has 861 receptions for 11,117 yards and 62 touchdowns. A two-time Pro Bowl performer, McCardell has registered seven seasons with 70 or more catches and five 1,000-yard campaigns. His career season was in 2000, when he rang up 94 catches for 1,207 yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The former Nevada-Las Vegas star has appeared in 199 games with 167 starts in stints with Washington (1991), Cleveland (1992-95), Jacksonville (1996-2001), Tampa Bay (2002-03) and San Diego (2004-06).
Last season, McCardell had 36 receptions for 437 yards with San Diego, but he played in only 11 games, was phased out later in the year when the Chargers began to rely on younger players at the position, and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 1994.
Since he resides in Houston and might be a starter there opposite standout wide receiver Andre Johnson, most felt McCardell would sign with the Texans, who continue to hold open a roster spot for him. But the Redskins became involved with McCardell in recent days and remain a viable alternative for him.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.