ASHBURN, Va., March 3 (UPI) -- The Washington Redskins continued their furious free agent signing pace Sunday by coming to terms with placekicker John Hall and quarterback Rob Johnson.
Johnson was a backup behind Brad Johnson with the world champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. Hall is late of the New York Jets, and gets high praise for his resiliency.
The signings rapped up a huge weekend in the team's offseason plans. They inked Hall, guards Randy Thomas, Dave Fiore, and Lennie Friedman, defensive end Regan Upshaw, and defensive tackle Brandon Noble, re-signed veteran guard Tre Johnson, and acquired running back Trung Canidate in a trade with the St. Louis Rams.
The Washington Post reported that the signings of Upshaw and Noble likely means they will lose tackle Darryl Gardner, their most consistent defensive lineman in 2002, who visited Denver over the weekend. The paper also said team officials have resigned themselves to losing free agent kick returner Jermaine Lewis, and according to ESPN, Washington also is interested in signing veteran wide receiver Raghib "Rocket" Ismail after learning that Ike Hilliard re-signed with the New York Giants.
Coming to terms with Johnson, 30, was important because Coach Steve Spurrier wants an experienced signal-caller behind projected starter Patrick Ramsey, the team's No. 1 draft pick in 2002.
"He enjoyed his time with (Tampa Bay Coach) Jon Gruden quite a bit," Johnson's agent, David Dunn, told the Post. "(But) He saw the chance to work with another offensive genius to be something he did not want to pass up."
It also means Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews, who went back-and-forth as starters last season, will not be back. Both had their moments, but team officials, and particularly Spurrier, realized that neither could be any more than a backup on a consistent basis.
Hall, 28, has scored more than 100 points in five of his six seasons (93 points in 2000). He has connected on 149-of-203 field goals, has career-long kicks of 55 yards in the regular season and 60 yards in the preseason, and 205-of-210 extra points as a pro.
ESPN reported that Hall will receive $7.13 million, including a $1.6 million signing bonus, over five years.
His 652 career points rank him third all-time among Jets players, he reached the 300-point total faster than any other player in franchise history, and did so despite having to kick at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., which has nightmarish weather conditions, especially in the cold.
He made 24-of-31 field goals in the regular season in 2002, played a key role in leading the Jets into the playoffs, and was 2-for-2 in postseason play.
"The thing that set him apart is that he's good on kickoffs and good on field goals," said Redskins Player Personnel Director Vinny Cerrato. "He's kicked in poor conditions, and he's made a lot of big field goals in his career."
The Redskins' kicking situation was a mess last season. They used three different placekickers -- James Tuthill, Brett Conway, and Jose Cortez -- and have already parted with last season's regular punter, Bryan Barker, who was not effective.
He suffered a broken nose in a loss at Dallas on Nov. 28.