In Paul Woody's article in Wednesday's Richmond Times-Dispatch, he had this rather peculiar entry At the end of the 2001 season, the Redskins were closing in on an 8-8 record, had millions in salary-cap space for 2002 and the name they had on their drawing board at quarterback, according to an NFL source, was an unknown then, but is fairly familiar now: Jake Delhomme.
Had Delhomme been signed, the plan was to team him with running back Stephen Davis for a ball-control offense, then use the salary-cap space to rebuild the defensive line.
It's not a bad plan. It's essentially the same one Carolina used to win the NFC title last season.
Normally, Woody does his homework very well, but this scenario doesn't add up. Carolina signed Delhomme after the 2002 season, the then-Saints quarterback's fourth season in the league, the first for which he was eligible for unrestricted free agency.
The scenario that Woody paints is after the 2001 season. If Delhomme was available then--if he did have a contract that expired after that season--he would have been available as a restricted free agent. He hadn't taken a single NFL snap at that point, and he was undrafted coming out of college, so it's highly unlikely that Marty would have wanted to sign him as a restricted free agent and hang the team's future on him.
If they'd planned on waiting until after '02 to go for Jake, the "poison pill" in Davis' contract--an unacceptably high cap number--would take effect by then, eating up any cap money that might have been spent on a D-lineman.
As I said, I like what Woody writes, but he should probably check his "NFL source" a little better here.