Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hostetler Skinned as an Ex-Raider

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hostetler Skinned as an Ex-Raider

Article excerpt

The Raiders release of Jeff Hostetler last week came as no surprise to anyone, except maybe the Raiders.

Hostetler became superfluous in Oakland when the Raiders signed Jeff George in February, but the Raiders kept insisting they were not going to waive Hostetler. They said that other teams had no interest in Hostetler at the moment, but his value would go up once the season began and other team's starters began getting hurt. The Raiders said they were prepared to keep Hostetler into October if they had to.

So on Tuesday, the Raiders released him, getting nothing in return except some badly needed room under the salary cap. And on Wednesday, the Redskins signed him to back up Gus Frerotte, just as everyone figured they would. What made Hostetler's situation even more uncomfortable is that though the Raiders wouldn't release him, they wouldn't let him practice during any of their minicamps, either. The team was being accused of holding Hostetler hostage and Hostetler, for his part, acted the part, not returning phone calls from his teammates - as much as they still were his teammates. At the time he was released, Hostetler was considering filing a grievance against the team over his treatment. Of course, the reason no one was making offers was that teams were so sure the Raiders wouldn't keep two multimillion-dollar quarterbacks that they knew Hostetler would be on the market, anyway. The savings to the Raiders are not to be dismissed. They unloaded Hostetler's $2.2 million salary and $1.5 million of his signing bonus will be shifted to the next season, giving them the room they need under the salary cap to sign their rookies. The Raiders of course, won't admit to anything. "It freed up some cap room, but it wasn't a cap move," Raiders senior assistant Bruce Allen said. "You wind up paying for it eventually." Hostetler, meanwhile, wants to challenge Gus Frerotte for the starting job in Washington. "There's no question (Jeff) will help our football team," said Washington coach Norv Turner. "He'll be a great addition in the locker room, in the meeting rooms, on the sideline, and if circumstances present themselves where Jeff is asked to go play, there's no question in my mind he'll be ready. Our team's not going to suffer from having one injury." Hostetler, for one, doesn't plan to be a backup. "It would be real tough," he said. "I'm not going to say, yeah, I'm prepared to do that. I look at myself as an insurance policy. I would love the opportunity to play, but I understand the situation here and I've looked at the fact that there may not be an opportunity for me to play. I've known that coming into this, but that doesn't make it any easier." It looks as though voters in the state of Washington have approved the measure to fund a new football stadium for the Seahawks, though final results may not be known until all the absentee ballots are counted this week. …

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