The NFL apparently still feels the Washington Redskins are a Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time team.
Despite all their off-season maneuvering to rebuild their team -- they were still busy yesterday when they signed their seventh unrestricted free agent (Marc Logan) and dumped a pair of high-priced veterans (Ethan Horton and Leonard Marshall) -- the Redskins won't appear on "Monday Night Football" this year.
It's the second straight year the Redskins won't be on Monday night while two NFC East rivals -- the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants -- will play in the first one.
In the Joe Gibbs era, the Redskins played in the Monday night opener four times and made 22 appearances overall. But they're 7-25 since he left and are no longer a prime attraction.
Their only prime-time game will be a Sunday night TNT game on Oct. 29 against the Giants. Their only other national exposure will be a Dec. 3 game at Dallas that is scheduled to be the second game of a Fox doubleheader.
They also finish the season with what is likely to be a meaningless Christmas Eve game for the second straight year. Last year, it was in Anaheim for the Los Angeles Rams' last home game. This year, it'll be at home against the expansion Carolina Panthers, who could be going for an 0-16 mark.
But coach Norv Turner said he was pleased to play the first two games at home against the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders. Turner hasn't won at RFK Stadium, where the team was 0-8 last season.
The Redskins are one of three teams to play their first two games at home. The other two are the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots.
The three teams that play their first two games on the road are the Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions.
The expansion Jacksonville Jaguars open at home against Houston in what the NFL says is a "new downtown Jacksonville stadium." It's actually a renovated Gator Bowl.
For the second straight year, the game of the season will be played the second Sunday of November -- Nov. 12 -- when San Francisco goes to Dallas. The winner will be favored to go to the Super Bowl.
Even though Dallas-San Francisco would be a perfect Monday night attraction, it'll be played on Sunday for the second straight year. The NFL is trying to give the Fox network as many attractions as possible because it is expected to lose $350 million on its $1.58 billion TV contract. Last year, it lost the ratings battle to NBC, the first time the AFC package has beaten the NFC package since 1975. A problem for Fox is that many of its stations have poor signals.
The Redskins signed Logan to a three-year, $1.5 million deal with $100,000 signing bonus and plan to hand him the starting fullback job. Logan, 29, was expendable in San Francisco because of the emergence of William Floyd.
They also saved the $1 million base salary Marshall was scheduled to earn and the $500,000 base salary Horton was going to make by cutting both players. But since they paid Horton a $1.5 million signing bonus on a three-year deal and Marshall a $400,000 bonus on a two-year deal, they still must count $1 million for Horton and $200,000 for Marshall against their salary cap.
Marshall had just 22 tackles and two sacks in 520 snaps last year, and Horton, who was supposed to play the Jay Novacek role in their offense, caught just 15 passes.
"Our plan was to have him be a part of the offense and it didn't happen," Turner said.
Horton, 32, hopes to find another team. "I think I can still play regardless of how they feel," he said.
The Redskins also officially announced the signing of Frank Wycheck to a one-year, $178,000 deal.
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 3 Arizona 4 p.m.
Sept. 10 Los Angeles 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Denver 4 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Tampa Bay 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 Dallas 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Philadelphia 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Arizona 4 p.m.
Oct. 22 Detroit 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 N.Y. Giants 8 p.m.
Nov. 5 at Kansas City 1 p.m.
Nov. 12 Bye
Nov. 19 Seattle 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 Philadelphia 1 p.m.
Dec. 3 at Dallas 4 p.m.
Dec. 10 at N.Y. Giants 4 p.m.
Dec. 17 at St. Louis 1 p.m.
( Dec. 24 Carolina 4 p.m.