Source: Barry Cofield, Redskins agree

Barry Cofield wanted the biggest contract of his life. So he went to the place most free agents go to for monster contracts -- Washington.

The Redskins reached an agreement with the Giants starting defensive tackle on a six-year deal early Wednesday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

A source told The Associated Press that Cofield's deal is worth $36 million, with $12.5 million of it guaranteed.

The 27-year-old Cofield enjoyed his most productive season as a professional in 2010 with a career-high 54 tackles and four sacks for the Giants.

Cofield wanted to remain in New York but the Giants already had Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and last year's second-round pick Linval Joseph.

And they selected defensive tackle Marvin Austin out of North Carolina in the second round of this year's draft.

It looks as if Bernard will be leaving as well, though. The Giants were trying to rework his contract -- a $2.95 million base number for this year -- but were unable to do so and will release him, sources told Schefter.

Cofield knew the writing was on the wall and that the Giants would not be able to re-sign him. They spent the majority of Tuesday trying to free up salary-cap space. In addition to Bernard, the team is expected to release center Shaun O'Hara, guard Rich Seubert and left tackle Shawn Andrews later this week.

O'Hara was due $3.45 million in base salary for this season. Seubert was scheduled to make $2.25 million in base salary. Andrews' cap number for this season was slated to be $7.5 million. Both O'Hara and Seubert also are attempting to come back from offseason surgeries.

The Giants nearly traded the 6-foot-4, 306-pound Cofield to the New Orleans Saints in a 2009 draft-day deal that stalled when the defensive tackle and the Saints could not come to an agreement.

The Giants selected Cofield in the fourth round of the 2006 draft and he became a starter during his rookie season.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.