Crowded Receiver Situation Behind Potential Trade Of Jabar Gaffney
ASHBURN – After informing receiver Jabar Gaffney two weeks ago that the team will attempt to trade him this offseason, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday that the move is strictly to give Gaffney, a veteran receiver, an opportunity to play a greater role elsewhere.
Gaffney, 31, led the Redskins in all receiving categories in 2011 and will be in the final season of a four-year, $10 million deal he signed with Denver this fall. Though he is listed on the team’s official roster, he is not at Redskins Park, and was instead told to stay home while the team begins its voluntary offseason workout program.
The acquisitions of Pierre Garcon and Joshua Morgan through free agency, as well as the team’s expectation of development of Leonard Hankerson in his second year, have crowded the situation at receiver.
Shanahan explained Gaffney’s situation in those terms, and said the Twitter rants he went on two weeks ago about both his wife and his cousin, Oakland cornerback Lito Sheppard – in which he maintained his account was hacked and then deleted it – had no effect on Gaffney’s status.
“I have not really gone into detail about that,” Shanahan said. “I know he was very troubled about it. I’m not gonna go through our conversation, but he was very upset with what happened with Twitter. But no, that was not the deciding factor.”
Gaffney was acquired from the Broncos just after the owners’ lockout ended in July and went on to have what may have been the best season of his 10-year career, finishing with 68 catches for 947 yards and five touchdowns.
“I believe I owe it to him to give him a chance to look around the league and check his options,” Shanahan said. “I mean, he’s a veteran player. He gave me everything he had last year and had a heck of a year, but he also understands that we’ve got three guys that we signed, relative to Hankerson, Morgan and Pierre Garcon, that we’re looking to come in here and obviously play a significant role.
“I wanted him to have a chance, and his agent, to take a look – is there a better situation for him out there in the National Football League? He may say yeah, or he may decide that in the end, ‘I like I’d like to come back with the Washington Redskins and compete like I have throughout my career.’ I can’t tell you at this time what’s going to happen, but that’s my thought process going into it.”