Redskins receiver Jabar Gaffney, their leading pass-catcher last season, said he was told not to report to offseason workouts while the team attempts to trade him. The story was first reported by ESPN980.
“I was very surprised,” Gaffney said by phone. “I wanted nothing more than to play for the Redskins. I’m still looking forward to a great season with the Redskins, but I was told I don’t have to be up there now. I was told I’m being shopped around. That’s the only reason why I’m not at the voluntary workouts. I’m hoping it all blows over.”
Gaffney, who finished with a career-best 68 catches for 947 yards in his first season with Washington, told ESPN that he spoke with coach Mike Shanahan. Gaffney was involved in a Twitter controversy last week that included several expletive-filled tweets. He later said his account was hacked. Team sources say the organization wasn’t pleased with those tweets; however it’s unclear if those have played any role in this situation.
In Gaffney’s mind, it might have.
“I mean, it went from me still being a big part of the plans to I can look for a better situation,” Gaffney said. “That happened right after the Twitter. I’m not saying it did, maybe it was a coincidence. But it seems real funny. I tried to explain it wasn’t me on Twitter and it really wasn’t. It’s out of my hands. If they don’t want me around I’ll stay down here [in Florida] and continue to work out.”
The Redskins also signed receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. They like second-year Leonard Hankerson and project him, at worse, to be a No. 2 receiver. There wasn’t as much need for Gaffney as a year ago. Also, producing more yards after the catch was a big offseason goal of the coaches. And Gaffney managed just 2.7 yards after the catch in 2011.After they signed those two, rumblings started that Gaffney's future in Washington could be in jeopardy. After all, he might not have been more than a No. 4 receiver in this rotation. He's also 31. Finally, the Redskins need to continue freeing up salary cap space and unloading Gaffney would save them approximately $2.6 million.
“I was never worried,” Gaffney said. “I was in New England and came off a great playoffs and they brought in Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker. I went out and worked and still had another great season. I thought they were grabbing those guys to bolster the receiving corps. I was told I was in the plans and would have a major role. All of a sudden everything changed and I was told I didn’t have to be at workouts.
“It’s real odd to me. I wanted to make sure everyone knew it wasn’t me. I love the Redskins. I was ready to roll for my team. I want to be there. I’m looking forward to having a great season with the Redskins, until I’m told I’m no longer part of the team.”
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