Veteran led Redskins in receptions last year
The first step occurred two weeks ago when the Redskins informed Jabar Gaffney they were shopping him. After they found no takers, the next step was inevitable. And Tuesday that step was taken.
Washington released its leading receiver in 2011, three days after unsuccessfully trying to trade him for a draft pick.
Gaffney caught 68 passes for 947 yards in 2011 -- team and career highs in both categories -- but what he couldn't do was produce after the catch. Gaffney averaged just 2.7 yards after reception, a sum the Redskins wanted to bolster.
They signed receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan on the first day of free agency in March. And the Redskins are high on second-year Leonard Hankerson. That left little room for Gaffney, especially with receivers such as Anthony Armstrong and Santana Moss on the roster. Gaffney was not going to be one of their top three receivers, so coach Mike Shanahan said last week he wanted to give him a chance to catch on with another team.
Gaffney said last week that he still wanted to return to Washington and compete for a position.
Gaffney was informed by the Redskins about their intentions to trade him shortly after some explosive tweets from his Twitter feed. Shanahan said their desire to unload him was not connected to those tweets -- Gaffney said someone had hacked his account. And there were rumblings about the possibility of Gaffney exiting shortly after the team signed Garcon and Morgan -- and pursued Eddie Royal.
"I thought they were grabbing those guys to bolster the receiving corps," Gaffney said. "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."
Gaffney did not threaten defenses -- he had one catch over 40 yards this past season -- but he was productive and considered a good route-runner. He was consistent, catching at least three passes in 14 of the 15 games in which he played.