ESPN 980 Exclusive - Gaffney: "They are Trying to Trade Me"
Jabar Gaffney, led the Washington Redskins in catches (68) and receiving yards (947) along with touchdowns (5) in 2011.
Quite impressive numbers considering a very unstable Quarterback situation and the loss of Santana Moss for a good portion of the year, and top tight end Fred Davis for four games.
Imagine what he could do in 2012, with the Redskins poised to select Robert Griffin III next Thursday night with a draft selection that will change the face of the franchise for the next generation, and could possibly seal Mike Shanahan's fate as a Hall of Fame head coach.
The problem for Gaffney is, his next chance will almost definitely not come as a member of the Redskins.
ESPN 980 has learned exclusively and directly through a series of phone conversations and text messages with Gaffney and other sources over the last few days, that the Redskins are attempting to trade the veteran receiver.
If they can not work out a deal before the NFL draft, the possibility does exist that they will release the former Florida standout.
Gaffney on Wednesday morning, told ESPN 980 "I want to be playing (in 2012 and with the Redskins) Unfortunately, it's not going to be with the Redskins. They are trying to trade me."
A league source concurred with Gaffney's words, and went one step further saying that it is likely, but not absolutely certain that the Redskins could even release Gaffney by the end of draft weekend, if they can not get a deal by next Saturday when the final rounds are held.
Gaffney, told ESPN 980 that in conversations with Mike and Kyle Shanahan, he was told that he did not have to be at Redskins Park for the first two weeks of the team's off-season conditioning program.
That timeframe would coincide with the end of the draft, when Gaffney fully expects to be property of another club.
Gaffney, is only under contract for 2012 at a reported figure (Rotoworld.com) of 2.65 million, so there could be some financial flexibility gained by the move, especially if Gaffney is traded for a mid-to-late round draft pick.
The Redskins acquired Gaffney for very little, in terms of a pure exchange. They traded Jeremy Jarmon to Denver, on July 27, 2011. Jarmon did not even make the 53-man roster for John Fox, as he was released on September 3rd as the Broncos trimmed their roster to 53.
Jarmon did not play in the NFL in 2011, but of course he was another black eye on the previous regime of Vinny Cerrato, because he was a third round supplemental draft selection in 2009 - the Redskins did not have that pick in 2010 under the new regime.
Of course with this development, it is logical to think that part of the reason why Gaffney is not going to be around, is because of what allegedly happen with his personal verified and now defunct twitter account.
In case you forgot, Dan Steinberg and Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post D.C. Sports Bog, have an excellent recap, http://wapo.st/IG5d9g.
Gaffney vehemently denied that he was responsible for making any of the derogatory tweets, unlike his comments about Cowboys fans last year, which he did take responsibility for.
"It wasn't me. I'm off of it, because of what happened. All I can do is live my life. I'm not a thug, I'm not."
Gaffney continued via phone to ESPN 980, "If that was me going off, if I had a problem with him (Lito Sheppard), I wouldn't do it on twitter. I'm a man. Me and Lito talked the other day. We were laughing. If I had a problem with my wife, I wouldn't put it out there like that."
Gaffney pointed out that he had a very modest amount of tweets before this incident, he said it doesn't make sense that all of a sudden, the activity picked up with a lot of deeply personal tweets.
"I don't talk to the media like that. Twitter, man, that's the world. I'm a quiet dude. Its the truth, everything I messed up -- I take responsibility for."
Gaffney, clearly feels that the twitter controversy was one more reason to speed up the end of his Redskins career.
It's not the only reason, however. Gaffney explained to ESPN 980 that in the Carolina loss last year, (Week 7) that the initial plan for his role was diminished. He told me that Anthony Armstrong and Donte' Stallworth were slated to be the top "X" receivers and that Santana Moss was put ahead of Gaffney at the "Z" spot.
Gaffney, said "my head wasn't in the game" because of the apparent demotion, when he fumbled near the end of the first half on a reception that clearly changed the tone of the game.
Gaffney was thrust back into a more emphasized role because Santana Moss had suffered the hand injury in the first quarter that kept him out several weeks.
One other reason, besides money and the twitter controversy, why the Redskins are attempting to trade Gaffney, is the emphasis on yards after the catch (YAC).
Newly signed and highly paid Redskins WR Pierre Garcon averaged a 5.14 YAC in 2012, (360 YAC/70 receptions). Josh Morgan in his last fully healthy year (2010) with San Francisco, had 44 catches for 698 yards, with 301 YAC. According to www.coldhardfootballfacts.com, that translates to 43.12 % of his total yards.
Who was # 1 on the 2010 list, http://bit.ly/owHlqH - well, that would be a guy named Santana Moss, who the Redskins apparently are going to keep, when many (including myself) thought there would be a good possibility that he would be gone. Moss, had 505 YAC, on his 93 receptions good for 45.29% of his total receiving yards.
According to a tweet on our @ESPNRadio980 page, "Of the 51 players that had 750 yards or more receiving in the NFL last year. Gaffney's 184 YAC ranked him 50th."
In terms of all receivers, Gaffney's 184 yards after the catch in 2011, ranked him in the low 100's, and was good for a 2.70 average for his 68 receptions.
Still, Gaffney was very productive considering the instability at the QB position, and was looking forward to getting an opportunity to work with Robert Griffin III.
"I was really excited, we're going to get a good quarterback. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be with another quarterback somewhere else."
On a personal note, I really like Jabar Gaffney. I think he is a quiet, solid, veteran who is modest, and was well liked in the locker room.
Throughout last season, we had numerous conversations, including when he joined me for "Monday Night Live" at Velocity 5 after the Miami loss. He was real. He was honest, articulate and thoughtful.
It wasn't just a one-hour show, it was dinner and a long conversation afterwards in a more relaxed setting. It is hard to truly get to know a guy in the locker room, but the "Monday Night Live 1-on-1 for an hour, lets you dig deeper and the conversations before, during and after is where you really get a good feel for a person.
I could be completely wrong (happens a lot) but my strong sense on this one, is that Gaffney is a good guy, who while not perfect, deserves to be on a team that values what he brings to the table.