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The biggest Redskins deals that never happened

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The biggest Redskins deals that never happened

For every trade and other deal that NFL teams make, there are a dozen or so that are rumored or that fall apart for a variety of reasons. Here, in reverse chronological order, are some of the biggest Washington Redskins deals that never took place.

  • Jay Cutler from Denver to Washington, 2009—This is the most recent, of course. A direct trade with the Broncos didn't get traction because Broncos coach Josh McDaniels didn't want Jason Campbell and a three-way trade involving Cleveland fell apart at the last minute.

  • Lance Briggs from Chicago to Washington, 2007—This was a Dan Snyder creation. The trade came up over cocktails with Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus at the owners' meetings. Pro Bowl linebacker Briggs, the Bears' franchise player, would have gone to Washington and the Redskins and the teams would have swapped first-round picks (the Redskins had No. 6, the Bears No. 31). The Bears didn't seem to want any part of it and Joe Gibbs didn't seem to be very enthusiastic about it either. Rosenhaus managed to keep the talk going for a while it never happened.

  • Reggie White as a free agent to Washington, 1993—White was the biggest catch of the first truly free free agency class in 1993. It appeared certain that the Redskins would be able to outbid everyone for the defensive end's services. The Packers weren't considered to be a factor at all until the moment he signed a four year, $17 million deal with Green Bay.
  • John Elway from Denver to Washington, 1991—The two teams involved managed to keep a tight lid on this one and we heard nothing about it at the time. Mark Rypien, the Redskins starter in 1990, was balking at signing a new contract, so Joe Gibbs got on the phone to the Broncos to talk about dealing for Elway, who at the time was a star without a championship ring. The talks never got beyond preliminary discussions. Rypien eventually signed and went on to become the Super Bowl MVP.
  • Darrell Green from Washington to Denver, 1989—This one got way beyond the talking stage and almost became a reality. Here's the story from the pages of my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle:

    April 4—For how much longer will Darrell Green be a Washington Redskin?

    Trade talks with the Denver Broncos have gone from discussion to real negotiation in the past days. The Redskins would take Denver's first-round pick (13th overall) and a player for the rights to Green. Just who that player would be is the sticking point.

    The Redskins are willing to part with their 1983 first-round pick for a couple of reasons. One is the nagging injuries that have slowed the 5-9, 185-lb. cornerback to the extent that the team is concerned that he may be on the downside of his career.

    The other reason is money. Green made $450,000 last year and is looking for a raise to $1 million a year. The Redskins are willing to give him a raise, but not to seven figures. The Broncos apparently are willing to pay Green his asking price.

    The team has braced for Green's possible departure by signing cornerback Martin Mayhew as a free agent.

The Redskins eventually decided to hold on to Green and he signed a new contract in July.

  • Sonny Jurgensen from Philadelphia to Washington, 1960—Yes, this deal did occur—in 1964. In 1960, Jurgensen was a backup to Norm Van Brocklin and the Redskins had their eye on him. But the Eagles didn't want to give up their promising clipboard carrier. Four years later, after Jurgensen became the starter and tormented the Redskins on several occasions, the Skins finally got their man.

All of these trade rumors and the stories of the deals that did happen are detailed in my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. If you want to know when it comes out, just go to the book's website and sign up.

Did I miss any? Do you remember any that you want me to investigate? Discuss in the comments.

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Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

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Associated Press

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span. 

In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving. 

Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference. 

There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision. 

“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office. 

“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.” 

Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision. 

Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever. 

“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.” 

After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.  

Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’. 

Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors. 

More Redskins

- 53-man roster: Roster projection--Offense
- 53-man roster: Best players 25 or younger

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.

Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position. 

Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee

Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season. 

Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton

The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.

Cornerback (6)
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman

As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents, and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices, they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point. 

Safety (4)
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety. 

Specialists (3)
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here. 


Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): 
Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season). 

On the 53-man roster:

24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
Rookies: 8
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74

The Redskins last played a game 170 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days. 

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