Jabar Gaffney is in deeper doo-doo than I thought. The Washington Redskins' leading receiver told ESPN980-Redskins Radio yesterday that he was told the team was trying to trade him. Mike Jones reported in today's print edition of The Washington Post that Gaffney was told that he is on the trading block and that the Redskins would release him if unable to trade him. Gaffney was told to stay away from Redskins Park, says Jones.
Wow! A fall that abrupt could only have come on orders from the top and I don't mean from Coach Mike.
My grandma always warned us about putting our business on the street. Where was Jabar's granny when he needed her? Gaffney vented a profane tweet stream about his wife and Lito Sheppard, who is his cousin according to Wikipedia.
You can always believe what you read in Wikipedia and on Twitter. This affair, true or not, has no business on the virtual street. True or not, the Redskins must feel the matter to be too hot for the brand.
Kids, let this be a warning. The more followers you have, the less emotional you should be lest the boomerang effect smack you upside the head. (Yes, I made that up.) By the way, nobody buys that old "my account was hacked" alibi.
Gaffney (31) completed a career year in Mike Shanahan's offense. That's an unusual pattern for a 10-year veteran who should be on the downswing of his career. Gaffney's performance profiled as a solid No. 2 receiver for most other teams. his performance was not close to Santana Moss' 2005 career year. That was so seven years ago. Even Moss does not perform to that level.
Hog Heaven assessed the addition of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to be modest upgrades to Washington's receiving corps with Gaffney on the roster. Without Gaffney, this remains a troubled group.
The fact that Shanahan re-signed Rex Grossman while releasing receivers coach Keenan McCardell and signing Garcon and Morgan is telling.
We are not certain that the 'Skins will retain Anthony Armstrong or Moss. Leonard Hankerson had one good game in his rookie season before he was lost to Injured Reserve. Kicking Gaffney is questionable in the football sense. Thus, I am skeptical that the decision came from Coach Shanahan.
We don't see Gaffney in the locker room. We do not know his mindset with his domestic troubles. Off-field issues can trump on-field consideration. Lets give the Redskins some leeway for the things fans don't get to see.
Washington has been spared the taint of players who have deep anger issues with the people in their lives. Decisions like this one with Gaffney are part of the protective screen. I get it. I appreciate it. But then you look at how the Redskins compare the rest of the Beast.
2011 Performance of the top two wide receivers for each NFC East team ranked by touchdowns
|Santana Moss in 2005||84||62.7||1,483||9|
Team stats from ESPN.com. Santana Moss '05 stats from Pro Football Prospectus 2007.
Gaffney kept the Redskins in the neighborhood of their rivals. He is, or was, something for the receiving corps to build on. Without him the Redskins are building from scratch.