Could Jabar Gaffney find his way back to the Patriots?
|04.18.12 at 1:54 pm ET|
Less than a week after his infamous Twitter rant — one that left him trending worldwide — Redskins wide receiver Jabar Gaffney told Washington’s 980 ESPN on Wednesday that the Redskins “are trying to trade me.”
If Washington is indeed interested in dealing Gaffney, one possible destination could be the Patriots. The 31-year-old, who played in New England from 2006 through 2008, still has great affection for the Patriots. In the days leading up to the New England-Washington game this past season, Gaffney reminisced fondly about his time with Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
“It was the best,” Gaffney said of his time playing for Belichick. “He pretty much … he gave me a lot of insight on the NFL. A great coach. He makes his players be students of the game. He helped me out a lot. He’s the man.
“I’ll never forget what I learned there, playing under Belichick. Like I said, he taught me a lot about the NFL and how to survive in the NFL and how to be a great player.”
Those feelings were returned in kind by both Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
“Of course, we know Jabar’s an excellent route-runner,” Belichick said of Gaffney. “He’s a good receiver. He’s a very disciplined, dependable guy. He and (Santana) Moss do a good job for them on the outside. They do a number of different things. They change their passing game around from week to week.
“And Jabar, we know, is a real intelligent receiver and very instinctive and I’m sure he handles those things well for them, taking routes they haven’t really run before and putting them in for that game and then running them in a way that hurts the team they’re playing. That’s a big part of what they do, also.”
“Jab could do everything well,” Brady recalled. “I think that’s his versatility, he’s got good size, he’s got long arms, he’s got good speed, he’s got good quickness, he plays every position, he’s smart.
“He’s just one of those guys that, from the day we got him here, he was just so reliable and dependable because he knew what to do and he did it well. You gain a lot of trust from the quarterback when all those things match up. I was bummed when he went to Denver, and I was bummed when he went to Washington.”
New England has already brought in several new faces at wide receiver this offseason, including Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth, and wouldn’t likely offer the Redskins much in the way of a trade, seeing that Gaffney has gone public with the news that Washington is trying to deal him. (This report indicates that the Redskins could simply cut him loose after the draft.)
However, Gaffney’s experience in the Patriots’ system, Belichick’s good working relationship with Washington coach Mike Shanahan, Gaffney’s overall production while with New England (he caught 85 passes for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons) and the fact that he’s been the best and most consistent No. 3 wide receiver that Brady has had since he assumed the starter’s job in 2001 could at least be enough to cause the Patriots to inquire about his services.
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