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Gardner: 50-50 Chance He'll Be Back?

Apr 27, 2005, 12:55 PM EST

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Rod Gardner may not be running from town after all.

After the dust settled following the NFL draft, the Redskins had not selected a wide receiver. They also had not disposed of one. More than three months after telling Gardner he was free to seek a trade and making it clear that the receiver is not in the team’s 2005 plans, Joe Gibbs and the Redskins were unable to swing a deal to send Gardner to another team. With another sticky wicket to deal with, Gibbs said:

We’re trying to craft what we think, going forward, is best for the team and for Rod.

“In that order,” Gibbs no doubt was thinking but left unsaid.

Gardner’s agent Joel Segal was realistic about the situation. Explaining why Gardner was still a Redskin, he said:

The lack of a trade right now is a combination of three things: Number one, compensation, differences of opinion. Number two, the player has a one-year contract left. That’s tantamount to renting Rod. Some clubs don’t want to pay a large sum to rent a player for one year. And third, value is always more to the club you’re with than another club.

Oh, and one more reason, added Gibbs:

He has a contract.

So will Gardner be a Redskin when training camp rolls around? That remains to be seen. It doesn’t appear that Gibbs wants to let Gardner, a 2001 first-round draft pick, go without any compensation. However, as long as he’s on the roster the Redskins can’t take advantage of the $2.1 million in cap savings that cutting or trading him would bring, money that the Redskins could use to sign a their draft picks or bring in a player following the June 1 cuts. In case you’re wondering, the Redskins gain no advantage by waiting until after June 1 to trade or cut Gardner as he is in the last year of his contract and his allocated bonus charge will remain regardless of when he’s cut.

One possible destination for Gardner is Tampa Bay. They failed to get a top-shelf receiver in the draft and are looking for a veteran wideout. From an article on FoxSports.com:

The Bucs picked up a couple of intriguing wide receiver prospects in Brackins and Paris Warren but still lack quality, depth and experience at the position. The team still might try to work a deal for a veteran such as Rod Gardner before the start of training camp.

Will he stay or will he go? Just like you don’t know if Gardner’s going to catch a soft spiral to him when he’s wide open (after he just made a spectacular, diving catch), it remains to be seen.

  1. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2005 at 3:08 PM

    Gardner may drop some passes, but he’s still the best receiver on our roster. Don’t believe me? Look at his stats. His best year measures up to Santana Moss, and unlike Moss, he’s not afraid of contact and has yet to play with a good quarterback. I mean, the guy has had some huge games — I’d rather give him another year to see if he can be a little more consistent than trade him for a fourth or fifth round pick we’re just going to blow on some fullback anyway.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2005 at 3:13 PM

    It seemed to me shortly after that quote that no one else in the TB media ran with it. So I would think maybe they were told that they were not interested in Gardner. Hes not worth much except for the $2 mil in extra cap space if he’s cut in my opinion.

    His attitude and actions have worn out their welcome in DC in my opinion.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 29, 2005 at 6:57 PM

    From what I’ve read, Gardner had a bad attitude last year and that he and Coles were actually a distraction to other players on the team. He’s exactly the sort of player that Gibbs is trying to weed out – talented player who hasn’t lived up to his potential, and who has a bad attitude. Maybe its OK to have a receiver who is a distraction if his name is T.O. or Randy Moss, but certainly not Gardner. If Gardner is so great, then why are we having so much trouble getting rid of him? Its like nobody wants him. My opinion is that he’s an idiot and not a character guy. I realy HATE the way he makes a 9 yard reception for a first down late in the game when we’re down 3 touchdowns, and then he gets up and makes that big first down gesture. So annoying. I hope the skins cut him late into camp, so that his options to sign as a free agent will be more limited. Another thing, if he stays with the skins, and has a great year (this being a contract year for him), you can be sure that if we sign him to a big contract, he will immediately return to his old ways. That would be more torture than I can bare.

  4. Anonymous - Apr 29, 2005 at 7:12 PM

    From what I’ve read, Gardner had a bad attitude last year and that he and Coles were actually a distraction to other players on the team. He’s exactly the sort of player that Gibbs is trying to weed out – talented player who hasn’t lived up to his potential, and who has a bad attitude. Maybe its OK to have a receiver who is a distraction if his name is T.O. or Randy Moss, but certainly not Gardner. If Gardner is so great, then why are we having so much trouble getting rid of him? Its like nobody wants him. My opinion is that he’s an idiot and not a character guy. I realy HATE the way he makes a 9 yard reception for a first down late in the game when we’re down 3 touchdowns, and then he gets up and makes that big first down gesture. So annoying. I hope the skins cut him late into camp, so that his options to sign as a free agent will be more limited. Another thing, if he stays with the skins, and has a great year (this being a contract year for him), you can be sure that if we sign him to a big contract, he will immediately return to his old ways. That would be more torture than I can bare.

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