Gibbs Says Redskins Having Serious Trade Discussions About Moving Up In Draft
PHOENIX, Ariz.--Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said here today that nothing is "imminent" in a proposed trade with the Chicago Bears for linebacker Lance Briggs, and indicated that the Redskins also are giving serious consideration to trading up in the first-round order in next month's NFL draft.
Gibbs, speaking at the NFC coaches' breakfast on the final day of the league meeting at the Arizona Biltmore resort, said the Redskins and Bears will spend the coming days and perhaps weeks evaluating whether they're comfortable with a proposed trade that apparently would send the sixth overall choice in the draft to the Bears in exchange for Briggs and the 31st overall selection.
"Obviously I don't think it's anything imminent," Gibbs said.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Briggs, said Tuesday that the Redskins had proposed the trade to the Bears. Briggs is unhappy with his contract situation with the Bears and has vowed never to play for them again. Rosenhaus said this week that Briggs likely would sit out the first 10 games of next season if he remains with the Bears. The Bears placed their franchise player tag on Briggs to limit his mobility on the free agent market, and he would have a salary of $7.2 million next season if he remains in Chicago as the franchise player. He wants a lucrative longterm deal instead, and he would get that as part of a trade to the Redskins.
Rosenhaus apparently is attempting to get other teams interested as well. Bears Coach Lovie Smith said today he doesn't expect Briggs to be traded.
"We franchised Lance," Smith said. "He's one of our players. That's all there is."
Asked if he expects Briggs to be with the Bears next season, Smith said: "Yes, I do."
Gibbs said the Redskins will consider that trading for Briggs would give them three highly paid linebackers--along with Marcus Washington and recent free agent addition London Fletcher--and possibly cut into the playing time of Rocky McIntosh, a second-round draft pick last year.
Gibbs said the discussions with the Bears have received plenty of attention but they're only one of several sets of serious trade talks the Redskins have had this week.
"That one really got pumped up," Gibbs said.
Gibbs said the Redskins have spoken to two teams about trading up in the draft order. He said the Redskins have a "couple players" in mind if they land a top-five selection, and hinted that one of them might be Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
"I think everybody here would like to have him," Gibbs said.
Gibbs also indicated that while he expects Clinton Portis to remain the Redskins' starter at tailback next season, the workload probably will be divided more evenly between Portis and Ladell Betts than it has been in the past. Betts thrived as the Redskins' primary ballcarrier in the late stages of last season with Portis hurt, and re-signed with the club before becoming a free agent.
"A lot of times it will be kind of in [Portis's] hands, but down the stretch I don't know if anyone played better than Ladell," Gibbs said.
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