Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

The Actual History of Sean Gilbert

Recommended Posts

I see our DT situation a lot like the Gilbert situation in 1996/1997, and it illustrates the danger of being too cap-obsessed.

In 1996, very short on DTs, we picked up Sean Gilbert in a trade for our first round pick to the Rams. He was our only quality DT, and so we still didn't have a great run defense, but Gilbert recorded an enormous 107 tackles and took up a lot of defenders.

Gilbert was in the last year of his contract, and let it be known that he wanted to renegotiate during the season. He wanted a $3 million bonus. Casserly, always "cap conscious" (for which he is always praised by opposing teams' fans) , refused to negotiate.

After the season, and looking at the dearth of DTs on the free agent market, Gilbert demanded much more than $3 million, so Casserley hit him with the franchise tag. Negotiations were tumultuous, to say the least.

In August, during training camp, Gilbert's camp proposed having Gilbert sign for a $4.8 million bonus. Casserley rejected the offer.

In October or so, right before the deadline for signing players, Casserley offered 4.8 million. Now Gilbert refused.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the offseason, Gilbert was again hit with the franchise tag. Some stupid comments by CC and Norv about picking up other DTs almost got Gilbert out of the tag scot-free, but not quite.

Then, CC signs two more DTs, Stubby and Big Daddy, for substantially more than the original offers to Gilbert, $8 million signing bonus in the case of Stubby. Within two years, Stubby's contract is blown away by many other DTs.

Thus...if we had originally signed Gilbert for the $3-4 million he wanted in 1996, or even the $6 million he wanted in 1997, we would still have a capable run-stuffing DT, for a lot LESS than the market rate.

Gilbert is not a Warren Sapp. But what he does (taking up a lot of blockers), he does well. He does it at LEAST as well as Stubby and Big Daddy, who we were/are paying more than we paid him.

The point is...sometimes you need to shell out for a player. DTs who can stop the run are at a premium. Insisting that they have a lot of sacks to justify a huge price tag just makes your situation more desperate and forces your hand later. I have serious doubts about how well Dotson and Wilkinson are going to stop the run. This could have been avoided if we had drafted a wide body or picked up a free agent earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Casserly was bailed out of his bad decision by the combined idiocies of the Panthers and Saints, who decided to give us (through joint ineptness) Chris Samuels, Champ Bailey, and Lavar Arrington for Gilbert and a few picks.

Certainly, that worked out in the long run. But I don't know that we can keep counting on that kind of dumb luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Is one of the objective ways you present a point by ignoring the opposite side, or, indeed, the actual history of the move with Gilbert that you seem objective because you don't come right out and say he's a jerk?

Is what you say correct? Could we have signed Gilbert for more than he was worth earlier? Sure. Did he perform well enough that what he was worth was what we were willing to pay, but he decided he was worth more? Sure. I suppose you view it smart football management to give a player what he wants whether he's worth it or not, and then sometime later, look back and analyze the situation as, "Darn it, see we could have had him for less." Sure. And, he could have blown out a knee or had too many stops at the In and Out burger and, like Stubby, been a guy who was paid much more than he was worth.

There is an opposite side to the coin. In Gilbert's case you'd have a good point if not for the fact that we absolutely made out like gangbusters with the trade and subsequent draft moves we made. Still, it is not appropriate to look back and say we could have done something differently. Hell, Stubby could have been the NFL Defensive Player of the Year two or three years in Washington and we'd all have been wondering how we got him so cheap. He wasn't, so, looking back, it looks bad.

Sometimes looking back does that to a situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SkinsHokie Fan

No Sean Gilbert faisco no Lavar Arrington Chris Samuels or Champ Bailey

This is why:

Carolina paid the franchise price of 2 first round picks 1 in 1999 and 1 in 2000.

The 1999 pick was the number 5 pick in that draft. Ditka offered his entire draft plus a 1st rounder the next year for that spot to get Williams.

Redskins get Champ and Jansen in that draft thanks to some maneuvering by Casserly.

The Redskins start the 2000 draft with the 2, 12 and 24 picks in the first round. They trade the 12 and 24 with the 49ers for the number 3 pick thus assuring Arrington and Samuels. The number 2 pick in that draft originally belonged to the Saints and the number 12 originally belonged to Carolina.


We would have had no 1st round picks in the 1999 draft (B. Johnson trade) and the 24 pick in the 2000 draft. Thus no Arrington, Samuels or Champ.

Gilbert for those 3. I think the Redskins easily won out

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gilbert's best years are behind him, in no small part because he lost a year of his prime sitting on his butt "talking to God." We had no guarantees that, even had we re-signed him mid-season in 1996 for $3M, that he wouldn't have held out later on for more money even while he was under contract, whilst watching the prices for DT's rise around the league.

No, we did the right thing by dumping him, and we were lucky enough to not only get away with it, but to come out of it with three potential HoF'ers in the process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There seemed to be a cosmic juxtaposition of the planets that radiated stupidity at GMs about that time. Not only do you have Sean Gilbert's bizzare Divine Hold-Out, but you have the Carolina Panthers signing our franchise player and then - astoundingly - refusing to give us their first and third rounders that year. They decided that they HAD to have Christian Peter with that first rounder. So the league ruled that instead of giving us a first and a third (which is all we asked), they had to give us two first rounders. Incredible. And then you add poor Mike Ditka's "My Kingdom for a Rickey" offer and the draft picks flowed to Washington.

We did well, but we have to keep in mind that we pissed a lot of it away. Three first day picks for Brad Johnson. The #64 pick in the 2000 draft for Lloyd Harrison. And when you get down to it, I thought we gave the Bears too much to move back up for Champ, but I'm real glad we got him.

It was an interesting time in Redskin history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to make a more general point than just Sean Gilbert. Yes of course Gilbert had some strange negotiating tactics. And yes, thank god for the combined stupidity of Carolina and New Orleans.

But my larger point is- I am worried because we seem to have avoided picking up DTs that didn't fit some exact profile, or at some low cost, and so consequently we have a real weakness at that position. And then we may end up really overpaying anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking a step back, I think that one of the funniest parts of the whole Sean Gilbert thing was that the draft pick that we gave to the Rams was used on Lawrence Phillips...


of course, LP is having a great season now for my beloved Montreal Alouettes....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

look, the bottom line point here is a good one. We have overpaid in the past for help on the DL and continue based on past decisions to do so in 2002 for Smith and Wilkinson. :mad:

we have paid way more than other teams have for our starting four while other teams like the Bucs and Bears have gotten 50 sack seasons out of their defenses.

Gilbert had one good season here and then was gone.

Stubby was a subpar player for much of his time here and was definitely overpaid for his one effective season in 2000. But even in that year he was not a pro bowl caliber tackle.

Daddy has been a solid contributor. He has not been a bust at all, even if Pasquarelli seems to have a vendetta against him. :) But we have to admit that once again we are paying Dan on a contract that dollar-wise has the expectation that he will be one of the top tackles in the NFL, which he is not.

and what is mystifying to me is, it is not that the Skins drafted a couple of DT's with their #1 selections in earlier years and the players just failed to develop so they we were left to look for free agents.

the team steadfastly refused in ANY year to make DT a priority in the draft since Gibbs left.

Norv concentrated on drafting offensive players in 1994, 1995 and 1996 in the draft and unfortunately the #1 picks from those years consisted of two busts and one disgruntled receiver who only has 250 odd catches in 7 years in the NFL. :mad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...