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Gibbs Says Redskins Hampered in Signing Free Agents

Wednesday, February 16, 2005; Page D02

Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs discussed a wide range of topics concerning his team last night during a one-hour radio show on WJFK-FM, mainly by taking questions from callers.

Among the highlights: The Redskins have been hampered in signing their own free agents because players are reluctant to finalize deals before free agency starts March 2. Gibbs added that, although the wide receiving corps will undergo changes -- including the departure of Rod Gardner -- the Redskins are unlikely to land any elite free agents at the position because of salary demands.

Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs (File Photo)

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Nonetheless, the Redskins will focus on acquiring players through free agency because of the uncertainty of the draft, to be held in late April.

"We would like to solve everything that we could on our football team in free agency," said Gibbs, whose club picks ninth in the first round. "That way you go into the draft and you're freewheeling."

The Redskins have not signed any of their impending free agents -- there are 20 -- or reached agreement on restructuring tackle Chris Samuels's contract.

"The problem with signing our guys right now, almost none of the agents want to sign right now," Gibbs said. "They are afraid now if they go out and do a deal, they are going to get criticized for it. It's driving me crazy."

One caller asked Gibbs about pursuing Carolina Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad or Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress. "The problem is he's 31 [32], and basically what his agent said is: 'Show me the money,' " Gibbs said of Muhammad. "With him and Plaxico, what you're talking about is big bucks."

When Gibbs was asked if he had any regrets from last season or things he would have done different, the coach mentioned the offense while laughing heartily: "Yes, yes and yes. There's a lot that I would have done differently."

-- Nunyo Demasio

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