Ramsey, Gibbs Discuss Brunell QB Says Concerns Are 'Cleared Up'
By Nunyo Demasio Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, February 12, 2004; Page D01
One day after Patrick Ramsey expressed concerns to the Washington Redskins about their pursuit of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell, Coach Joe Gibbs held a long meeting with the Redskins' third-year quarterback. As the Redskins move closer to acquiring Brunell, Gibbs addressed Ramsey's main concern: that the three-time Pro Bowl selection would be penciled in as the starter.
Neither side provided details about their discussion at Redskins Park, but Gibbs and Ramsey said they emerged with a better understanding.
"Coach and I talked. I told him how I felt about everything," Ramsey said yesterday shortly after the meeting. "We're both, I guess, more clear today than we were yesterday on the situation, and I think we came to an understanding."
Ramsey said he believed that Brunell had received assurances from the Redskins that he would start, and felt that the organization was being disingenuous about his chances. Brunell, who will turn 34 on Sept. 17, has essentially made a starting role a requirement for his new team.
"It was a combination of a lot of things that took me by surprise and circumstances that I heard about from [the media], from other people," said Ramsey, who requested the meeting. "Like I said, it was cleared up today."
Ramsey -- who said he was "not frustrated, just surprised" about his situation -- arrived at Redskins Park by 9:30 a.m. yesterday, and didn't leave until 12:30 p.m., although most of the time was spent rehabilitating from foot surgery.
Ramsey was brief in his comments to the media, displaying optimism for his Redskins future -- because of a vote of confidence from Gibbs -- yet strongly stating his desire to start.
When asked if he would request a trade, Ramsey responded. "The only way I would ever want . . . " Ramsey didn't complete the sentence, and quickly added: "I want to play. [Gibbs] said it's an open competition. I welcome that."
Gibbs said: "I think it's very important for any player that anytime they want to come and talk to me we can do that. Obviously, we're going through a lot right now at different positions. Quarterback is one of them. I think it's important we talk, continue to talk."
Gibbs scoffed again at the notion of trading Ramsey. However, one underlying issue is whether Ramsey will request a trade if he isn't the starter. Ramsey has three years left on a $5.7 million contract heavily based on playing incentives.
The Dolphins have switched their interest from Brunell to Ramsey, according to an NFL source, and have offered Washington their first-round pick (No. 20 overall).
"We'll just wait and see what the Redskins do," said Ramsey's agent, Jimmy Sexton, who represented Steve Spurrier in his resignation. "Patrick wants to start for Joe Gibbs and the Redskins. But if not, Patrick wants to start in the NFL. My overriding concern is Patrick Ramsey and his career."
A decision appears inevitable. Sources said the Redskins are on the brink of acquiring Brunell who insisted that he doesn't become embroiled in a quarterback controversy. Despite interest from the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and Dolphins, the Redskins are the only team that has made an offer -- a requirement for the Jaguars to allow a coach to visit with Brunell. (NFL rules prohibit teams from speaking to a player under contract without permission.) The Redskins are likely to end up trading a third-round pick despite Jacksonville's effort to drive up the price.
According to two sources, the Redskins are close to reaching a new contract agreement with Brunell. It's a contingency in a trade because Brunell will become a free agent after 2004. According to an NFL source, Brunell is seeking a three-year deal worth $20 million including an $8 million signing bonus. (He is in the final year of a four-year deal worth $30 million including an $8 million bonus.)
Soon after Gibbs announced his return to the Redskins on Jan. 7, he spoke about needing two reliable quarterbacks, including at least one veteran. According to a Redskins source, the club has a list of several veteran quarterbacks to pursue in case the deal with Brunell falls through.
Ramsey's "surprise" stemmed from discovering that the Redskins were after one of the NFL's most accomplished active quarterbacks. Friday, Gibbs told Ramsey that the Redskins had targeted a veteran quarterback without being specific. Ramsey assumed that the player would be his backup before finding out Saturday that the Redskins were after Brunell.
According to a Redskins source, Gibbs on Monday confirmed to Ramsey that Brunell might eventually start. When Ramsey found out, he told people close to him, including a few teammates, that he felt misled and upset.
Tuesday, Sexton had a phone conversation with owner Daniel Snyder to convey Ramsey's unhappiness, and gauge the organization's view on Ramsey. Sexton has some leverage because he also represents three of the Redskins' highest-paid players: left tackle Chris Samuels, right guard Randy Thomas and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.
The Redskins need to restructure Samuel's contract for extra salary-cap room to pursue free agents this offseason. Thus far, Samuels -- who has a 2004 cap figure of roughly $9 million -- has declined.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
i agree they should not make this trade... Ramsey is young give him time to get better and mature as a qb he has some good weapons and if they could figure out their rb mess they would have some nice weapons on offense
I know Gibbs wants a vets QB but Ramsey has a lot of potential, I don't see the point in giving up a draft pick for Brunell. Their problem is not their QB, they need a line to protect Ramsey. When he was given time he put up good numbers last year. If they can get Gallery or Andrews they could be good. Or even if they get Taylor at number 5 and then get a couple lineman later in the draft. They need to keep Ramsey. e has a lot of potential and they shouldn't sit him on the bench or trade him.