Redskins Daily

Joe Gibbs spoke to the team for around 20 minutes, filling their heads with positive thoughts on this season -- and next. One day after upsetting Minnesota to end the season, the Redskins exited for the offseason with conflicting emotions: they can't wait for next season while disappointed about 2004.

For three key Redskins, the offseason will be interesting. But two of them are optimistic that the offseason will go as they desire.

Linebacker Antonio Pierce said there's no reason to believe he'll sign anywhere other than Washington. He recently switched to agent Drew Rosenhaus, hoping for a more aggressive approach. But he's also thinking about testing the market.

''If I was to go to free agency, I would be one of the top linebackers,'' Pierce said. ''But I'm not looking to do that. I'm looking to be with the Washington Redskins. It would take a mindblowing offer for me to leave here. It's a good fit for me. I like the system. As long as Coach Williams and that staff is here, it's a good fit for me. I see nothing but positive things for me here.''

Left tackle Chris Samuels has a massive cap number for next season -- $9.64 million. The Redskins would be in trouble if that number stayed the same. Samuels knows that, too. He also knows that if he wants to remain here, he must redo the deal.

''I'll call my agent today and tell him that we need to jump on this thing as soon as possible,'' Samuels said. ''I want to be back. I love the organization and the area. I don't want to play for anyone else. I'm confident everything will work out. The coaches have expressed their opinion and they want me back. I appreciate that. I played my butt off for them. I'm sure the owner feels the same way. My agent wants to work with them. I'll tell him to just get me situated so I can get back here and play.''

The only one who remained pessimistic about his return was corner Fred Smoot, who was in a somber mood as he walked to his car and left the parking lot. The normally ebullient corner was not his usual self. When asked if his opinion had changed on getting a deal done, he said no and ''that's just the feeling I have.''

. . . The offseason workouts begin March 21.

. . . The Redskins first pick is ninth overall.

. . . The Redskins home opponents: Dallas, the Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Oakland and San Diego. The road games: Dallas, the Giants, Philadelphia, Arizona, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Denver and Kansas City.


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