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July 18, 1997: Gargantuan DT Refuses to Report to Camp

On July 18, 1997, the Redskins opened training camp without a gargantuan member of their defense, talented 6-5, 320-pound tackle Sean Gilbert.  He and the Redskins were in a bitter contract dispute.  The Redskins were offering $4 million per season, while Gilbert at one point wanted $5 million.  Gilbert’s agent said his client’s demand was based on a “revelation from God.”  No deal was reached, the Redskins designated Gilbert as their “franchise” player, preventing him from signing elsewhere, and he sat out the `97 season.  The defense struggled mightily in his absence, but the Redskins managed to trade him to Carolina in April 1998, for two 1st-round draft picks, ending the tumultuous relationship.