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Trotter Given Permission to Seek Trade

Head coach Joe Gibbs said Friday that the team has given middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter permission to seek a trade to another team.

"It was a decision based on everything--all considerations," Gibbs said.

Trotter has played two seasons with the Redskins and has started 28 games the last two seasons. Last season, Trotter started all 16 games and led the team with 129 tackles. In 2002, when Trotter suffered a knee injury late in the season, backup Kevin Mitchell replaced him.

When asked if Mitchell could be a permanent replacement for Trotter next season, Gibbs said: "We like him. I think everything that you have at that position, you take a look at it. And then you evaluate all of your other players.

"In this case, we felt like this is a better decision and a better direction for us. And it's better for Jeremiah also and we wanted to let him know now."

The Redskins have second-year middle linebacker Clifton Smith on the roster. Smith spent most of the 2003 season on the practice squad and saw limited action in the season finale against Philadelphia.

When asked if the team had a young linebacker in mind for the starting middle linebacker position, Gibbs said: "I think you're always looking for young, good football players. But we don't have many choices left."

During mini-camp practice on Friday, the first-team linebackers were LaVar Arrington, Mitchell and Antonio Pierce. New acquisition Marcus Washington sat out practice with a minor back injury.

As to whether Arrington or Washington could move inside, Gibbs said: "I think we have several guys we think could play inside. I don't think you could see LaVar playing in there."

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