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Sean Gilbert (born April 10, 1970 in Aliquippamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker) is a former professional American football defensive lineman who was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the third overall pick of the 1992 NFL Draft. A 6'5", 318-lb. defensive tackle from the University of Pittsburghmarker, Gilbert played in 11 NFL seasons from 1992 to 2003 for the Rams, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, and Oakland Raiders. He was a 1993 Pro Bowl selection for the Rams, recording 10.5 sacks. He is also the uncle of Darrelle Revis.

Early life

Gilbert played football for the Aliquippamarker Quips. As a senior Gilbert was a Parade Magazine All-America and the USA Today Prep Defensive Player of the Year after leading the "Quips" to a 14-1 record and a Western Pennsylvania AAA championship. He made 91 tackles as a senior and recovered two fumbles for touchdowns. He also played guard on offense for Aliquippa.

College career

As a defensive tackle Gilbert was an All-America choice in 1991. He had 99 tackles (21 for a loss) and 6 sacks in his final two seasons at Pitt. In 1991 against Penn State, Gilbert totalled 11 tackles (6 for a loss) and 1 sack. One observer said Gilbert, "played like a man possessed". As a senior Gilbert had 17 tackles for a loss and 4 sacks. Gilbert played in 6 games, missing almost half of the season with a knee injury. He did not play as a freshman due to the NCAA "Prop 48 rule".

Measurables

Height: 6-4½ Weight:315

40-yard time: 4.8

Bench Press: 400 lbs.

Gilbert entered the 1992 NFL Draft as a junior after only two collegiate seasons.

Professional career

Rams

On April 27, 1992, Gilbert signed a five-year $7.5 million contract, including a $3 million signing bonus. Other agents were critical of Gilbert's contract because it set values for the players in the draft taken after him. The Green Bay Packers first-round pick Terrell Buckley wanted a deal higher than the Rams paid defensive end Sean Gilbert, the third player taken, and held out 50 days as a result. "The real problem is that Sean Gilbert signed such a bad deal, and now they're trying to sign bad deals for everyone taken after him," NFL agent Carl Poston said.

Gilbert started as a rookie, recorded 5 sacks, and was named All-rookie by Pro Football Writers Association. In 1993 Gilbert was voted to his first Pro Bowl and recorded 10.5 sacks. He was also an All-NFC choice by UPI and Pro Football Weekly. In addition he was named All-Madden and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after a 4 sack performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1995 Gilbert moved to right defensive end (RDE) and was a Pro Bowl alternate, recording 5.5 sacks. The signing of Pro Bowl RDE Leslie O'Neal made Gilbert expendable. "We've got Kevin Carter, D'Marco Farr, Jimmie Jones, and Leslie O'Neal," Rams vice president and director of football operations Steve Ortmayer said.

Redskins

On April 8, 1996, he was traded to the Washington Redskins for a first-round pick (the sixth overall) in the 1996 NFL Draft.

With the Redskins, Gilbert was again an alternate to the Pro Bowl. He had 68 tackles and 3 sacks and was a force against the run. As Rams quarterback Steve Walsh said, "Sean Gilbert is playing like a monster." He also helped the defense by drawing double-team blocking. He sprained his knee against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day and wasn't 100 percent after that.

Gilbert rejected the Redskins' five-year, $20 million offer that included a $5 million signing bonus. He demanded approximately $22.5 million over five years, including an $8 million signing bonus that was to be paid immediately. As a result, the Redskins made Gilbert their franchise player, but rather than sign the one-year $3.4 million tender offer, Gilbert sat out the 1997 season. After the 1997 season the Redskins again made Gilbert a franchise player, this time offering a one-year contract for $2.97 million (the average of the 5 highest paid DTs). Gilbert objected and asked for arbitration saying the Redskins did not have the right to place their franchise player tag on him for a second straight year. On March 17, 1998, the NFLPA and the NFL had an all-day hearing to resolve the case.

Panthers

The Redskins traded Gilbert to the Carolina Panthers in 1998 for the Panthers' first round picks in 1999 and 2000. On April 21, 1998, the trade became final when he signed an offer sheet for a seven-year contract worth $46.5 million.Gilbert returned to RDE in 1998 and recorded 53 tackles and 6 sacks, starting all 16 games. In 1999 and 2000 Gilbert moved to his preferred right defensive tackle position and averaged 50 tackles and 3 sacks during those two seasons. In 2001 Gilbert switched to left defensive tackle and recorded 25 tackles and 2 sacks. He was injured and played in only nine games (starting all of them).

Gilbert broke his right hip on October 27, 2002 during a game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and missed the last eight games of the season. Gilbert totaled only 5 tackles during the injury-shortened season.

The giving up of two first-round picks and paying Gilbert over $6 million a year was called a "debacle" by ESPN who reported that Former Panthers coach Dom Capers regretted that move, stating:
"Sometimes you get in a desperate situation and you don't ever want to be in a desperate situation. You make decisions based on the fact that you don't have anybody in a position as opposed to being able to sit back and make long-term decisions that you think would be best for the organization." But Capers quickly realized he had sacrificed too much of Carolina's future for Gilbert. "There was a lot of discussion on that and my initial reaction was that it was too much," he said.


On March 10, 2003, the Panthers released Gilbert.

Raiders

The Raiders signed him on October 29, 2003. He was paid a total of $1.5 million for the 2003 season He ended the year with just 7 tackles. After the 2003 season Gilbert was an unrestriced free agent. After no teams offered him a contract in 2004, Gilbert retired.

References

  1. St. Louis Rams Media Guide, 1992
  2. ibid
  3. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel September 11, 1992
  4. Wichita Eagle, November 5, 1998
  5. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 23, 1996
  6. Washington Post, September 22, 1996
  7. Virginian-Pilot, October 30, 1996
  8. Washington Post, April 17, 1997
  9. ESPN.com
  10. CNNSI.com
  11. USA Today.com



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