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Redskins 'Working Hard' to Re-sign Dockery

Head coach Joe Gibbs said Friday that the team still hopes to re-sign offensive lineman Derrick Dockery before free agency starts on Friday, March 2.

Dockery, who has started 61 consecutive games at left guard for the Redskins, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

"Our expectations are that we do not want [Dockery to go to free agency]," Gibbs told reporters from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "We are working hard to keep that from happening."

Reporters asked Gibbs about recent published comments from Dockery's agent, Todd France, that Dockery expected to test the free agent market.

"That hasn't been said to us," Gibbs replied. "We are waiting with the thought process that we can get something done. We all know no matter how hard you work, and where you are, that could happen.

"Someone can make up their mind that they are going to go. Of course, the tough thing about that is it puts your team in a bind because, what do you do? It's really a tough one for the team. We really don't want that to happen."

The last two years, Dockery joined left tackle Chris Samuels, center Casey Rabach, right guard Randy Thomas and right tackle Jon Jansen to form one of the league's top offensive lines.

Last season, the Redskins finished with the fourth-ranked rushing offense. The pass protection unit yielded just 19 sacks, third-best in the NFL.

The Redskins drafted Dockery in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Gibbs reiterated that the Redskins' goal is to keep the current group of offensive linemen together as long as possible.

He added: "Sometimes you go through [free agency], you have to be realistic. Our philosophy is that those players who fought for us, play every play and did all the things we asked, we want to try and keep them. We are going to go as hard as we can."

Gibbs said that he expected negotiations to "heat up" starting Monday, Feb. 26 through the start of free agency.

Along with Dockery, the Redskins' unrestricted free agents include running back T.J. Duckett, safety Vernon Fox, linebacker Warrick Holdman, offensive linemen Todd Wade and Mike Pucillo and cornerbacks Kenny Wright and Ade Jimoh.

"What we tried to do is work real hard to get the team we have now before free agency [starts]," Gibbs said. "It's hard to do because some of the players' agents want to wait a week to get an idea what is right and what is the right value. It is the same for us."

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