The Atlanta Falcons gave up their attempt yesterday to talk to Joe Gibbs about their head coaching position because the Washington Redskins wanted to negotiate compensation from the Falcons in the event he accepted their job, an Atlanta official said.
And because the Falcons figured it was a long shot that Gibbs would take the job, they decided it wasn't worth the trouble to get involved in negotiations.
"All we wanted was a chance to make our pitch to him," club president Taylor Smith said. "We wanted to tell our side of the story and try to convince him that we have a good situation."
Gibbs, who has not returned phone calls for the past two days, has said he doesn't plan to coach in 1994 because he wants to watch hisson, Coy, play football during his senior year at Stanford.
"We're at the point where we've heard from enough people that he wasn't going to coach in 1994," Smith said.
"He was at the league office a few weeks ago and even told the commissioner that."
Of the possibility of getting Gibbs, Smith said: "It might not be dead, but it's as close to dead as it can get."
The Falcons were the second team to be blocked by the Redskins from talking to Gibbs, who had two years on his contract when he quit last March 5.
The Carolina Panthers previously asked permission to talk to Gibbs and were denied the opportunity.
Gibbs has not said whether he wants to coach in 1995.
Now that Gibbs is out of the picture, Falcons offensive coordinator June Jones is the leading contender for the job.