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Wilkinson Joins Stubblefield In D.C.

Four years after making Dan Wilkinson the No. 1 pick in the 1994 NFL draft, the Bengals traded him today to the Washington Redskins.

It was the second major defensive gain in a week for the Redskins, who signed a deal with tackle Dana Stubblefield, last season's defensive player of the year with San Francisco.

Wilkinson signed the $21.4 million contract for five years, including a $5 million signing bonus.

"One of our priorities this offseason was to improve our defensive line and we have accomplished that by getting Dan Wilkinson," said Redskins coach Norv Turner. "He is a proven player in this league and yet is only 24 years old. Dan will certainly have a significant impact on our football team."

Wilkinson, who had become disgruntled with Cincinnati, had been designated the Bengals' "franchise player." As such, the Bengals got a first-round and a third-round pick for him.

The trade had been widely expected. Wilkinson was unhappy that the Bengals designated him their franchise player rather than negotiate a long-term contract.

He had visited Washington, and said he wanted to play for the Redskins.

In December, Wilkinson told reporters he has always hated the city of Cincinnati. He said residents are "prejudiced and uptight and stiff."

Speaking Monday night on a radio talk show, he referred to the city as "racist."

Bengals president Mike Brown said then that Wilkinson's comments made it tougher for him to stay.

"It's a factor in our way of thinking," Brown said. "It's a burden for him and a burden for us. He's still a young man and I think one day he'll wonder why he said these things."

Wilkinson played in 61 games for the Bengals, making 59 starts.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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