It really doesn’t need to be said but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway: Robert Griffin III better damn be worth it.
Trade three first-round picks and a second-round selection for a Hall of Fame, Super Bowl-winning quarterback and nobody will say squat. In fact, when it’s all said and done that team may even be referred to as fearless, gutsy and innovative.
Trade three first-round picks and a second rounder for a Ryan Leaf or Akili Smith-type career and fans, the media, and the football gods themselves will never let you hear the end of it.
In the cover of the night, the Redskins acquired the No. 2 overall pick from the Rams in exchange for not one, not two, but three first-round picks and their 2012 second-round selection. People were so caught off guard by the announcement that even the league’s personal network had to use Charles Davis to talk about the trade in the middle of an Arena Football League game. True story.
Unless the Colts pull a fast one and select RGIII instead of Andrew Luck, Griffin will be a Washington Redskin come April 26. It’s the type of move we’ve come to expect of the Redskins, who have even been known to overpay at Wal-Mart. It’s a little surprising that Mike Shanahan signed off on the deal but then again, when a head coach with control of the football operations wants a player, nothing will get in his way.
As head honcho for the Falcons back in 1999, Dan Reeves once traded a first-round pick to move up in the second round so he could select a blocking tight end in Mississippi State’s Reggie Kelly. That first-round pick wound up being Jamal Lewis, whom the Ravens selected with the fifth overall pick in 2000.
Ironically, that same year Mike Ditka traded all of the Saints’ picks in that 1999 draft plus their first-round selection in 2000 to the Redskins in order to move up to select Ricky Williams. Needless to say, neither Williams nor Ditka lasted very long in New Orleans.
Granted, maybe Daniel Snyder or GM Bruce Allen was at the forefront of this trade for the Redskins. But seeing as how Shanahan has the final say in Washington these days, I’m willing to bet that he was the one who essentially upped the ante to push the deal through. And at least from the Redskins’ point of view, good thing he did because apparently the Browns were also willing to offer the Rams three first-round picks in order to move up to select the dynamic Griffin.
So now we wait. We wait to see if this will all be worth it for the Redskins in the end. If Griffin wins just one Super Bowl then the price will be justified. He certainly has the talent to succeed and considering he’s a bright kid with a ton of charisma and high character, you don’t have to squint very hard to see that he can be the face of a NFL franchise. Seeing as how head coaches are equipped with built-in egos that tell them they can polish any stone into a diamond, Shanahan probably isn’t sweating parting with four potential starters for a player like Griffin either.
That said, he and the Redskins will find it awfully difficult in the upcoming years to build a competitive team around RGIII. A team doesn’t find itself drafting in the top 10 by accident. Washington has a ton of holes and one day we may look back on this trade and deem it a failure not because of Griffin, but because the Skins didn’t have the resources to surround him with enough weapons.
But for now, the Redskins finally have a franchise quarterback for the first time in decades. For now, we wait until Shanahan and RGIII have an opportunity to make the Redskins look either fearless or incredibly stupid.
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Tags: 2012 nfl draft, 2012 NFL Draft trades, Browns Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns, Mike Shanahan, Mike Shanahan idiot, Mike Shanahan trade, Redskins draft trade, Redskins three first round picks, Redskins-Rams trade details, RGIII, RGIII trade, Robert Griffin III, Robert Griffin III trade, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins