Redskins lay it on the line for Griffin III
The Redskins have tried just about everything over the last decade, throwing money at any viable option, in an effort to turn back into a Super Bowl contender. Now, it appears, they’re betting the house on Robert Griffin III.
As first reported by FOX’s Jay Glazer, the Redskins have agreed to send their top two picks in this year’s draft (No. 6 and No. 39 overall) plus their 2013 and ’14 first-rounders to the Rams for the No. 2 overall selection in April. They will, presumably, use that pick to take Griffin, the electrifying quarterback out of Baylor.
Here’s what this tells us: The Redskins were willing to do anything and everything to make sure that they picked up Griffin, who, by all accounts, has the potential to be a franchise quarterback in this league for years to come.
The price is astronomical. If this doesn’t work out for any reason, it could set Washington even further back in the NFC East. But if Griffin is as talented and mature as he appears to be, then this might be well worth it.
Washington knew that there were other teams (namely Cleveland and Miami) interested in that No. 2 pick, and may have used the league-wide distraction of Peyton Manning’s release into free agency to jump the gun.
Consider the Redskins’ parade of recent quarterbacks: Rex Grossman, John Beck, a fading Donovan McNabb, Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell, Patrick Ramsey. It’s been one letdown after the next, despite a rare playoff berth here or there, ever since Mark Rypien left town.
This trade means the Redskins didn’t feel like they had any shot at Peyton Manning, who might be getting closer and closer to a deal in Denver. This isn’t a bad consolation prize, however, especially because it allows the Redskins to upgrade at quarterback without eating much into the massive cap room they have. They’ll be able to use that ton of money — somewhere between $30 and $40 million — to jump into this year’s free-agent market. Not only does that mean Washington will able to court a wide receiver like Marques Colston or Vincent Jackson for Griffin to throw to, they might be able to upgrade their secondary and offensive line, too.
Until the Redskins officially draft Griffin and we see him play in the NFL, it’s impossible to definitively declare the franchise on its way up, but there’s no doubt that they are closer now than they were 24 hours ago.
The Rams, on the other hand, made out like bandits here. The drop from No. 2 to No. 6 overall in the 2012 draft should still allow them to land a top-notch prospect — possibly Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon to be Sam Bradford’s big target.
They also now have three of the first 39 picks this April and will hold multiple first-rounders for both 2013 and ’14.
When you’re talking about trying to rebuild, that’s like stumbling into a goldmine.
But in the immediate future, the spotlight here will fall on Washington. There are plenty of people out there who think Griffin could be as good as, or even better than, Andrew Luck. The Redskins must fall in that camp, because the price tag they just paid for Griffin was a monstrous one.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward type of proposition for the Washington organization. Should Griffin pan out as a legitimate starter in D.C., for the next several years, then the Redskins will be more than happy that they rolled the dice.