The Washington Redskins made a move late on Friday night, that has absolutely no guarantee of success. Far from it.
The move however, bought at least 2 years of good will and excitement to the frustrated and bewildered fan base. The move also removed some pressure from the current regime to find a franchise quarterback.
NFL Network and Fox Sports' NFL Analyst, Jay Glazer was the first to break the news, and every media outlet in the world (including ESPN 980) has since confirmed it - the Redskins and the Rams swung an earth shattering deal that will change the dynamics of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 draft.
While the deal can not be made official until Tuesday, the two teams made a major swap with Peyton Manning still on the market, and a full six weeks before the actual draft.
The Redskins agreed to surrender the # 6 overall selection and their 2nd round pick in 2012, along with future first round picks in 2013 and 2014 to the Rams for the # 2 overall pick. With that pick, the Redskins are expected to select Heisman Trophy winning Quarterback, Robert Griffin III from Baylor University, assuming that he is not picked by the Indianapolis Colts.
The reaction from the NFL world and college football world is pouring in, including this somewhat surprising and harsh reaction from ESPN College Football Analyst and former member of the "Hogs" offensive line group, Mark May, who tweeted the following "Love RG3 but now you have ZERO future picks to put talent around him Jackwagons !"
Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong's reaction to the trade to # 2 "If/when RG 3 is the pick, I look forward and I am excited to work with him," Armstrong told ESPN 980 via text.
Here is some media reaction from Sports Illustrated and NBC Football Night in America analyst, Peter King, who wrote this report - http://bit.ly/yNkPGY
4. What price will the Redskins ultimately have to pay to move up to # 2 to draft Robert Griffin III?
**If the Redskins do, which I guess, I will give in and say they ultimately will do - it will cost the # 6 overall pick, next year's first round pick, and I believe the Rams HAVE TO recover either a 2nd round pick this year OR the Redskins 3rd, 4th and 5th round picks this year.
I don't believe you can purely base the Chargers return from the Giants in 2004 as the exact compensation value because it was # 4 to # 1 and this would be # 6 to # 2. The Giants exchanged picks essentially, even though the trade happened AFTER the actual picks were made, and also gave up a 3rd round pick in that same year, along with a first round pick and a 5th round pick in 2005.
Here's a few reasons why the Redskins will HAVE TO pay more. The Rams will not be guaranteed, unless the deal is made after the actual selections, to get who they want. Even with that, of course there are no guarantees. The Rams also have to move down lower than the Chargers technically did. In addition, if I am the Rams - I treat this as the # 1 pick because that's what RG III would essentially be, if Andrew Luck was not there. No doubt.
Here is the bigger reason it should cost the Redskins more to move up if I am the Rams and using common sense. The price tag for the # 2 pick is miniscule compared to two years ago and before. It's like shopping at Walmart for fine china. Teams used to be scared to death to trade up because of the compensation required and the financial risk involved. One part of that has almost completely been eliminated from the equation, BUT the other part still very much exists and that means, if I am the Rams, I am holding on to Boardwalk, not Marvin Gardens.
There has been no official confirmation from either side, but the Redskins have positioned themselves to secure one of the two top quarterbacks in the draft, and also can now entice free agents with the notion they will be playing with Robert Griffin III (98 % likely) or at the very worst, Andrew Luck out of Stanford.
The deal was made now, before the market for quarterback starved teams dwindled, allowing maximum value to the Rams, and so that the Redskins don't have to sign a veteran like a Kyle Orton, if hey choose not too.
Despite Adam Schefter's report that the Redskins will still try and pursue Peyton Manning, ESPN 980 stands by our report that the Manning camp told Washington that he would not sign with the Redskins, and it is beyond obvious that the Redskins knew that and acted swiftly.
Manning would have been used to entice free agents playing for a chance at a ring, and to keep their contracts at a reasonable cost; and I believe the Redskins will use the leverage that a deal like this gives, to keep costs under control STILL for perspective free agents.
Washington no longer has to severely overpay guys like Vincent Jackson, just to get him, because they can't offer a better guaranteed solution at the quarterback spot.
In speaking with multiple league sources, it was very clear the Redskins were going to have trouble luring premier free agents without paying top dollar, because of the terrible perception of the quarterback position in Washington.
They also don't have to deal with any moves that are essentially ordered up by a politician acting as a quarterback, like signing Reggie Wayne, who is clearly on the backside of his career, just to appease a certain someone.
The other element at work here? If Robert Griffin III fails for whatever reason in his first 2-3 years in the NFL on a repeated basis, it is extremely likely that Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen will not be employed to deal with and suffer the consequences of trading away the 3 extra picks they had to part with.
Washington still has six other picks right now, starting in the 3rd round, along with two 4th round picks, and possible compensatory picks to acquire some young, cheap depth.