That Peyton Manning. He’s something else. Guy hops in a jet, spurns a couple of advances and huge deals start to go down. Manning in Washington? He apparently wanted no part of the Snyder carnival or two games every season against his brother. Manning a Jet? That didn’t appeal to him either. The list of potential Manning suitors decreases and teams quickly shift into Plan-B protocol. The Jets signed Mark Sanchez to an extension, because even though they were ready to drop him for Peyton, part of the NFL is committing to QBs you don’t actually like. Two-thirds of the league does this, embracing the lesser evil. The Sanchez deal is an afterthought today, though, because the Redskins gave up an absolute haul to acquire the #2 overall pick, which will most likely be Robert Griffin III.
Washington sends their own #1, a second rounder and two more 1st round picks to St. Louis for the right to draft the QB the Colts do not select #1. I wonder if Dan Snyder thinks there is a 1% chance the Colts don’t take Luck. Does that factor into this decision? I hope not. The Rams got exactly what they wanted, a bidding war for their pick. It sounded like Cleveland was also willing to part with up to three 1st rounders, but it’s tough to out-class a guy like Snyder in this type of pursuit. This is where he and the Redskins excel. In a couple of years Cleveland is either going to be killing themselves for not going the extra mile, or thanking their preferred higher power that the ‘Skins stepped in with this monstrous bid.
Thoughts on the trade…
1. Start the clock on Mike Shanahan. His time in Washington has already tarnished his record, but RG3 will be a fresh start, a chance to hit the reset button. Can you win without John Elway and an offensive line that cranks out 1,000 yard rushers like Snyder hands out bad contracts? Offensive genius? Let’s see.
2. Unbelievable amounts of pressure and scrutiny on Griffin now. Perhaps even more than Luck. Both QBs will be viewed as saviors, but if both teams happen to go 2-14, at least the Colts would get another high pick. Washington would be shipping that lottery ticket out to St. Louis.
3. A while back I talked about Griffin’s value and how the presence of Luck could impact how he was perceived. As it turned out, I think it was Griffin’s combination of skills and the massive drop-off to the #3 rated QB in this Draft that created the feeding frenzy for the #2 pick. Since the college football season ended Griffin has become an even more attractive commodity. Why? Because 2/3 of the NFL looks at their roster and sees they don’t really have a franchise QB.
4. How Washington performs over the next two years will impact how this trade is perceived and also how well St. Louis uses the picks will sway the final judgement. Unlike in the NBA, all 1st rounders have significant value in the NFL, but there’s still a big difference between picking 8th and 20th. If the Redskins can’t make the playoffs in the next two years and ships two more top-10 picks to St. Louis, that’s going to be harder to swallow than if the picks land in the teens or twenties. Of course, further down the line, the focus will drift to who the Rams selected. If the Cowboys hadn’t drafted all those Pro Bowlers with Minnesota’s picks the Herschel Walker trade wouldn’t have looked so bad.
5. This is pretty exciting news for NFC East fans. Who wouldn’t want to see Griffin a couple of times a year? Apologies to Rex Grossman, but this is far more intriguing. And, if Griffin becomes a franchise QB, what will that mean for the likes of Romo and Vick? It’s tough to win a division when you have the 3rd or 4th best QB.
6. Sam Bradford has to feel great this morning. I don’t think he could fully trust the vote of confidence until that pick was dealt and now there’s going to be plenty of help on the way (in theory) over the next couple of years. The deal adds pressure to Griffin, but also to Les Snead, the Rams GM who must make these picks count.
7. If Griffin was worth three number one picks and a second rounder, what could the Colts have gotten for the 1st pick?