Once again, the Redskins are offseason-Super Bowl winners.
They may have mortgaged their immediate future, in terms of talented youth via draft picks, by moving up to the second spot in the 2012 NFL draft. Redskins fans have heard it all before. Give up draft picks for this, give up draft picks for that. While this trade may conclude with the same results, which many don’t believe will happen, it was the right trade for a franchise who has been looking for a long-term option at quarterback since the days of Mark Rypien. They now have an opportunity to draft one.
Andrew Luck is expected to go first overall to the Indianapolis Colts this April. The more intriguing storyline in the draft was what happen with the next pick. Ronald Griffin was expected to be taken with the second pick by whomever traded into that position. Rams GM Les Snead was looking for three first round picks. He essentially got that on Thursday by trading the Rams second pick this year for Washington’s 2012 first and second round draft picks, and first round draft picks in 2013 and 2014.
The Redskins are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. During the Mike Shanahan Redskins era, the team has had to rely on the arms and instincts of Rex Grossman, John Beck and Donovan McNabb.
RGIII is a Heisman winning quarterback who runs a sub 4.4 40 and has incredible arm strength. He caught the eye and captiviated football enthusiasts last season with his quarterback play, his statistics and his charm. The military baby was a vocal leader and his energy and work ethic became contagious amongst his teammates.
Mike Shanahan’s offensive system is at its best when he has a smart quarterback who is mobile enough to run the bootleg and create plays if necessary.
If RGIII is everything he is expected to be and does not succumb to the D.C. social life, Mike Shanahan will have saved himself from being axed by Daniel Snyder. Not only that, RGIII may help change the culture in Washington to the point where Redskins fans will finally believe themselves when they say that their team has a chance to win the Super Bowl.
Now all the Redskins need to do is be wise over these next three years with their personnel decisions.
The Redskins essentially gave up only two first round picks in 2013 and 2014, along with A second round pick in 2012. Armed with about $45 million in cap space, they should be more than fine. With the Browns eager to trade into the second pick themselves, the Redskins were forced to give up a little more than they wanted but have drafted well and reigned in the checkbook as of late.
Let’s assume that the Redskins indeed end up with RGIII on draft day. With a Heisman winning franchise quarterback at the helm and a strong running game, the Redskins should be a few offensive linemen and a wide receiver away from fielding a competitive offense. Carl Nicks will be available this offseason, as will a number of starting-caliber interior offensive linemen. The list of wide starting wide receivers available in free agency this year is also extensive. Add to that the Redskins’ playoff caliber defense, with a few secondary acquisitions *ahem*BrandonCarr*ahem*, and the Redskins have the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs by the 2013 season, if not sooner.
Most importantly, the Redskins will have Ronald Griffin III locked in for four years at about $22 million dollars. Not a huge financial risk if he doesn’t pay off.
The Redskins needed a franchise changing quarterback this off-season. It looks like they will get one. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan may have given up a lot more than they wanted, but nobody will remember or care if Ronald Griffin III (or even Luck if the Colts fool everybody and take RGIII).
Let’s hope this offseason Super Bowl win finally turns into one during the regular season.