The Washington Redskins’ trade with the St. Louis Rams for the second overall choice in April’s NFL draft continued to stir debate Saturday.
Few questioned the skills of Baylor’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III, the player the Redskins have targeted for the second pick. The Redskins’ need at the sport’s most important position also was undeniable. But there were some eyebrows raised by what the Redskins gave up — the sixth overall selection and a second-round pick in this year’s draft, plus two future first-rounders — to move into position to get Griffin.
Charley Casserly, the former general manager of the Redskins and Houston Texans, said he understands the thinking behind the trade to move up to get Griffin.
“First you have to determine if he’s good enough,” Casserly said by telephone Saturday. “He’s good enough. Then you consider the rest. You’re going into the third year of your program there. You don’t have a quarterback. You can say it’s too much to give up, and you can stay put in the draft and take Ryan Tannehill. But sometimes you’ve got to go for it.
“They got him. They went for it. I’ve traded picks for players before. So now you’ve got to tell your staff, ‘We’ve got to make up some players here. We’ve got to find ways to get some players to make up for those [lost] picks, whether it’s getting guys in other rounds or if it’s in free agency.’ I can understand why they did it.”
An executive with another NFL team questioned whether the Redskins gave up too much in the trade.
“You can’t use the draft to build around the guy when you do something like that,” said the executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be seen as prying into another team’s business. “It’s a lot to give up. I wonder if it’s too much.”
But former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said he thinks the Redskins made a good trade.
“I think it’s a heck of a deal,” Theismann said. “When you’re retooling and looking at a quarterback like Andrew Luck or RGIII, then it’s worth it. You’re talking about a position where you’re going to have the guy for seven to 10 years and he’s going to carry the fortunes of the franchise on his shoulders.”
The move ensures the Redskins of getting either Griffin or Luck, Stanford’s quarterback, in the draft. It is widely believed within the league that Indianapolis will select Luck, regarded by some scouts as the best quarterback prospect in years, with the top overall choice after releasing four-time league most valuable player Peyton Manning on Wednesday. That would leave Griffin for the Redskins. But if the Colts somehow switch gears and take Griffin, the Redskins would get Luck. Few people within the league seem to think there’s much of a chance of that happening, though.
More on the trade: