Revisiting the trade that brought Robert Griffin III to Washington

Fred Davis

Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who last season put this hit on Fred Davis, is one one of the players St. Louis drafted with a pick it acquired in the Robert Griffin III trade. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

openingkicklogoWhen the Redskins made their franchise-altering trade with the St. Louis Rams before the 2012 draft, they did it for the long run, with more than just their next 20 games in mind.

One incredible playoff run and one disappointing start to a season could not possibly provide an accurate measure for the success or failure of the move.

But as the Rams prepare to make a rare appearance in the national consciousness tonight with their 2013 prime-time debut, and as the Redskins’ situation this season gets increasingly desperate, now seems like as good a time as any to ask the question:

At this point, 20 games into Robert Griffin III’s tenure with the Redskins, including the playoff game, are you happy with the trade that allowed the Redskins to draft him?

Last season, the answer was a no-brainer. Griffin made the Redskins relevant again. He made football in Washington fun again and helped accomplish something no Redskins quarterback had done in 13 years.

Despite his inconsistent play and limitations so far this season, Griffin is still so clearly gifted that, in time, he could become a transcendent player again.

But would the Redskins really be worse off if they never traded for him?

If the trade didn’t happen, cult hero Kirk Cousins would be the starting quarterback, or maybe it would be Ryan Tannehill, whom the Dolphins – 3-0 so far this season – drafted No. 8 overall in 2012.

With either of those players, the Redskins would still be better off at quarterback than they currently are at several other positions that could have been reinforced by players taken with the draft picks shipped to St. Louis.

The Rams have their own problems, as quarterback Sam Bradford has never lived up to his No. 1 overall pick potential, but at least they got an abundance of draft picks to make their team around him better.

So far, St. Louis has used its Washington picks on defensive starters Michael Brockers (via a draft-day trade with Dallas), Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree – all players that could help the NFL’s 32nd-ranked defense.

The Rams still get Washington’s first-round pick next year too.

There are obvious advantages to having a player like Robert Griffin III in your franchise that stretch beyond even his on-field performance.

But sitting here today at 0-3, and with a flawed roster, would you have made the trade?

Greg Schimmel is a copy editor who contributes his NFL insights to Opening Kick on Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter at @Greg_Schimmel.

More from The Post:

Reid: In some ways, Griffin is a rookie

Redskins stand behind letting Griffin start Week 1

Redskins prepare to face Raiders’ Pryor | Rambo takes demotion in stride

D.C. Sports Bog: Gibbs: ‘It would be wrong to change the name’ More Bog

The Early Lead: Bucs bench Freeman | Peyton complains about schedule | More

Around the Web:

● While the Raiders’ quarterback situation remains up in the air, there’s an increasing possibility the Redskins will face backup Matt Flynn on Sunday. This story from earlier this month from themmqb.com breaks down Flynn’s disappointing past couple of years, when he was beat out of starting jobs for two different teams. Would you rather the Redskins face Pryor or Flynn this week?

● According to ProFootballTalk via TitanInsider.com, Tennessee linebacker Moise Fokou — a former Maryland Terrapin — said Chargers players tried to break his arm during their game last week.

● Last week was a rough week for injuries league-wide. Robert Mays on Grantland.com broke down the biggest NFL injuries of the week.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Both coordinators speak to reporters.

Also on The Insider

Jordan Reed misses Wednesday's practice