“It’s exciting that it happened, and it was something that needed to happen,” said Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. “If you look at our quarterback position, stability is something we’ve been looking for a while now. We’ve worked hard the last couple years and we’ve just been missing one or two pieces, and now we can have that piece in place at quarterback.”
The Redskins agreed to trade the Rams their first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft, plus their first-round selections in the 2013 and 2014 drafts for the second overall pick in this year’s draft. The move ensures the Redskins of landing either Robert Griffin III, the Heisman-trophy winning quarterback out of Baylor, or Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, regarded by some scouts as the best quarterback prospect in years.
The Indianapolis Colts are widely expected to take Luck with the first overall pick after releasing four-time most valuable player Peyton Manning on Wednesday.
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen, speaking Saturday night at a charity event in downtown Washington, confirmed the trade and said the team had “fallen in love with two players” but would not say whether it expected to get Griffin or Luck.
“We understand it was a heavy price,” Allen said. “But when you bought your home, you probably wanted to pay a little less, too. But you like your home once you live in it. So we’re very confident.”
Allen would not say if the team expects the quarterback it drafts in April to start immediately as a rookie.
Few questioned Griffin’s skills or denied the Redskins’ need for a top quarterback.
“The Redskins have needed a marquee quarterback for some time,” said former NFL executive Michael Lombardi, who now works for the NFL Network. “They haven’t had success without one. They’ve tried to do it with coaches, and now they will have both the quarterback and coach.
“Griffin has great mobility and athletic skills, accurate arm and is a smart guy that works hard. They had to give up high picks, but there are other ways to build your team — through free agency, and by doing a good job in draft rounds 2 through 7.”
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, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was commenting on another team’s decisions. “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.