Redskins trade Jason Campbell to Raiders

By Rick Maese and Jason Reid
Sunday, April 25, 2010; D01

The Jason Campbell era in Washington is over.

The Redskins traded the five-year veteran quarterback to Oakland on Saturday in exchange for the Raiders' fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft.

"I'm just glad the situation is over and I'm moving forward," said Campbell, whose future in Washington looked bleak after the Redskins acquired Donovan McNabb from Philadelphia earlier this month. "Sometimes change comes in your life, change comes in your career, and you've just got to be ready to adapt."

While Campbell's career, which began five years ago with so much promise, now heads westward, the Redskins move forward with McNabb, an 11-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler, as their starting quarterback.

"I've had a chance to spend a lot of time with him, and I'm happy for him," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I think he gets a chance to turn a page and to start in a new direction. I think he'll do a great job."

The Campbell trade came on the final day of the NFL draft, as the team was maneuvering to acquire more picks. The Redskins began the draft with just four selections but courtesy of three trades, they scored six new players during the three-day draft. Louisiana State's Perry Riley, projected as an inside linebacker, headlined the five acquisitions Saturday.

But the day's biggest move centered on Campbell. Shanahan called the quarterback shortly after the deal was completed. "He just told me he appreciated how I handled myself throughout the whole situation," Campbell said. "He told me he respected me for just being professional, and that he would do anything for me if he could. I appreciated that, because that's how I've tried to be my whole career."

The Redskins had previously signed Rex Grossman as a free agent to serve as the backup and also have Colt Brennan and Richard Bartel on the roster.

Shanahan had said he planned to have Campbell return as a backup if a better situation could not be found, but according to two people familiar with the situation, the Redskins were not willing to guarantee Campbell a portion of his $3.14 million contract for this season.

Campbell agreed Saturday to a contract with Oakland that will pay him $3.14 million in 2010, plus a $100,000 workout bonus and $4.5 million in 2011, according to a league source. Campbell expects to start immediately as he joins an unimpressive group of quarterbacks that includes JaMarcus Russell, Charlie Frye, Kyle Boller and Bruce Gradkowski.

"I'm going to go out to Oakland and give 110 percent and do everything I can to help that organization become a winning team," Campbell said. "Obviously, that was my goal here. Of course, a lot of things happened and we weren't able to accomplish that goal. But hopefully this time around it'll happen. I just wish the best of luck to the Redskins, and I'm moving forward in my career and my life. This is a great opportunity for me, and that's the way I'm looking at it."

Campbell never fulfilled the high expectations of owner Daniel Snyder. The Redskins twice changed offensive philosophies during Campbell's three-plus seasons as a starter, and failed to address the offensive line -- their weakest unit since the middle of the 2008 season.

"I guess that's just the hand I was dealt, but the bottom line is winning and we just didn't win enough," Campbell said. "It wasn't because of not wanting to win or not giving the effort; everyone there knows how hard I worked and how much I care about winning. . . . I was looking forward to working with Coach Shanahan, and I definitely feel like I could have won a lot finally having someone like him to work with in Washington.

Many Redskins players learned the news while attending the team's draft day party at FedEx Field, where the team's first-round pick, left tackle Trent Williams, was introduced to fans Saturday.

"It's crazy, but I'm happy that he can get a new start somewhere," wide receiver Devin Thomas said. "It's what he needs, man. He can get a fresh start all the way on the West Coast. He needs to start anew. . . . He just needs to get his feet sound with everybody around him, instead of the offensive playbook changing all the time. He needs something that stays around. I just think it was tough for him, to keep changing the offense, it was just tough on the guy. So I think his confidence might have went down, and he just needs a fresh start."

Much of Campbell's tenure in Washington was rocky, as the Redskins attempted to trade for both Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez before the 2009 season. When Shanahan was hired in January, Campbell was given no assurances in regards to his future, and when the team traded for McNabb on April 4, Campbell's fate was essentially sealed. He skipped the team's first minicamp this month and received permission from Shanahan to pursue a trade.

"He dealt with all the trade rumors, he dealt with everything that can be wrong with not playing well," said Redskins' safety Reed Doughty. "But with the head coach and quarterback, you're the face of the franchise, and when you don't win, you're on the chopping block. He's a great guy, we wish him well, and hopefully he'll have success."

Campbell was a first-round pick by Joe Gibbs in 2005 -- the draft's 29th overall selection. The Redskins traded up to get him, giving away three picks, including their first-round selection in 2006. He was almost immediately anointed the quarterback of the future and he took over the starting job midway through the 2006 season. He has been the team's top quarterback since, starting its last 32 games. No quarterback has started more games for the Redskins since Mark Rypien (1989-93).

Even as the Redskins rotated offensive coordinators, Campbell's offensive numbers rose steadily in each of the past three seasons despite the offensive line's struggles. Last year, Campbell finished the season with career highs in completions (327), completion percentage (64.5), yards (3,618), yards per attempt (7.1), touchdowns (20) and passer rating (86.4). He also threw a career-high 15 interceptions and was sacked 43 times, more than all but two other NFL quarterbacks.

During his 52-game career in Washington, Campbell threw for 10,860 yards and 55 touchdowns. He is sixth on the team's all-time list in yardage, fifth in completions, second in completion percentage. The team reached the playoffs twice while Campbell was a Redskin, though Mark Brunell was the quarterback in 2005 and Todd Collins played in place of an injured Campbell in 2007.

Campbell, who earned $2.857 million during his final year in Washington, was a restricted free agent and signed his tender earlier this month, which allowed the Redskins to trade him. He earned nearly $11 million in five seasons with the Redskins.

Campbell spoke with Oakland owner Al Davis Saturday and said he's eager to begin working with Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. "He has run similar type of offenses that I've been in, both a numbers system and a West Coast system," he said. "I don't think it'll be a problem for me to pick up on the offense quickly. I've heard a lot about him, and I'm looking forward to getting to know him and helping the Raiders as soon as possible. That's my focus now."

Staff writer Dan Steinberg contributed to this report.

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