Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was the star of the NFL Scouting Combine, and with all signs pointing to the Indianapolis Colts selecting Stanford signal-caller Andrew Luck with the first pick in the NFL draft, Griffin could be the crown jewel on many team’s draft boards. The Washington Redskins are one of several teams desperate to improve at the quarterback position and they have already expressed an interest in pursuing a trade with the St. Louis Rams, who currently own the No. 2 pick. It will no doubt take a king’s ransom to get Griffin, but as Jason Reid argued, it’s a move the Redskins must make:
Make it happen. Offer the asking price. The Washington Redskins must pay whatever it takes to move up in the NFL draft to select quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Griffin is not only right for the Redskins, he’d be great for Washington. For so long now, the team and Redskins fans have been waiting for someone with Griffin’s combination of off-the-charts ability and charisma.
If the Redskins draft Griffin, owner Daniel Snyder finally would have a true franchise quarterback. For a decade or more, Griffin would be the face of the team. And in little time, if not immediately, he would own the District.
To get all of that, it will be costly. The Redskins know this as well, which is why they’re reportedly willing to trade multiple draft picks — including two No. 1s — to theSt. Louis Rams, who currently hold the No. 2 overall pick in the April 26-28 draft.
With the Indianapolis Colts expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck first, several teams are courting the Rams, who already have quarterback Sam Bradford and many holes to fill.
The Redskins’ roster is in need of a lot of work, too. Washington could use as many draft picks as it could get for, well, the foreseeable future. Also, the Redskins haven’t fared well in the past chasing other pots of gold that turned out to be empty.
But Griffin is different. He’s not another fading star at the end of his career. His star is rising quickly — and the Redskins should latch on for the ride.
For a team that has willingly dumped numerous draft picks for fading veteran stars, plunging head-first into the Griffin market might make some uneasy. The picks required to pry the No. 2 selection from the Rams would prevent the Redskins from upgrading in other key areas of of need — along the offensive line, in the receiving corps and in the secondary. And above all, there’s no guarantee Griffin, as talented as he is, will be the face-of-the-frachise talent the team so desperately needs. And those risks may outweigh the potential reward. As Mike Wise wrote:
We are turning into the dog from the movie “Up.” Someone blurts out, “Quarterback,” in this town, and we jump. Our tails vibrate for hours. We don’t know what we want; we’re more fickle than Michaele Salahi.
We’ve met the enemy, Washington; it’s us. We were supposed to keep Daniel Snyder sober from his shopping addiction, from throwing away draft picks and mortgaging the future on one player.
Remember the Shanaplan? Build. Build. Build. We were supposed to advocate for stability, the notion that slow and steady wins the race.
But as soon as the first shiny object runs by, we can’t help ourselves.
Pre-Shanahan and Bruce Allen, everybody skewered Snyder because he treated every player he wanted like a new bike in the toy-store window: I want that one.
Yet that’s exactly what we’re doing with RG III.
Sal last month on acquiring a fused-together Manning, who will probably play with a G.I. Joe swivel arm in September: “Do it.” JR I on RG III, whom he suddenly has a bro-mance with: “Do it. At any cost.”
I thought they were actually hyping movies. You know, where the ad guy takes the two kind words out of a critic’s blistering review — “Muppets on Ice:” Electric! Opulent! — to push sagging ticket sales.
Look, Robert Griffin III is a special quarterback capable of having a successful NFL career of 10 years or more. And, of course, there’s no discounting that the potential of an African-American star in this city makes Griffin even more appealing.
But no one knows for certain if he will be a Pro Bowler, if he can dissect NFL defenses the way he dissected an Alamo Bowl opponent.
I hate to break this to everyone, but someone wins the Heisman Trophy every year, and often it’s a quarterback. In fact, Gino Torretta has a trophy, too. Next season, Matt Barkleyor Landry Jones will probably vie for the award that goes to college football’s best player.
Why not build up the offensive line, the receiving corps or find a shutdown corner and then go all-in for Barkley next year? He was thought to be a higher pick than RG III, after all, before he decided to return to Southern Cal.
As for who Griffin might have at his disposal should the Redskins outbid the Browns and others to draft him, the team is reportedly looking to acquire a proven veteran receiver through free agency. As Mark Maske reports:
The Washington Redskins are making plans to add a high-profile wide receiver in an NFL free agent market that has them in abundance, according to several people familiar with the team’s deliberations.
Most of the speculation about the Redskins’ planned offseason retooling has focused on their strategy to upgrade at quarterback. But offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has publicly acknowledged the team’s need for a big-play wide receiver, and people with knowledge of the team’s plans say they appear to be focusing on the free agent market, which opens March 13, rather than the draft, for that player.
Such a move could aid the development of a young quarterback if the Redskins add one, perhaps by trading up in the NFL draft to select Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, in April. Or it could make for a more potent offense built around a veteran quarterback if the Redskins are able to signPeyton Manning, who soon may be released by the Indianapolis Colts, or Kyle Orton in free agency.
The Redskins didn’t have a player ranked among the league’s top 25 in receiving yards last season. Their leader in receiving yards, wideoutJabar Gaffney, was tied for 26th in the league with 947 yards.
Several people in the sport said a leading target for the Redskins could be San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson. The issue with Jackson, as with some of the other top receivers with expiring contracts, is whether he will remain available after Monday’s deadline for teams to use their franchise-player tags. The Chargers, according to one source, have not ruled out using their franchise-player designation on Jackson but seem to be leaning against doing so.
Jackson had 60 catches for 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns for the Chargers last season. He has topped 1,000 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons and would become the Redskins’ clear No. 1 receiver. He averaged 18.4 yards per catch last season.
Another receiver who could draw interest from the Redskins is Pierre Garcon, a prospective free agent who has spent his four NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Garcon has not been as productive as Jackson, and has not had a 1,000-yard season in the NFL. But he had 70 catches for 947 yards and six touchdowns last season even with Manning out of the lineup, and he is likely to be in demand on the free agent market. Garcon reportedly rejected a recent contract Colts offer worth about $35 million over five seasons.
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