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Skins Deal for Another First Round Pick

Apr 20, 2005, 12:53 AM EDT

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In case you haven’t heard, here’s the trade that the Redskins and Broncos completed on Tuesday evening, complete with editorial comment in what’s supposed to be a news story by the AP’s Joseph White:

Paying a hefty price for a short-term gain, the Redskins on Tuesday acquired the No. 25 overall pick from the Denver Broncos. In exchange, Washington gave up its third-round selection (No. 76 overall) in this year’s draft and picks in the first and fourth rounds in 2006.

A first round pick is a “short-term gain”? This is supposed to be news story, Joe, not a place to share your views on a particular deal. If the Skins use the pick, the player acquired at #25 will be around for at least the next five years at a very reasonable price. Bruce Smith was a short-term gain; the #25 is not.

But I digress here. The real question is: Why?

By any draft value chart you want to look at, even if the Skins have the last pick in the first round next year to give up that much for the 25th overall doesn’t make much sense in and of itself. It’s even harder to figure out since it’s several days before the draft and there’s not a specific player that the Redskins just have to have staring at them from their draft board. We’ve been talking about the #9 overall being tough to figure out. The 25th is even harder to figure.

Still, it has to be considered that the Redskins made that deal for the 25th because they’re certain that a player that they value highly, so much that he’s their 2006 first-round pick and then some, will be there. And that they’re making the trade at this early juncture because they don’t want any competition for him.

Is that player Auburn QB Jason Campbell? That’s the company line at ESPN.com. First reported by John Clayton and now by Len Pasquarelli:

Even before their most substantive predraft review of the position late last week, Redskins coaches and scouts had regarded Campbell as on par with Alex Smith of Utah and California’s Aaron Rodgers, generally regarded as the top two quarterback prospects. A lengthy film study of Campbell further strengthened Washington’s resolve to move on the Auburn quarterback.

It’s also possible that this was a precursor to more dealing. It’s not likely that they gave up all of those picks for Denver’s first just to be able to turn around and deal that pick for a veteran player such as Oakland CB Phillip Buchanon. They could offer next year’s first alone for him and the Raiders would jump at it.

The thinking here is that this deal gives the Skins some options with their #9 pick. With the 25th ensuring that they will still have a first-round pick, they could deal their original pick for a boatload of selections in the second and later, or they could move back a dozen spots or so and still get a good player and recoup some of the mid-round picks they gave to Denver.

But, then again, they would have had all of these options whether or not they possessed the 25th or not. So the question is still out there: Why?

No matter why and no matter what the Skins ultimately do with that pick, on thing is certain: This trade was made by Joe Gibbs. Not by Snyder, not by Cerrato. A lot of folks out there still want to praise Gibbs the coach and then blame any faulty personnel moves on Snyder and Cerrato. But this trade was Joe Gibbs’ doing. Talks don’t get started without his OK and they don’t get completed without his seal of approval.

  1. mbarnes202 - Apr 20, 2005 at 5:04 AM

    I agree with you Rich, it’s BASH the ‘Skins again. Suprisingly, the deal is not a bad one based on traditional scoring methodologies.

    Here’s how the “draft value” scoring of this deal shakes out:

    1. The Broncos #25 is “worth” 730 points

    2. The ‘Skins 2006 #1 is worth anywhere from 575 points (if they finish dead last and have the first pick overall) to 275 points. Let’s say the finish in the middle of the pack: 420 points. This is based on the common practice that picks next year are worth 1 round lower than their value this year.

    3. The ‘Skins 2005 #3 is worth 203 points.

    4. The ‘Skins 2006 #4 is worth (again assuming a finish in the middle of the pack) 34.5 points.

    Total Bronocs give up: 730 points
    Total ‘Skins give up: 657.5 points

    On paper, this is a good deal for the ‘Skins. Now, if the consensus is that the ’06 draft is much better than ’05, that would explain why the Broncos would do this deal. Also, perhaps they feel that the ‘Skins will again finish low, picking in the top 10 next year.

    But the broader question is WHY– that #25 pick could be a good RB or a decent WR– those two positions have depth in round 1.

    Personally, if the ‘Skins invest YET MORE in the offense, I would forgive Williams for quitting. It’s absolutely ridiculous. How long are we going to go without addressing the D-line? What about CB? MLB? But NOOOOO, we have to get a 6th WR, and a 4th QB instead.

    Here’s a crazy idea to go with this crazy mess. Draft that QB from Auburn, trade Ramsey, and start Brunell next year. Then that pick in ’06 really will be worth something.

  2. J_B - Apr 20, 2005 at 11:56 AM

    I’m not buying that Jason Campbell is the guy the Redskins are eyeing IF they stick at 25.

    Personally, I think that they have to be thinking one of two things:

    A) Package the 9th and 25th picks to move up and get Braylon Edwards or Mike Williams. I mean, didn’t the Redskins bring Edwards in for an interview? You know they couldn’t have been doing that if they were planning on sticking at 9.

    B) How about trading that 25th pick to Buffalo for Nate Clements? I know the Redskins keep saying that they aren’t going to trade a pick for a player, but that would make more sense to me than making the trade on Tuesday to select a player.

    The reason I question whether they will stick at 25 is simple: you don’t know who will be there at 25.

    Teams don’t usually move up in the draft until that pick is on the clock and they are sure to get the guy they want.

    IF the Redskins want Campbell, they have just given every other team interested in the Auburn QB 3 1/2 days to trade up into the 20 to 24 range to take him.

    Personally, I think the guys the Redskins are looking at with that 25th pick, if they are looking at a player, will likely be TE Heath Miller (It would be the 2nd time in two drafts that Gibbs has traded a future pick to get a TE after the deal to get Cooley last year), WR Matt Jones (Maybe they wanted to jump ahead of the Eagles who are reportedly hot for the former QB from Arkansas), small but super fast Nebraska CB Fabian Washington (He has to be the Darrell Green type CB in this draft and not Pac Man Jones), or a pass rushing DE like Erasmus James or David Pollack could fall to the Skins at 25.

    Besides, I just can’t see Gibbs having the time or the patience to draft a QB and then have to groom him.

    If they stick at 9 and 25, I’m expecting the Redskins to take two players that can play this season and play well.

    Carlos Rogers and Heath Miller could do just that.

    Just as trading up to get Braylon Edwards could as well.

    And as far as not addressing defensive needs, what did people expect after all the offseason moves that were made last season on defense? And the fact that the 5th overall pick was used on a defensive player. And the fact that the offense struggled mightily while the defense played great even though they had tons of injuries.

    If Williams could just plug and play due to injuries last year, then why can’t he plug and play due to two FA losses this year?

    I have a feeling that Williams is really confident with the guys he has coming back, especially if they can stay healthier than they did last year.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2005 at 3:09 PM

    Two things:

    1. In the Post today, Vinny sounded pretty certain that they’d trade down from No. 9. They probably think they can get a good CB later in the 1st and an extra pick or two later in the draft (I’m all for that). Either that, or they’re just trying to mess with the Post.

    2. ESPN also reported that Gibbs and Co. met with Campbell at Auburn yesterday. I don’t think they do that unless they are actually VERY interested in him.

  4. J_B - Apr 20, 2005 at 3:50 PM

    I could see them meeting with Campbell and then leaking that information if they really wanted to set up a really good smokescreen with regards to what they really want to do with that 25th pick.

  5. mbarnes202 - Apr 20, 2005 at 4:53 PM

    J_B,
    take a look at the ‘Skins investment at each starter’s position on offense and compare it to the defense … I think you’ll see lots and lots of holes on defense (filled with journeymen, undrafted FAs, etc.), and a hand-picked, high $ player at every single position on offense.
    Let’s put it this way: if the offense struggled last year, it better have been due to chemistry or the fact that it was the first year in the system, because the offensive personnel cannot change much due to the incredible amount of SB $ we have invested there.

    We have 6 WRs under contract, every position on the OL is manned by an expensive player (except Dockery), QB has huge $ tied up, and RB has huge $ tied up. We drafted Cooley for HB last year, so I guess we could fill our one remaining need, TE (although we’ve already got Royal under contract).

    Contrast that with the defense, where we have Harris, Wilds, and Brown our 2nd CB, nickel, and dime defenders, respectively. We have Barrow or Marshall or Clemons at *starting* MLB, we have 30+ year old Wynn and Daniels our two *starters* at DE, and Bowen + journeymen at SS.

    Which do you think shows more investment and which needs back-filling?

  6. J_B - Apr 20, 2005 at 5:18 PM

    I don’t care how much money guys make. I care about production.

    And last season Gregg Williams and the defensive staff proved that they didn’t need “big name, big money” players to have a top defense.

    They lost Champ Bailey. Arrington missed almost the entire season to injury.

    And the defense was awesome.

    This team was 6-10 last season not because the defense needed to have more “big name, big money” players. This team went 6-10 because the offense couldn’t hold onto the ball and put points on the board.

    And going after CBs and DEs isn’t going to improve that this offseason.

    The offense needs to get better in the red zone. One way to make that happen would be to get a reliable red zone receiving threat.

    And to do that the Redskins would need to either trade up and get Braylon Edwards, stick at 9 and pray that Mike Williams falls to them, or look at Heath Miller or Matt Jones at 25.

    Trust me, if the Redskins spend both of these picks on defense, 2005 will be a repeat of 2004: they’ll have a great defense and few wins because the offense won’t put up enough points.

  7. mbarnes202 - Apr 20, 2005 at 6:52 PM

    OK,
    So we get another WR– a red-zone receiving threat. If we trade up for Edwards, we’re talking a contract the size of Taylor’s– >$10MM SB, $40MM deal kind of thing. And I assume we simply cut McCants and eat the SB we paid him last year? Or does he sit at the #4 WR, unable to play ST, basically inactive every game? And does Moss than accept #2 WR money, or does he pout and demand #1 WR money, in which case we’re paying TWO #1 WR salaries (along with top 5 league-wide salaries at RB and LT, and a not-insignificant chunk for Brunnel)?

    And if instead we wait until #25 to pick a WR, what kind of WR are we getting? A “solid” #2? So Moss is our #1, the new rookie is our #2, Patten is #3, Jacobs we keep at #4, but he basically plays only special teams, Both Gardner and McCants we cut, and Thrash we keep for special teams? Doesn’t make sense to me, when the alternative is a young DE we desparately need.

    Now, TE Miller at #25 won’t cost as much. I’m just thinking that in 2 years, Wynn or Daniels or both will no longer be able to play, so I’d rather get a CB and a DE with those two picks.
    I just don’t think we can count on Williams, year-after-year making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear– eventually folks will find a way to expose the flaws and/or inexperience in our defensive personnel (not the scheme).
    If Williams can keep making a top 5 defense with a few stars and a bunch of journeymen, then, well, I guess you’re right– but that’s hoping for a lot– an NFL coach that consistently get superior returns with inferior investment over other NFL coaches.

  8. J_B - Apr 20, 2005 at 7:23 PM

    With the way Joe Gibbs talked today, I don’t see them going DE.

    They expect Arrington to provide a pass rush.

    If Barrow is healthy, you could see Arrington moved to DE, at least on passing downs, and Marshall stay at the Will LB spot that he played in when Arrington was hurt last year.

    And as far as the WR situation goes, Gardner is gone. McCants isn’t a STs contributor. That’s why he was inactive last season and Jacobs and Thrash played. Thrash and Jacobs play STs and McCants doesn’t.

    And honestly, I don’t care about the money split between offense and defense.

    I care about getting weapons on offense because the offense needs them a heck of a lot more than the defense does right now.

    And if the offense doesn’t get fixed this offseason, it won’t matter who’s playing DE next season.

    And quite honestly, I don’t believe any of the DEs in this draft class are worth the 9th pick.

    If they are set on going after a DE, then I’d hope that they would trade down and either take the guy I like, Pollack, or the guy that Greg Blache likes, Erasmus James.

    And from the way Cerrato was talking, I don’t believe the Redskins will go after any of the hybrid DE/OLB prospects that have been getting tons of hype lately.

    So if you had your heart set on Shawne Merriman at 9, I have a feeling that you will be disappointed.

    I think the Redskins view guys like Merriman, Cody, and Wade as being over rated as they are a better fit for a 3-4 defense as opposed to the 4-3 that the Skins play.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2005 at 9:34 PM

    I beleive that the ‘Skins need defensive help, I was quite excited about the proscpect of the PacMan.

    We have shaken the offense about so much that to wait even longer for a rookie to adjust to the game doesn’t make sense to me.

    Now Gregg Williams seems to be the kind of guy who can really get value from “second/third round draft pick” style players. Not necessarily superstar prima donna’s but guys with great skills, good heart and a good mind in their heads.

    I think the direction the draft goes will show who is running this. If we trade up and grab Braylon Edwards , this would indicate Dan Snyder made the pick. If we trade down to get more picks it would indcate that it’s Gibbs (listening to Gregg Williams).

    I wonder if this is a wait and see who is available at 9, then decide what we are being offered for the 9th.

    Do we see one of these first round picks and perhaps Rod Gardner being dealt to a team who needs a solid reciever but without the salary cap space to draft a first rounder.

  10. ted - Apr 21, 2005 at 2:06 PM

    If the skins want Jason Campbell, why not wait until the 25th pick arrives and make sure he is there to go through with the trade? Why do it right now?

    Also, if the Skins do want Campbell, how come the entire world now knows about it? How come other teams can keep their intentions behind closed doors and we cant?

    I keep thinking the Skins management has some grand plan, and everything is falling into place, but the last couple of years, its evident that they are just flying by the seat of their pants:

    Examples:
    - Trading for Santana Moss without agreeing to a contract extension before the trade.

    - Trading Champ Bailey, AND a second round pick for Portis, when this year there is an abundance of RB’s available in the draft and free agency or trades. Just think, the Colts said they would accept a Second round pick for Edge. Or Travis Henry, or on a lower level, Reuben Droughns, Chester Taylor, Najeh Davenport, Anthony Thomas, etc. Wouldn’t those RB’s fit into Gibbs system better than Portis. Heck, as Betts showed at the end of last year, he fits better.

    - Giving Darnarian McCants a large contract and then hardly playing him.

    - Drafting Taylor Jacobs when we already had L. Coles, and R. Gardner and a bunch of other WR’s, when our needs at the time were in the secondary.

    - I can’t list anymore bad moves as it’s starting to bring me down.

  11. Anonymous - Apr 21, 2005 at 5:47 PM

    If they end up trading the 9 pick down for some lower picks, then what they essentially have done is exchange a 9 for a 25. This is perfectly find to do, if you don’t think the players you want are worth a 9 pick. We just have to hope that they get more for the 9 pick than they gave up to get the 25. The Campbell thing has to be a red herring. If not, Lord help us all. Regarding not signing Moss to an extension – this has to do with the cap. Signing him to an extension after June 1 restults in a less cap hit which is a smart move. Besides, he is under contract and his career hasn’t even been very impressive. I hope that the Smoot and Pierce moves indicate a departure from the Snyder standard of overpaying for everything. Hopefully, Moss won’t get such huge deal – he should get average first receive money at best.

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