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Media Money Moving Towards Moving Up

Apr 21, 2005, 7:26 PM EST

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It’s beyond a buzz, it’s starting to become a deafening roar. Voices in the media claiming that the Redskins made the trade to acquire Denver’s first-round pick in order to package it with their own pick and #9 and move into the top few selections. Their target there is supposedly Michigan WR Braylon Edwards.

This buzz is not eminating strictly from the rumormongering draft Websites rags (although it’s at a fever pitch there), but some of the more mainstream media are jumping on the Edwards to the Skins bandwagon. Jay Glazer at FoxSports.com, who was among the first to have the story of Gibbs’ return as coach, wrote the following:

FOXSports.com has learned that the Redskins phoned teams in the top four on Wednesday, including the 49ers , who own the first pick, to inquire about moving up to one of the crown jewel selections of the draft. While the Redskins have not told teams who they covet, front office sources said they are trying to make a move for Michigan WR Braylon Edwards.

The Redskins have long been wheelers and dealers, so attempting to make their second move into the first round this week should come as no surprise.

Wheelers and dealers? In the draft? Well, let’s see. They traded down a couple of times in ‘2002, the year they wound up with Patrick Ramsey with the last pick of the first round. In 2000 they dealt a couple of first rounders to move up to #3 and took Chris Sameuls. They’ve dealt the pick away for veterans a couple of times, notably for Laveranues Coles in 2003 and for Sean Gilbert in 1996.

But other than ’00, the last time they made a major move up in the draft was in 1992, when Gibbs pushed for a deal that spent two first-round picks to ensure that they would get another Michigan receiver, Desmond Howard. Sure, the rational side of you says you should ignore what happened 13 years ago and make decisions based on today. But something tells me that Joe Gibbs (again, he’s the one making the decisions here) would have a very, very difficult time pulling the trigger on a move up for another Michigan WR given the bust that Howard turned out to be.

Oh, and where are these “front office sources” that are feeding the information that Edwards is the apple of the Redskins’ eye from? On a first, quick reading, you think that he’d talking about Redskins team sources. But he doesn’t say that. If they are Redskins team sources, might they not be engaged in the disinformation campaigns we’re so accustomed to seeing this time of year. If they’re from another team, how in the heck do they know what the Redskins are up to? And if they did, why would they tell Glazer?

Certainly, Glazer isn’t alone in thinking that this will happen. From an online chat with the Post’s beat reporter:

Washington, D.C.: Will Braylon Edwards be a Washington Redskin on Saturday?

Jason LaCanfora: My gut feeling is yes.

It’s important to note that this was a chat and LaCanfora has the freedom to give more opinion and less fact. Still, it was a pretty strong statement.

But look at what’s being “reported” here; we have gut feelings, inquiries, sources, “no surprise”. Not exactly cold, hard facts we’re dealing with here.

The last time we heard this much move-up talk was in that ’02 draft when the Skins were supposedly trying to move up to take Joey Harrington despite the fact that they lacked the ammunition to do so. Or was it last year when they were going to jump up a couple of spots to take tackle Robert Gallery, despite the presence of two Pro Bowl calibre starters at that position?

And what were these stories based on? You guessed it, gut feelings, inquiries, unnamed sources and an alledged reputation as wheelers and dealers. Some of the actors change, but the stage is the same and the plot line varies only slightly.

  1. mbarnes202 - Apr 22, 2005 at 1:46 AM

    RT,
    I still feel we shouldn’t draft a WR with our first round pick– we have a WR who wants #1 money already (Moss), and we have a number of receivers who make decent #2s, so why draft either a #1 or a #2 WR?
    I guess I could see the ‘Skins taking TE Miller at #25, but I’d rather see them take a CB and a DE with their two #1s.
    I will grant that it does seem as though the ‘Skins really ARE looking at WR, having brought in 5 or so recently for private workouts.
    (Note: the rumour of us grabbing Edwards by trading up to me seem unlikely– of all the WRs we brought in, we did NOT bring in Edwards!)
    Also, on a related topic, looking at the teams behind us, their draft pick point values, and their needs, I’ll throw out what I think is our most likely trading partner:

    HOUSTON, at #13, even after trading away their #2 and one of their #3s, has a “perfect” match with us on points– their #1, #3, and maybe some swaps or something in later picks– needs WR and a pass rushing DE, just the same positions BOTH Dallas and San Diego has in front of them. Houston could leap frog both, and get the player they want.
    Note also that Houston has a need for a complementary WR to go across Johnson. (Hint: Gardner!)
    If Williamson slips and is available at #9, I could see Houston jumping, ditto if they’re really high on Merriman or Ware. Ditto too, if by some miracle LB Johnson is still around at #9 (Houston would leapfrog Detroit for his services) …
    That would give us #13, #25, and #73 (in the 3rd round), perhaps translating to:
    CB Rogers (#13)
    DE Pollack / James (probably not) / Spears or DT Johnson or TE Miller (#25)
    ILB (if we’re lucky and they fall) one of Crowder, Rudd (almost certainly not) or Thurman (ditto), or DE Jovan Hoye …. we’ll see …

  2. J_B - Apr 22, 2005 at 11:16 AM

    The Washington Post is reporting that the Redskins met with Braylon Edwards yesterday.

    Maybe that is another smokescreen. Or maybe it’s another indication that the Redskins can’t keep draft plans quiet.

    Personally, I’m with the Redskins defensive coach that answered the question about what he wanted out of this draft by saying “points”.

    And while giving up 4 picks to get Braylon Edwards would be a ton, I wouldn’t be that upset at the move.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft05/columns/story?id=2042636

    If Tom Friend is right when he says this: This could be the one player in the draft who has it all: Rice skill, Rice heart. The 49ers, 20 years later, should draft the reincarnate. , then Edwards would be worth the price that the Redskins were to pay to get him.

    And as far as Santana Moss goes, if he wants #1 WR money and if anyone believes that he is a quality #1 NFL WR, then you need your head examined.

    Moss is an outside speed guy who would fit nicely into the mix here, but he is not a #1 WR.

    Right now, the Redskins don’t have a #1 WR on the roster.

    If they draft Braylon Edwards, or Mike Williams for that matter, then they’d have a #1 WR.

  3. Doug - Apr 22, 2005 at 12:15 PM

    I have to say, I’ll be extremely disappointed if we draft Braylon Edwards. If we wanted a player like that, why didn’t we just trade for Randy Moss, as all the media hypesters said we would.

    I don’t see it happening. Personally, I hope we get Merriman from Maryland and Heath Miller from Virginia.

  4. mbarnes202 - Apr 22, 2005 at 2:09 PM

    J_B,
    Point taken. Points, obviously, is what was lacking on the ‘Skins last year. I just hope that, with the addition of Moss, Patten, & Rabach, plus the return of Jansen, with everyone (but especially Ramsey) having one more year under our belt, that points will come with the current roster.
    As to drafting Edwards as the next Rice, well, yeah, that’d be nice– but who’s to know we’re not drafting the next David Terrel, or the next Desmond Howard?
    As to WR Moss and his demands for #1 money, we’ll only know for sure when the deal is signed, but media reports (ugh– I wish I could say I believe them) DO suggest that the negotiations between Moss and the ‘Skins is *not* over #2 WR money, but #1 WR money. Slotted somewhere around Jerry Porter– big $10MM SB, etc.

    I hope these reports are wrong, because I agree with you 100%– he’s no #1 WR– yet, but that’s the current scuttlebut on the negotiations.

    As to bringing in Edwards, yeah, I guess I stand corrected, but I could have sworn that it was reported they didn’t bring in Edwards because there was no way they were going to get him …

  5. mbarnes202 - Apr 22, 2005 at 7:44 PM

    RT et al., I found the following diatribe by Len Pasquerelli thought provoking, on a lot of levels:

    (From ESPN.COM / Pasquerelli):
    Most of the legion of critics (including some who draw a paycheck from the same company I do) who spent much of the week taking shots at our story on the Washington Redskins’ interest in Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell articulated two similar, salient points: First, teams don’t typically make such trade-up deals, like the one in which the Redskins acquired the 25th spot in the first round from Denver, until later in the week. Second, teams certainly don’t complete that kind of deal to target one player, because there is uncertainty about whether that prospect will be available.

    Having done this job now for 27 years, I’m pretty aware of that. But here’s the point that the critics are missing: We’re talking about the Washington Redskins here. With such a dysfunctional franchise, convention does not apply. Everyone seems willing, probably because of the presence of the sainted Joe Gibbs, to believe that Washington has straightened out its act. Yet with the exception of the brilliant hiring of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who cobbled together the NFL’s third-ranked unit in 2004 despite playing with a lot of spare parts, what has the current regime done that has been all that successful? Hey, that trade for quarterback Mark Brunell — a guy we panned dozens of times in this space before the Redskins acquired him — worked out well, didn’t it?

    Maybe we’ll be wrong and maybe Washington will, indeed use that No. 25 spot as part of a package to move up in the round for someone like Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards. After all, one of their coaches told a friend this week they are poised to do “something big.” Heck, maybe they’ll keep the choice and still pass on Campbell.

    But a couple points here of our own: If the Redskins weren’t so keen on Campbell, why were they so upset when we made public their interest in him? Why did vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato (a guy to whom I haven’t spoken in 15 months by the way) essentially conduct an internal witch hunt trying to ferret out the source of what he assumed was an organizational leak? And has anyone yet heard Gibbs, the man who fueled the Campbell fixation, deny interest in the quarterback? The Redskins love the perception that they know how to wheel and deal. But mostly they like to squeal when someone uncovers their strategy. The fact is, whether the critics want to buy the truth or not, we stumbled onto a story that, for once, the Redskins didn’t want out. They were way too ham-handed in their execution, and far too chatty with some of their fraternity brothers who reside outside the walls of Redskins Park. Going on the offensive to try to cover their tracks once the story was out of the bag — having some of their buddies try to discredit it — was handled in typically clumsy fashion by a franchise that’s suffered through a pretty miserable offseason.
    Per usual, Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey, one of the league’s classiest players, said and did all the right things after the story about Jason Campbell was reported. But you’ve got to wonder if, privately, Ramsey isn’t banging his head off a wall somewhere.

    Ramsey probably could have escaped Washington last spring, after the Redskins traded for Mark Brunell, had he fought a little harder to get out. Owner Dan Snyder probably would have dealt him away — perhaps to Miami before the Dolphins completed the deal for A.J. Feeley — had Ramsey gone out of character and become the squeaky wheel. If you don’t believe it, consider for a second how Snyder reacted to Laveranues Coles this offseason, when the disgruntled wide receiver wanted to get traded. But Ramsey permitted himself to buy into coach Joe Gibbs’ sales pitch about how he would have an opportunity to compete with Brunell for the starting job.

    Unfortunately for Ramsey, he is repeating the mistake, investing in Gibbs’ rhetoric. The truth is, there still are people inside Redskins Park who feel Ramsey isn’t the team’s best quarterback.

    =====
    Well, to me, this begs the question, OK, Len, I’ve got two scenarios here (both of which may be true)– (1) Len slams the ‘Skins any chance he gets because they’re an easy target since they do make so many silly mistakes, and/or (2) the Redskins are, BY FAR, the most dysfunctional organization in the league, including the Browns, the Cardinals, or the Bengalse.
    I mean, are the Redskins really that pathetic, disorganized, and dysfuncational? Are they the laughing stock of the league, behind closed doors? Why is it the Post and ESPN and CBS SPortsline (have you read their “notes, quotes, and anecdotes” sections? Routinely incredibly dismissive the Redskins strategy, mockingly so) so negative towards the ‘Skins?

    Bottom line: Are we that bad, management-wise?

  6. Doug - Apr 23, 2005 at 12:51 PM

    Mbarnes, the answer to your question is no. The Redskins are not even mildly dysfunctional. The people who write all this negative nonsense merely have an axe to grind. Other than the Brunell deal, which I agree was a fiasco, the Redskins have made nothing but smart moves in both last year’s and this year’s offseasons.

    I don’t know what they are going to do in the draft today, but neither does Len Paskahooey nor Michael Wilnot. Whatever they do, it will make perfect sense to the Redskins, and that is really all that matters.

    When the Redskins take the field next season, they will have an opportunity to put all this negativity to rest. Until then, rest assured that the media will continue to bash us. Then again, they seem to see that as their job.

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