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Redskins outbid for Cutler

Apr 2, 2009, 9:46 PM EST

I have an iPod Nano. It’s one generation old and it’s perfectly functional for what I need an iPod to do. It plays music fine and while the video screen is pretty small I can still watch stuff on it without killing my eyes.

I was in Costco last week and I saw the new iPod Touch. Much bigger screen, WiFi, you can use most of those cool apps made for the iPhone. It clearly is superior to my Nano.

But it carried a price tag of over $200. I probably could sell my Nano on Ebay and recoup some of the cost, but it still would be a net purchase of well over a hundred bucks. I went home, did some research on it, went back to the store picked up the card to take to the register to buy the Touch.

Before I got in line, however, I decided to stick with the Nano. I put the card back and walked away from the shiny new Touch. While the Touch certainly would have been an upgrade, the price of that upgrade didn’t justify the added benefits.

I’m sure you know where I’m going here. Jason Campbell is that Nano that the Redskins already had and Jay Cutler was the slick, shiny model that the Redskins coveted. The Skins were willing to pay to upgrade. Apparently, they were willing to overpay, but only so much. When the price became too steep, they walked away.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that. There were other factors in the unraveling of what seemed to be a done deal that would have brought Cutler to Washington and would have sent Campbell packing.

A big factor was that the Broncos weren’t particularly interested in Campbell. I was told that by someone who knows the team well when all of this popped up a couple of weeks ago. According to John Keim, that may have been the deal breaker.

“They had the compensation,” another NFL source said of the Redskins. “In the end they [the Broncos] chose Orton over Campbell.”

To be sure, the Redskins could have sweetened the pot enough to make the Broncos swallow hard and accept Campbell. Or they could have gone further to make the three-way deal with Cleveland discussed in Keim’s article, one that would have sent Brady Quinn to Denver, one that the other two parties couldn’t refuse.

But even teams in a “covetous frenzy” as Michael Wilbon put it, have their limits. I’m not going to join those congratulating Snyder and Cerrato for their restraint because, from what I can gather, what they were willing to give up was still ridiculous. They just didn’t cross the line to totally outrageous.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. We’ll have to follow the careers of Cutler, Campbell, and whoever the Redskins take in the first round this year and next to figure out if this trade the wasn’t is one of those.

  1. Jeff - Apr 3, 2009 at 12:29 AM

    I heard that Cutler was traded for two number ones, a QB, and a third for a fifth… but I heard it before I heard who the team was.

    Naturally, when I heard what they paid for him, I KNEW it was the Redskins.

    Although I would have liked to see Cutler come to Washington, and I would have overpaid for him, I was thrilled to hear that it wasn’t DC who gave up two number ones.

    They were right to pursue Cutler, and they were right to walk away. Maybe they would have paid too much at some point in the deal, but for now I’m content with how it went down.

    Including the attention paid to Campbell.

    This episode raised the bar for him considerably. It put a spotlight on his mediocrity, and if he doesn’t have a truly breakout year, then you can bet he won’t be a Redskin in 2011.

  2. Boss Hog - Apr 3, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    Yeah, Wilbon’s right. Not that Cutler isn’t a better passer and playmaker than Campbell at this point in their careers, but that the difference between them is too uncertain to merit the Skins junking their continuity and forfeiting two first round picks.

    The organization is lucky that Campbell is such a steady guy and a class act, and that he doesn’t seem inclined to use this nightmare situation against the team. Probably they were counting on his unflappability when they began the pursuit of Cutler, knowing that even if they failed, it wouldn’t ‘Cutler-ize’ Campbell. It’s a strange system that sees such steadiness and humility as exploitable characteristics…

  3. dr WNC - Apr 3, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Boss,
    Strange but true in life too.
    I heard say…
    “It’s the squeeky wheel which gets the grease”

  4. Aidan - Apr 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    You guys are so right. Rich, love the comparison to the iPod. We were going to mortgage the farm to get a QB who is/was marginally better, but without Campbell’s good attitude. I wonder what else it is we don’t know about Campbell. He seems to work hard and have a positive attitude, and is not among the Redskins top 10 problems. This whole thing is heartbreaking, because I was foolish enought to believe that the front office had learned from its past mistakes and was on a road to better team building (with Haynesworth being a necessary spend). Now I know that I have been duped, and it’s always going to be the same with these guys. It breaks my heart.

  5. Danny Z. - Apr 3, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    All I can say is….Thank God the Bears saved the Skins from getting screwed by the Broncos for a third time this decade!!!

  6. Anonymous - Apr 3, 2009 at 5:54 PM

    Why would we trade Campbell and two first round picks, thats way to much, the rumor about Cooley was ludicrous. To be honest I do believe our long term solution will be Colt Brennan, watch Campbell go down this season and Colt take over…at least he brings some spark in there, we need lineman draft lineman for two straight drafts and we will be fine.

  7. Anonymous - Apr 3, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    i think that the real eye opener for the front office, and for Redskin fans as well, should be the low opinion that the rest of the league apparently has for Campbell.

    if i read between the lines, it was the failure of the front office to get any kind of what they considered “reasonable value” for Campbell in trade that quelled the deal.

    Campbell may have been quoted as saying, in effect, he knows what the front office thinks of him. he should also realize what the rest of the league thinks of him..: tremendously nice man, but not even equal to chumps like Quinn or Orten.. if there is any fire in his belly, that ought to drive him wild to prove everybody wrong this season.

    if nothing else comes of this, Campbell’s off season should be brought into clear focus, as well as what he needs to do to insure his next contract.. otherwise, we will be seeing a new starter in Washington next year.

    Shally

  8. Joe in Raleigh - Apr 4, 2009 at 12:58 AM

    Strong point by Shally. Cutler’s numbers are better, but not drastically so. Regardless, teams are willing to give a ransom for Cutler but only (allegedly) a 2nd rounder for Jason Campbell.

    The league apparently has a dim view of Campbell. I, for one, hope he jams it in their face.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    john keim wrote that it was only a FIFTH rounder that was being offered for Campbell .. that might be considered shocking until you think that Ramsey only got a 6th rounder, and even Dante Culpepper could only fetch a #2..

    whatever it was, it is clearly an indicator that pro personnel men around the league would rather take their chances with an unproven draft pick in the middle rounds, compared to a healthy Campbell who is entering his 5th season.

    draw your own conclusions but i would say that either Campbell has a very solid upcoming season, or he will be looking at backup level contracts for 2010

    shally

  10. Jack - Apr 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Reminds me of last year when the Bengals walked away from the CJ deal. We were gonna give up way too much for him (two first-rounders), but the Bengals wanted more. So now the Bengals and Broncos have saved the Skins from themselves. This team never learns.

  11. Joe in Raleigh - Apr 5, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Shally, let’s not forget that Kleim was the same guy who said Cutler to the Skins was “imminent.”

  12. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    the more stuff that comes out, the more others are asserting that Campbell was not what denver wanted.

    peter king has a long article on it today

    i think keim was totally responsible in his reporting. the fact that the deal fell apart does not change that he was right about most of the facts of the story

    shally

  13. Boss Hog - Apr 7, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Shally, King’s account confirms that McDaniels chose Orton over Campbell, but says nothing about Campbell’s general value to the league. In fact he says the Skins were out of it once the Broncos dropped interest in Campbell — meaning that any 3-way deals never close to happening. Until I see confirmation on the 5th rounder story, I’m going to be skeptical.

    That said, I agree that this is a make or break year for Campbell. He has to either A) lead the Skins to the playoffs (and possibly win a game), and make at least minimal strides as a passer; or B) if the Skins don’t reach the playoffs, make significant and obvious strides as a passer — say, 3500+ yds, 20+ TDs, and an 90+ rating or so. Otherwise, I agree, they’re going to move on.

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