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With the furore surrounding the release of Peyton Manning and the quarterback’s visits to prospective employers, the Washington Redskins’ move for the St Louis Rams’ number two pick in the forthcoming draft went fairly unheralded.
As the dust settles on the deal, opinions seem to be polarized, with many believing the Redskins have paid to heavy a price for a single draft pick, even if that pick will be to take the supremely talented Robert Griffin III, whilst others have said there is now a light at the end of the tunnel for Washington who had to make do with a combination of John Beck and Rex Grossman last season.
All in all, the Redskins had to give up their first round picks for the next three years, as well as an additional second round pick in the upcoming draft in order to secure the probable acquisition of Griffin. This will have Rams fans enthused about their future, with a franchise quarterback already in place in the form of Sam Bradford, and the potential arrival of five first-round talents in the next three years.
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen has moved to quickly dispel any concerns the Washington faithful have over the future of the franchise, reassuring fans that they haven’t ‘mortgaged their future’ with the trade. A statement which is backed up by the fact that Washington still have six picks in the 2012 draft to help compliment a squad which seems to be getting progressively younger thanks to a multitude of picks the franchise had in the 2011 draft.
Although you quite often hear stories of players from the later rounds going to become stars in the NFL, there is no denying that the majority of ‘superstars’ in the league are drafted in the first round, and to deny yourself the opportunity to have a chance of recruiting these players in the 2013 and 2014 drafts is quite a risk (providing the Redskins don’t trade for other teams first round picks of course).
This means that the Redskins will need to be very astute in Free Agency over the coming seasons, most likely starting with the retention of both London Fletcher and Laron Landry. With upcoming first round picks no longer available to them and a rather unexciting free agent class currently on display, the Redskins would be best served trying to secure these key players to new deals, especially Landry given the lack of other options at the safety position.
This speculation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, with extra scrutiny being put on Washington’s free agency moves in order to minimize the damage that losing the two extra first round picks will cause. The only thing which will stop people from criticizing the Redskins’ decision will be for Griffin to make an immediate impact in the NFL, somewhere in the region of Cam Newton’s impact on the Carolina Panthers last season, and instantly cement himself as the franchise quarterback for Washington.
The Baylor product undoubtedly has the skill and physical attributes to succeed right from day one, not to mention an extremely mature attitude for someone so young, but as is often said, quarterback is the most difficult position to play in terms of the transition from college to the NFL, and only time will tell whether Griffin proves the Redskins’ decision to be genius or foolish.
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