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One Year Later: Looking Back on the RGIII Trade


Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs the ball for nine yards during the second half of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field. The Seahawks won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This past Monday Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Dispatch wrote a wonderful article about the trade between the Redskins and the Rams that sent the Skins’ first and second round pick of the 2012 draft along with first round picks for 2013 and 2014 over to the Rams in exchange for the Rams’ number two overall pick in the 2012 draft which resulted in the Skins drafting quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Thomas, among some of the folks he interviewed (including Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and head coach Jeff Fisher) are a bit quick to try and say that the Rams came out on top with the trade which isn’t surprising since Bradford isn’t going to say “We should have drafted the quarterback to replace me,” and Fisher isn’t going to say “I made a mistake in not drafting Griffin.”  Thomas also concluded his piece by saying that you can’t really grade a draft class until three years down the road.

All of this got me thinking about that trade.  As they say hindsight is 20/20 but I was one of the many folks last season excited about the trade.  Just looking at this team in 2011 we knew they were a quarterback away from at least making a splash and the prospect of getting that franchise quarterback (be it at the time Andrew Luck or RGIII) was just too good to pass up.

Looking at this year’s draft, especially at the quarterback position, the Skins trading away this year’s first round pick (22nd overall) for RGIII doesn’t seem like a bad decision either.  Most draft experts expect quarterbacks to fall like stones and teams at the top of the draft (Chiefs, Bills, Cardinals, Raiders) all traded or signed quarterbacks during free agency instead of rolling the dice on one of these rookies.  This draft just isn’t ripe with top talent QBs.

Aside from the Redskins not being able to find a top tier quarterback this year (though granted if we still had drafted Kirk Cousins we might not be looking for one) our biggest need, the secondary, has a lot of potential in the second and third rounds.  So, not to say we don’t need a first rounder this year, giving it up isn’t quite the blow a lot of people predicted last year.

I’m not going to go as far to say as we won the trade with the Rams, mostly because it’s too early, but I will say I feel a lot more comfortable with Griffin under center for the Skins than practically anyone else we could have had last year had we not made the trade.  Another thing about grading this trade on “who won” is each team’s overall success going down the line.  If you want to break each season down to rounds like in boxing then obviously the Skins won round one since they not only made the play-offs but won their division.

In closing with the performance of RGIII last season and in spite of his knee injury I’m still satisfied with the trade.  The future is still cloudy for all the players and picks involved in that trade but but at least we Skins fans can finally say “We’ve got 99 problems but a QB ain’t one.”

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