Monday, March 12, 2012

Breaking News: Sources Say Robert Griffin III Tore His ACL... his sophomore year of college, that is.

Ok, now that all of you Redskin fans have started breathing and collected your items to throw at me, I wanted to give a few thoughts on the complete highway robbery trade that was consummated this weekend between the Rams and the Skins.

It was an interesting trade, to say the least, and I sort of have multiple minds about it...

1) I wish people would stop talking as if Griffin is already on the roster.  Keep in mind that the Redskins sold the farm for the potential to draft him.  Three number ones and a number two for a shot at possibly having a particular player.  This isn't the same as trading that for Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees; in other words, a proven commodity.  Griffin was a GREAT college player, there is no doubt about that, but he hasn't done anything yet.  I realize Redskin fans are desperate and such, but if they have waited this long for the Franchise™, another year or two wasn't going to kill them.  

2) I was talking to a few of my students (mostly Redskins fans) this morning fawning on and on, but much like the management of the Redskins, they are very shortsighted about it.  The whole thing has the potential to be a ten year "what if?" scenario.  What if the Colts take Griffin? What if they don't improve? And the worst one of all - What if Griffin hurts himself at his pro day? In other words, what if he fulfills the title of this post...again.  The trade itself was a bit shortsighted because it is about Mike Shanahan saving his job and reputation, and not about the long term health of the franchise.  

3) To that end, I keep hearing a lot about his talent, and that is true, but this is the NFL, and he is not going to be good to anyone if he is on his back frequently.  Between giving away opportunities to replenish at the top of the draft and the salary cap penalty, the Redskins are not dealing from a position of strength to build up their offensive line and other positions. Steve Czaban noted in his blog post on the subject that they are going to be 3-4 players behind the elite teams.  Griffin may be an elite talent, but he can't do it alone and he can't just outrun people - as Dustin said to me this afternoon, even the linebackers of the NFL can run 4.4 or 4.5 forty yard dashes.  The talent gap is incredibly small in the pros as opposed to the college game.  

4) I sort of fear a player like Griffin in the division, but even with him, the Redskins are not exactly going to be players in the division yet.  They will still be the last place team, as they simply just don't have enough talent right now.  I am not sure, though, that even an "improvement" of finishing 6-10 or 7-9 will be enough for this upcoming season, since the team will be salary cap hell for the next two seasons.  Any opportunity at purchasing players via free agency has gone out the window until probably 2014.  

This is my outsider take.  A fan like Nick is decidedly more optimistic about the whole thing (as is Kevin "One Away" Sheehan), but I will say that if the Eagles had done this, I would have thrown something at my wall.

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