A trade this big doesn't happen this far in advance of the draft. Normally a team will hold out until draft day, fielding offers and counter-offers from multiple teams to get the best deal until the last possible second. This trade was obviously not the case.
This past Friday the Washington Redskins traded their #6 overall pick, their 2nd round pick (#39) along with first round picks in 2013 and 2014 for the #2 overall pick from The St. Louis Rams; a pick that most believe the 'Skins will use on Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. But this trade affects many other teams and players. Below are my winners and losers from this trade.
Rams/Sam Bradford – This is obvious, as long as the Rams don't botch these extra picks. The Rams will have three picks in the top 40 this season and two first rounders the next two years. If the Redskins don't make an immediate improvement, then those extra first rounders will probably be top 10 picks. This move gives the Rams the option of moving around in future drafts as they can trade one of their first rounders for more picks while staying in the first round, but they could also package picks to move up for a player they want.
Unfairly, Sam Bradford had some people whispering that the Rams might trade him instead of the #2 pick, but that was ridiculous. People quickly forgot that Bradford turned around a bad team in his rookie year and played behind an offensive line that was decimated by injuries last year. Now St. Louis will be able to use these picks on more weapons for Bradford and can also use those picks to coax potential free agents into signing with the Rams by pitching their bright future.
Ryan Tannehill – This seems crazy, but there is the possibility that the Browns panic and select the former Texas A&M QB with the #4 pick, which is well above his projected draft slot. This is the Browns after all. They had the best chance of landing RG3 with two first rounders this year and still got outbid.
Free Agents – Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder has a history of paying big money for free-agents. But now that he has traded away first rounders the next few years, and is not going to be spending his available cap dollars on Peyton Manning, expect Snyder to make up for it by signing as many big names as possible to help out Griffin.
Cleveland Browns – Way to shoot yourselves in the foot Cleveland. Now you'll have to overpay for Matt Flynn, settle for Jason Campbell or Kyle Orton, or reach in the draft to take Ryan Tannehill to fill your need for a starting Quarterback. The Steeler fan in me wants you to take Flynn and watch you suffer while destroying your payroll. The analyst in me says sign Campbell (who's better than people think) and then draft Brock Osweiler or Kirk Cousins in the second round.
Redskins' future – If RG3 doesn't lead this team to 8-10 wins each year over the next few years than a much needed high draft pick goes to the Rams. And if Griffin doesn't win right away, you will hear rumblings before the 2014 draft about how the Redskins ruined their team with this trade but can't do anything because St. Louis still has your top 5 pick. And this is a league where if you don't win now you're out the door.
Justin Blackmon – Unless the Browns take Alabama Running-back Trent Richardson or reach for Tannehill, Blackmon is going to Cleveland. He went from catching passes from Sam Bradford to catching passes from (???) overnight.
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