First of all, before you read a word of what's to follow, you have to realize one thing. Since January 4, 2004 all of the decisions in player personnel matters for the Washington Redskins, including the dealing of and use of draft picks, have been made by one Joe Jackson Gibbs. Love it or hate it, the trade for Denver's first-round pick, #25 overall was not made by Danny Boy or his racquetball partner Vinny. Sure, he gets advice from them and from others, including his coaching staff and yes Snyder and Cerrato were at the press "roundtable" yesterday. But when it comes to nut-cuttin' time, when it's time to hold 'em or fold 'em, it's Joe Gibbs making the call. Period.
The deal wasn't exactly George Allen like in its nature, but it did indicate a sense of urgency to win now. What they did essentially was give up a third and a fourth round pick in order to have the use of a first-round pick for an extra season. What they want is a player who by the time the '06 draft rolls around will have already worked out a contract, gone through a season and gotten rid of his rookie kinks and is ready to star in 2006 rather than starting that whole process a year from now.
Certainly, whether or not such a tradeoff is worth the a fourth and a third, plus whatever difference there may be between the #25 this year and the position of the Redskins '06 pick, is debatable. What's not debatable is that Gibbs is in a win-soon frame of mind.
The team needs to get better to enter the elite in the NFL and that's where Gibbs wants them to be. You do that by getting impact players and you get impact players in free agency and in the first round of the draft. With his hands tied in free agency the the $9 million cap hit taken in the Coles trade, he had to do something to move forward this year. Getting the extra first rounder this year has the potential to do that.
All of this is said with the caveat that the Redskins may not end up using that #25 pick or their #9 for that matter. They have let it be known that are willing to move up, move down, or stand pat. There has been talk that the #25 could be used to trade for a veteran player, perhaps Buffalo cornerback Nate Clemons. All of that will be explored in this space in the next 48 hours or so.
No matter what happens, however, will be aimed towards the goal of winning it all in the next couple of years. Gibbs ain't getting any younger and if he's going to get it done, now's the time.