In case you haven't heard, here's the trade that the Redskins and Broncos completed on Tuesday evening, complete with editorial comment in what's supposed to be a news story by the AP's Joseph White:
Paying a hefty price for a short-term gain, the Redskins on Tuesday acquired the No. 25 overall pick from the Denver Broncos. In exchange, Washington gave up its third-round selection (No. 76 overall) in this year's draft and picks in the first and fourth rounds in 2006.
A first round pick is a "short-term gain"? This is supposed to be news story, Joe, not a place to share your views on a particular deal. If the Skins use the pick, the player acquired at #25 will be around for at least the next five years at a very reasonable price. Bruce Smith was a short-term gain; the #25 is not.
But I digress here. The real question is: Why?
By any draft value chart you want to look at, even if the Skins have the last pick in the first round next year to give up that much for the 25th overall doesn't make much sense in and of itself. It's even harder to figure out since it's several days before the draft and there's not a specific player that the Redskins just have to have staring at them from their draft board. We've been talking about the #9 overall being tough to figure out. The 25th is even harder to figure.
Still, it has to be considered that the Redskins made that deal for the 25th because they're certain that a player that they value highly, so much that he's their 2006 first-round pick and then some, will be there. And that they're making the trade at this early juncture because they don't want any competition for him.
Is that player Auburn QB Jason Campbell? That's the company line at ESPN.com. First reported by John Clayton and now by Len Pasquarelli:
Even before their most substantive predraft review of the position late last week, Redskins coaches and scouts had regarded Campbell as on par with Alex Smith of Utah and California's Aaron Rodgers, generally regarded as the top two quarterback prospects. A lengthy film study of Campbell further strengthened Washington's resolve to move on the Auburn quarterback.
It's also possible that this was a precursor to more dealing. It's not likely that they gave up all of those picks for Denver's first just to be able to turn around and deal that pick for a veteran player such as Oakland CB Phillip Buchanon. They could offer next year's first alone for him and the Raiders would jump at it.
The thinking here is that this deal gives the Skins some options with their #9 pick. With the 25th ensuring that they will still have a first-round pick, they could deal their original pick for a boatload of selections in the second and later, or they could move back a dozen spots or so and still get a good player and recoup some of the mid-round picks they gave to Denver.
But, then again, they would have had all of these options whether or not they possessed the 25th or not. So the question is still out there: Why?
No matter why and no matter what the Skins ultimately do with that pick, on thing is certain: This trade was made by Joe Gibbs. Not by Snyder, not by Cerrato. A lot of folks out there still want to praise Gibbs the coach and then blame any faulty personnel moves on Snyder and Cerrato. But this trade was Joe Gibbs' doing. Talks don't get started without his OK and they don't get completed without his seal of approval.