For every trade and other deal that NFL teams make, there are a dozen or so that are rumored or that fall apart for a variety of reasons. Here, in reverse chronological order, are some of the biggest Washington Redskins deals that never took place.
- Jay Cutler from Denver to Washington, 2009—This is the most recent, of course. A direct trade with the Broncos didn't get traction because Broncos coach Josh McDaniels didn't want Jason Campbell and a three-way trade involving Cleveland fell apart at the last minute.
- Lance Briggs from Chicago to Washington, 2007—This was a Dan Snyder creation. The trade came up over cocktails with Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus at the owners' meetings. Pro Bowl linebacker Briggs, the Bears' franchise player, would have gone to Washington and the Redskins and the teams would have swapped first-round picks (the Redskins had No. 6, the Bears No. 31). The Bears didn't seem to want any part of it and Joe Gibbs didn't seem to be very enthusiastic about it either. Rosenhaus managed to keep the talk going for a while it never happened.
- Reggie White as a free agent to Washington, 1993—White was the biggest catch of the first truly free free agency class in 1993. It appeared certain that the Redskins would be able to outbid everyone for the defensive end's services. The Packers weren't considered to be a factor at all until the moment he signed a four year, $17 million deal with Green Bay.
- John Elway from Denver to Washington, 1991—The two teams involved managed to keep a tight lid on this one and we heard nothing about it at the time. Mark Rypien, the Redskins starter in 1990, was balking at signing a new contract, so Joe Gibbs got on the phone to the Broncos to talk about dealing for Elway, who at the time was a star without a championship ring. The talks never got beyond preliminary discussions. Rypien eventually signed and went on to become the Super Bowl MVP.
- Darrell Green from Washington to Denver, 1989—This one got way beyond the talking stage and almost became a reality. Here's the story from the pages of my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle:
April 4—For how much longer will Darrell Green be a Washington Redskin?
Trade talks with the Denver Broncos have gone from discussion to real negotiation in the past days. The Redskins would take Denver's first-round pick (13th overall) and a player for the rights to Green. Just who that player would be is the sticking point.
The Redskins are willing to part with their 1983 first-round pick for a couple of reasons. One is the nagging injuries that have slowed the 5-9, 185-lb. cornerback to the extent that the team is concerned that he may be on the downside of his career.
The other reason is money. Green made $450,000 last year and is looking for a raise to $1 million a year. The Redskins are willing to give him a raise, but not to seven figures. The Broncos apparently are willing to pay Green his asking price.
The team has braced for Green's possible departure by signing cornerback Martin Mayhew as a free agent.
The Redskins eventually decided to hold on to Green and he signed a new contract in July.
- Sonny Jurgensen from Philadelphia to Washington, 1960—Yes, this deal did occur—in 1964. In 1960, Jurgensen was a backup to Norm Van Brocklin and the Redskins had their eye on him. But the Eagles didn't want to give up their promising clipboard carrier. Four years later, after Jurgensen became the starter and tormented the Redskins on several occasions, the Skins finally got their man.
All of these trade rumors and the stories of the deals that did happen are detailed in my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. If you want to know when it comes out, just go to the book's website and sign up.
Did I miss any? Do you remember any that you want me to investigate? Discuss in the comments.