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In honor of the NBA trade deadline, revisiting 5 Redskins trades that will raise your eyebrows

In honor of the NBA trade deadline, revisiting 5 Redskins trades that will raise your eyebrows

The whole world seems to go nuts for the NBA trade deadline, and as the Wizards make a number of moves that seem somehow illogical and logical at the same time, it makes for a good time to remember some recent Redskins moves. 

[Ed. Note: I miss Rich Tandler often, but particularly on a day like this. I know the Redskins traded for Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Ken Houston, and I know they got a steal of a trade to acquire Earnest Byner. But I just don't know enough about the situations surrounding those trades. I can't provide the context necessary, so I'm going to arbitrarily only look at trades since 1992.]

Since 1992, the Redskins have made a number of trades that impacted the direction of the franchise. We're going to rank a number of them below, but one stands above the rest.

  1. RG3Mania - The Redskins gave up a boatload of picks to move up to the second overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and acquire Robert Griffin III. The Heisman Trophy winner out of Baylor came into the NFL with a cool nickname and a rocket arm. He tore up the league and everything seemed like it was going to be awesome, forever, right up until it wasn't. Griffin got hurt, his relationship with the coaching staff went sour, and the picks used to get RG3, along with a $36 million salary cap penalty levied by the NFL, proved to be a downfall for the team. 
  2. Offense for Defense - Arguably the biggest player for player trade EVER, in 2004 the Redskins sent cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick to the Denver Broncos for running back Clinton Portis. At that point, Bailey and Portis were probably the best in the NFL at their respective position, and both played great for their teams for a number of years. In hindsight, the second-round pick probably tilts this trade in Denver's favor, but Portis delivered some incredible seasons for the Redskins with Joe Gibbs on the sideline. Bailey did just get elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame though. 
  3. Solving the Kirk Crisis - Recency bias will make some think this should be higher, and the Redskins certainly stole the show a year ago leading up to Super Bowl 52 when the Burgundy and Gold traded a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller to the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith. A quality veteran coming off his career best season, Smith seemed to solve the perpetual riddle Washington stumbled into with previous QB Kirk Cousins. Having Smith allowed Cousins to walk in free agency, and it meant the Redskins stabilized the most important position on the field. And it was working too. With Smith at the helm, the Redskins reached a 6-3 record and looked to be in the driver's seat for an NFC East title. Until he got seriously hurt in Week 10, and now with his football future in serious jeopardy, his 2018 contract extension looks like an anchor for Washington's future salary cap.
  4. Mike Ditka and wild things in New Orleans - In 1999, Mike Ditka told anybody would listen he just had to draft running back Ricky Williams out of the University of Texas. To do so, Ditka said he would trade his entire draft, and the Redskins obliged his largesse. The 'Skins got the Saints entire 1999 draft, all of it, so New Orleans could move up from the 12th pick to the 5th pick and take Williams. The 'Skins made moves of their own with all the new draft picks, moving up to the 3rd overall pick to draft Champ Bailey. The biggest piece that came from the trade was New Orleans' first round pick in 2000, which the Redskins used to take Penn State LB LaVar Arrington. This was a wild scenario, and a lot happened, but in the end, the the on-field production never matched the trade fireworks. 
  5. Go big (house) or go home - In 1992, the Redskins really wanted Desmond Howard, a Heisman Trophy winning receiver out of Michigan. At that point in time, the 'Skins were defending Super Bowl champions and the best run franchise in the NFL. So when Washington gave up two first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up from the 6th spot to the 4th spot to take Howard, it seemed like he would be the next bright star in the Redskins solar system. It didn't work that way. Howard had just three catches as a rookie and never had a 1,000 yard season as a receiver. NFL rules at the time did not protect wideouts and allowed defensive backs to play a very physical brand of football, and at just 5-foot-10 and 185 lbs., Howard struggled to get off the line of scrimmage. He did remain a dangerous punt and kick returner, and won MVP honors in Super Bowl 31 for an outstanding performance that included a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. 

There are other trades. The team traded down one spot to take Josh Doctson in 2016, and the results are, uh, not emphatic. The team also traded back with the Cowboys in the second round of the 2015 draft, which allowed Dallas to take DeMarcus Lawrence and the 'Skins landed Trent Murphy. Dallas won that one. 

[Another ed. note: If I missed any important trades drop them in the comments. Also, this list started in 1992 because that's the first 'Skins trade I remember. I will never forget where I was when I saw the Desmond Howard trade news break. I was in Wilkesboro and I was a little kid and I was CONVINCED it was the greatest trade I ever heard of.]

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Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on


Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on

Antonio Brown won’t play for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season.

You may have thought this scenario already existed since the Pro Bowl wide receiver often publically airs his desire for a trade and frustrations with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Tuesday’s news pushed assumption to reality.

Brown met with Steelers owner Dan Rooney Tuesday. The NFL’s top receiver posted a picture of the two via his Twitter account with a summary of their conversation.

“Had a great meeting with Mr. Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues!” Brown explained. “We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod#Boomin

Multiple media reports soon followed, including one from Pro Football Talk, stating the Steelers “have agreed to trade” Brown. However, permission for Brown’s camp to speak with other teams was not initially granted.

The cost won’t be cheap despite Pittsburgh essentially backed into a corner. Considering Brown’s tremendous talent and Hall of Fame production, he’s the rare non-quarterback capable of positively altering a team’s projections. 

Green Bay, armed with two first-round picks, and San Francisco, a team Brown mentions as a future destination on social media, are among the teams likely excited by Tuesday’s reveal.

As for the Redskins, we know the need is real. Washington’s offense lacks playmakers especially at wide receiver. The team also has major concerns under center, so acquiring a top receiver before solving that passer issue feels a bit like putting the cart before the horse. There are also salary cap fears for a team without much wiggle room and a lengthy list of holes.

If, however, Washington desires a return to its off-season champion days, adding Brown is the splashy move. Now we know for sure that’s an option. 


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With franchise tag period open, will Redskins consider option with Preston Smith, Jamison Crowder or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix?

With franchise tag period open, will Redskins consider option with Preston Smith, Jamison Crowder or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix?

For too many years, the opening of the franchise tag period marked the true beginning of the NFL offseason in Washington. 

As the Redskins and Kirk Cousins awkwardly danced around a long-term contract for two straight years, the team deployed the franchise tag and paid their former quarterback a total of $44 million in 2016 and 2017. 

Those days are over, even if the quarterback situation remains unsettled. Things looked solid when Washington traded for Alex Smith last year, but a horrific leg injury leaves nothing but questions for the fall. 

It won't be used at quarterback, but still, the franchise tag looms. Tuesday marks the first day NFL teams can apply the tag, and the Redskins have some valuable players possibly headed for free agency. 

Preston Smith and Jamison Crowder headline the potential free agent losses for Washington. Both drafted in 2014, their rookie deals are set to expire, and the marketplace should be welcoming to both players. 

Smith had a down year statistically in 2018, registering only four sacks. In four years in the Burgundy and Gold, however, Smith has totaled 24.5 sacks along with four forced fumbles and four interceptions. He's never missed a game in four seasons either, and has the length, frame and athleticism few outside linebackers can boast. 

It will be interesting to see how many teams are in the market for Smith. This is a particularly deep class of edge rushers heading to free agency, and Rotoworld's Evan Silva ranked Smith the fifth best option with an expiring contract. The players ahead of him, however, could all get tagged by their teams, and that means Smith could become more desirable if he hits the market. 

Will Washington tag Smith? Probably not. 

Franchising Smith would mean paying him the average of the Top 5 paid players at his position in the NFL. That means more than $17 million for the 2019 season. 

The Redskins can't offer that, because Smith would sign it in a second. His market will likely pay him at least $8 million per season, and perhaps $10 million per year or more, but $17 million is way too much. Smith is good, but that's Von Miller money.

Well, what about Crowder?

Again, the money will be too much. A wide receiver, the franchise tag for Crowder would be averaged out using the salaries of players like Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown.

When healthy, Crowder is a nice player. He has quick feet and can gain separation on the inside of offensive schemes. That won't land him $16 million per season though like a tag would require. It's just not going to happen. 

Two other Redskins starters are slated for free agency: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Adrian Peterson. 

The franchise tag for safeties carries a price tag of $12 million for 2019. Washington will not consider that for Clinton-Dix. 

The franchise tag for running backs carries a price tag of $12 million for 2019. Washington will not consider that for Peterson. 

Redskins fans, remember how much you hated the franchise tag? Well this year you won't need to worry about it.