The Redskins managed to salvage something out of the debacle that the Su’a Cravens situation had become.

But about the best thing you can say about Cravens’ time with the team being over is, well, that it’s over.

The Redskins original asking price for Cravens, their second-round pick in the 2016 draft, was a third-round pick. However, the fact that Cravens suddenly decided to “retire” a week prior to the start of last season dinged his value way more than one round.

Basically, the Redskins will get a fifth-round pick, No. 163 overall, from the Broncos. All they were able to get John Elway to do to sweeten that was swapping picks to move up four spots in the fourth round and seven spots in the fifth round. It’s not even worth getting out the draft trade chart to figure out how much value the swaps added to the deal.

The deal still was for pennies on the dollar compared to the No. 53 overall pick the Redskins took to get Cravens, a player who has three years left on his rookie contract at very affordable salaries ranging from about $651,000 this year to $1.1 million in 2020.


I suppose you can make the argument that the 2016 second rounder is a sunk cost and therefore the Redskins won by salvaging something out of a player who wasn’t going to play for them this year. Other teams knew that and perhaps teams that were interested in him were waiting for the Redskins to release him. When there is little or no competition for a trade target the returns go down.


Still, the Cravens selection as a whole has to be viewed as a setback for the organization. The pick was something of a gamble by former GM Scot McCloughan in that Cravens had shown signs that he was ambivalent about playing football while he was at USC. At one point he disappeared for three days after getting injured.

In Washington, he played well at inside linebacker as a rookie, but he suffered an upper arm injury late in the season that some teammates believed he could have recovered from in time to play in the last game or two. He reportedly did not show up for treatment for three days after sustaining that injury.  


Despite the issues, it became known that Cravens would move to safety in 2017 and become one of the starters there. He showed that the faith in him was not warranted as he texted teammates a week before the season opener that he was going to retire.

Could they have kept him rather than letting a talented player go for so little? Sure, but trust is a big part of being teammates and being on the field together and in the locker room. And it was apparent that the trust would have been impossible to rebuild.

With a second-round pick, you expect to get a player who will be a solid starter for at least several years. Instead, the Redskins end up with a pick that they can hope turns into a backup and special teams player. That just can’t be spun as anything but a major negative for the organization.


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