Peyton Manning said he wasn’t planning on signing with the Washington Redskins, and Bruce Allen moved quickly. The result? The Redskins traded for the St. Louis Rams’ no.2 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, positioning themselves to draft Robert Griffin III, giving up quite a lot of draft picks for it.
How much? The first and second round picks from 2012, and the first round picks from 2013 and 2014. The Rams still believe they have their franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, who took far too many hits courtesy of the worst offensive line in the NFL last season, to actually be as effective as his rookie season showed he might be. Loading up through the draft is the next stage, which the Rams have been in, seemingly for the past six years.
Fro the Redskins, it’s pretty much the same. They’re still looking for a franchise quarterback after the Donovan McNabb experiment collapsed, soon followed by Rex Grossman and his next disappointing campaign. The Redskins knew they’d be going for a quarterback this off season, and when the opportunity to land Peyton Manning came out of nowhere, it was only reasonable they’d pursue it.
But the four time MVP shot it down pretty quickly, not leaving any room for discussion or misunderstandings. With Andrew Luck being a lock for the number one pick and the hopeful future of the Indianapolis Colts behind Center, RG III, who some think should be going before Andrew Luck, probably too impressed by his final year with Baylor.
Dan Snyder loves big names, and loves building through free agency, although that hasn’t really been working for him, despite the constant spending. They haven’t seen the postseason in DC for four season now, Joe Gibbs being the last head coach to lead the Redskins past the 16 regular season games.
Mike Shanahan can feel the axe breathing down his neck, and going for RG III doesn’t do him any favors. In terms of future and the prospect of being great for the franchise, the Redskins’ front office did the right thing. It’s not a question of if Manning will be great, or good, or garbage. He doesn’t want to play for the Redskins. Maybe it’s an AFC – NFC thing, who knows. Facing Eli twice a year doesn’t sound too much of a great deal as well.
Robert Griffin III might be great, but I highly doubt he’ll change the face of the franchise on his first season and first snap. Better than what the Redskins currently have? Anything is better than that.