One can only imagine the fictional non-libelous scene yesterday morning when Redskins owner Dan Snyder opened The Washington Times to find a story about how the Redskins' mega-trade with the Rams to go after Robert Griffin III could revive the team's moribund fan base. If that didn't make Snyder cackle over his eggs Florentine, this account of one fan's reaction to the trade, almost surely would have:
Aneesh Mehta had a weird feeling Friday. With his beloved Washington Redskins pursuing a franchise quarterback just days before the start of NFL free agency, he sensed something big was about to happen. That was why he continually refreshed the Twitter feed on his phone while at a birthday party Friday night.
About 10:30 p.m., he learned that the Redskins had executed a blockbuster trade to position themselves to draft one of two highly touted quarterback prospects: Stanford's Andrew Luck or, more likely, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III out of Baylor.
"I screamed it at the dinner table, ‘We got RG3!'" Mr. Mehta recalled with a laugh. "Then [my best friend] and I just went straight to the bar and started taking shots."
Mr. Mehta's joy took him a step further Saturday. He wrote the Redskins a check for $2,580 to renew his two season tickets, something he previously told a team sales representative that he would not do unless the Redskins traded up in the draft to acquire a quarterback.
Redskins fans keep buying the same bottle of snake oil every year. Griffin is undoubtedly an elite quarterback with a great chance of being successful in the NFL, but that chance drops when playing for the Redskins and their child dictator of an owner. The Redskins traded their first and second round picks this year, along with their 2013 and 2014 first round picks to move into the number two position in the draft. They've mortgaged the farm, again, to sell tickets, jerseys, and false promise. But don't take my word for it. Here are football players weighing in on the trade (via Dan Steinberg):
And here's some number-crunching from our friends at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, who conclude in no uncertain terms that "this trade is awful for the Redskins." If you'd like to understand all the acronyms and numbers in the excerpt below, visit the HSAC site for complete analysis. The important takeaway is in bold:
But let's not jump to conclusions. RGIII could be better than the average second overall pick. In fact, he could be the best second overall pick ever. So how good does RGIII have to be to justify this trade?
Given the discounted value of the future draft picks, the total price the Redskins paid was 753.5 eCAVOA. That price translates to a CAV of 113.0, comparable to Tom Brady's current production to date (109 CAV). For the Redskins to get the equivalent value from RGIII as they spent acquiring him, he must produce at least as much as Tom Brady. If RGIII merely lives up to his eCAVOA, he'll finish his career having slightly outperformed David Garrard (61 CAV). Because all-time-great quarterbacks are rare commodities, the Redskins likely lost value both on paper and in reality.
Zounds. Does Griffin know this? I realize he's already producing money for Dan Snyder, but as Portis and May point out, football still happens to be a team sport. Does anyone think Brady would have been so great if Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft hadn't put a deep, talented roster around him? There was a time long ago when the Redskins used to build teams like that. They often did it by trading down in the draft to get more picks.
A few weeks ago, before the Rams trade, a Shepard Fairey inspired Robert Griffin III knockoff of the famous Obama campaign poster started circulating online. The poster scared me, for it represented not only the longing in Washington for a savior to liberate the team from 20 years in the football gulag, but also the exact kind of emotional agitprop that Dan Snyder and his gang of flimflam men have so effectively deployed for so long: