Richie Incognito. If you follow the NFL, you’ll know the name, and it’s the one that’s attracted negative attention at almost every turn in his career.
The Washington Redskins have now acquired the number two pick from the St Louis Rams, for the outlay of the number six pick, their first rounders in 2013 and 2014, plus this year’s second rounder.
This is a king’s ransom that the Redskins have paid for a lord level player.
Bruce Allen, the General Manager of the Redskins, defended the trade saying “We understand it was a heavy price but when you bought your home you probably wanted to pay a little less too. But you like your home once you live in it”
I think he unwittingly hit the nail on the head. After all the ‘Skins represent the capital of a nation that, for the past five years, has seen first-hand what happens when you over-commit your income to over-pay for an asset such as a house: mass destruction of wealth and economic conditions not seen since the depression.
And that’s exactly what they’ve done here: waded into a hot market and over paid to the detriment of future generations of ‘Skin’s supporters.
For starters let’s look at what they’ve bought in Robert Griffin III (RG3). Prior to the end of the season I couldn’t find a draft board that had him in their top five, let alone worth three first round picks. And many boards had him graded behind Landry Jones or Matt Barkley as a signal caller.
Kudos to Cameron Larkin, who was the first pundit I saw putting RG3 as a second pick, which I thought was insane at the time.
All the attention has zeroed in on Griffin for two reason.
The first is that there is rarity value. Without Barkley and Landry this year’s quarterback class is relatively thin so some may make the argument that scarcity increases his value.
It’s hard to argue, though, that the scarcity would exist all the way through 2013 and 2014, when the Rams will be picking up marquee talents with the forgone Redskin picks.
The second is that it is inevitable with a prospect like Andrew Luck – who has been talked up for two years – we now feel the need to find a counter point to examine all his flaws in minute detail.
For this Robert Griffin is the perfect foil, a supreme athlete at the position, rather than the pure pocket passer, and with an arm more suited to going deep than the short and intermediate game in which he has shown middling accuracy and touch.
He is the exact player to point to and say “Luck can’t do that!” Unfortunately that would gloss over the fact that he also isn’t the player Luck is.
So yes, he’s a great prospect and potentially worth the second pick (though I remain dubious), but he’s not a can’t-miss-mortgage-your-future-to-get-a-chance-at-him prospect… which is how the Redskins have priced him.
Which brings me to my second concern. While the Skins will be able to play in free agency, where of course they have a chequered history of spending big money for middling results, they really need a major overhaul of the roster to compete in a potentially tough division. But now they will miss out on adding three more quality prospects over the next three years.
The revival of Alex Smith proves to even the strongest of doubters the power of the team. Moreover it proves that a good coach, having the right players around you and having a good system around you is just as important as your own personal talent.
And now RG3 will be expected to succeed without the luxury of high draft choices, that have aided many other young quarterbacks.
I wonder when the foreclosure sale will go up for this Skins team.