s I grow a little bit older and wiser, I have picked the brain of many gentlemen that have walked the road of life before me. As I have gathered, specifically when it comes to women, quality is almost certainly held in higher esteem than quantity. As a young boy, we tell ourselves “two nickels make a dime every time.” Guys are taught to mess around with as many women as possible, and sometimes you have to sacrifice quality to get what satisfy your urges. But what happens when you meet “The One?” Don’t the other scalawags that you used to talk to fade into oblivion? Do you even remember the memories (if you haven’t already blocked them) of drunken one-night stands or of you falling on the grenade for your friend? From what I gathered you do not, unless you are reminiscing with your boys in your mancave, because the lady that is making your sandwich is all that is on your mind at the moment.
I have this same mindset for this year’s #2 pick in the draft, which everyone and their mother deems to be Robert Griffin III. The best weapon in the draft by far, Griffin wowed scouts with his interviews and field tests at the Scouting Combine. It is rumored that at least 5 teams are trying to trade with the Rams who currently have the #2 pick. One of those teams happens to be my Washington Redskins. While many Skins fans would love to have Griffin, some are wary that the cost might be too great to bear for the franchise in order to move up for him (one happens to be a reporter who makes up stories but I digress). These fans say the Skins should not trade their picks (we are talking about at least two #1 picks and multiple mid-to-upper round picks this year or next), and they should trade down and fill out the depth chart in other areas. The Browns are wary of trading their two #1 picks this year for Griffin.
I find this scared thinking laughable. Two nickels never make a dime. Two role players don’t equal superstar and playmaker. If you have a chance for a franchise guy, you go get him by any means necessary. Let me prove it to you using 2 scenarios in my squad’s recent draft history.
1999 Draft: This is arguably the greatest draft move by the Redskins in history (hopefully this draft will overturn that). The Redskins got on the phone with crazy Mike Ditka of the New Orleans Saints, who was willing to trade his entire draft for Ricky Williams. Yeah, Ricky. The Skins pulled the trigger and received 8 draft picks, including the #1 and #3 in 2000. Great trade for the Skins, so why did they only have one playoff win in 6 years after that? Well, first off the Skins only draft 2 Pro-Bowlers with those picks. Champ Bailey and Lavar Arrington were benchmark players for Washington. In fact, the Skins only took 3 Pro Bowls in the 1999 and 2000 draft (Chris Samuels is the other player).But the Skins didn’t get enough value with all of the picks. No game breaking receiver or running back. No quarterback that would be a born leader (Tom Brady was selected in 2000 in the 6th round). To compare, the Rams traded draft picks to the Colts in 1999, for Marshall Faulk. Rams made out well with that trade.
2008 Draft: After a decade of misjudging the value of the draft, the Skins finally maneuvered themselves to get 10 draft picks, you know to fill out the roster. The Redskins picked great role players like 2 receivers and a tight end, an offensive lineman, and punter. Amazing. And how is this for a fact, only one player from that draft is on the team (Fred Davis), and he could very well be kicked off the club for drug usage. What makes it hurt even more for Skins fans is that they could have chosen Jordy Nelson, Desean Jackson, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles (all 2nd round choices), Brandon Carr, Peyton Hillis, Carl Nicks, and Pierre Garcon. They could have had all of that without trading!!! Redskins had 10 pennies, couldn’t even turn it into one dime.
Now I’m not saying that trading up always works. Redskins did very well trading down last season. Atlanta traded up to get Julio Jones for a playoff run, that turned into 2 points in the wild-card round. The Cowboys traded Herschel Walker in 1989 for a bunch of picks, which turned into Emmit Smith, Alvin Harper, and Darren Woodson to say the least, which turned into 3 Super Bowl titles. But I want to point something out. Trading up for a receiver is not the same as trading up for a franchise quarterback. The Cowboys had Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin already in the fold.
Franchise quarterbacks are few and far between. You can’t get by with a game manager, it’s not 2000 anymore. You need a real quarterback to have a real chance to succeed (ask the Broncos). The Patriots made the Super Bowl with a smoke and mirrors defense and no running back because of their all-world quarterback. Alex Smith played at a pro-bowl level all season until the NFC Championship Game and look what happened. So for the Redskins, Browns, Seahawks, Dolphins, Cardinals, and that mystery team out there, that makes RGIII that much more valuable. You have to pay the cost to be the boss. But you will be surprised how much more complete your team can be with a franchise, game-changing quarterback, even though you may not have the draft picks anymore to complement him. The Falcons traded up for Michael Vick and changed their franchise. The Giants traded up for Eli Manning and they have 2 more Super Bowls in their trophy case. So for general managers, remember two nickels never equal a dime just as draft picks may not equal a dynasty.
Remember to keep following the Mancave throughout the offseason for insights on what your team should do to improve themselves through the draft and free agency.