4 Realistic Moves the Redskins Could Make Before the NFL Trade Deadline
After Sunday's 38-26 win over the then-first place Minnesota Vikings, it's clear that the Redskins are looking to stick around this season. Sitting behind the first-place Giants by just one game, and tied for second with the Eagles at 3-3, the Redskins are certainly in the thick of things with just 10 games remaining.
Now, the Redskins could probably trade Robert Griffin III for 10 first-round picks, but even I think that's selling low at this point. The Redskins need to identify possible transactions before the looming trade deadline for two reasons:
1. To stack up depth to help this season's playoff push
2. Move to get some of the draft picks that were lost in the infamous RG3 trade.
Either way, a deal to boost either category would be good for the team. Here, I'll break down some of the moves that the Redskins could pull off. Some more realistic than others, but the trading block is limited this season, so you have to stretch for some.
Brandon Banks to the St. Louis Rams for a Late-Round Draft Pick
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The St. Louis Rams have run into a bit of trouble in the receiving corps with the loss of Danny Amendola. He just also happens to be their go-to return man, so there's two positions that Jeff Fisher needs to fill on his depth chart.
Enter Brandon Banks, the 24-year-old return specialist who has run into some tough times this season (the Redskins are 16th in kickoff return average and dead last in punt return average). He has shown flashes of brilliance as a returner in the past couple of seasons, though.
The price for Banks will be cheap for the Rams, as he was considered to be on Mike Shanahan's bubble during roster cuts. Shanahan wants Banks to have value as a receiver, but he has not quite shown that yet, only amassing 14 yards on four receptions.
With the added depth at receiver in 2012, Banks has become expendable now that his return numbers have decreased. This deal isn't a lock, and Santana Moss could fill in as the punt returner with Niles Paul continuing to take the kickoff duties.
Evan Royster to Cardinals for Middle-Round Draft Pick
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Another NFC West team that the injury bug has visited is the Arizona Cardinals. After losing their top two running backs (Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams) for the rest of the season, they are desperate for a rusher.
Evan Royster has more value than Banks since he has had productive time as an offensive starter. With the emergence of Alfred Morris, it looks like Royster's services may no longer be needed. He has only been in as a third-down back so far in 2012.
This trade would be a lot easier had Roy Helu, Jr., not been injured, but the Redskins would still have Ryan Grant to back up Morris, and Shanahan could easily just pick a running back off of the depth chart to replace Royster.
The time to sell Royster is not as high as it was last year, but the Redskins are in a great need for draft picks, and the Cardinals are in a great need for a running back. This could work out well for both teams.
As an alernative to a draft pick, the Redskins could try to get outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield, who is coming off a two-sack game against Buffalo to help establish depth at the position now that Brian Orakpo is out for the season.
Rex Grossman to Jaguars for Late-Round Pick
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Late-round draft pick is probably a little generous, as you all know I would trade him for a turkey sandwich if I were Bruce Allen.
Regardless, Blaine Gabbert is just not working out for the Jaguars, and they would like to have an option to back him up in case he goes down with an injury or just plain stinks.
He's probably the only QB that could make Rex look good by comparison. Gabbert is currently 28th in ESPN's Total QBR rankings (Griffin is sixth). Although Grossman wouldn't be a long-term option, he could help diverge some of the negativity that could rain down on Gabbert through the course of the 2012 season.
Grossman doesn't need to be around Washington anymore. Not just because he isn't good, but he's now dropped to third on the depth chart. He can't teach RG3 anything since he runs a completely different offense, and Kirk Cousins may never see the field if Griffin doesn't get hurt, so it wouldn't matter what Grossman teaches him. Therefore, Gabbert would benefit more from Grossman than Cousins or Griffin.
Greg Jennings to Redskins for Lorenzo Alexander and Late-Round Pick
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If there was ever a time to sell high for Lorenzo Alexander, it would be now. After coming off a game where he amassed one-and-a-half sacks and looked like a terror for the Vikings, Alexander opened a few eyes.
Both sides would be getting an upgrade in this deal. Josh Morgan hasn't been all that the Redskins wanted him to be, and if Jennings and Pierre Garcon can get healthy and stay healthy for the season, the Redskins offense (which has already been impressive this season) would be scary.
That is the key, though. You don't want to give away anything for a guy that isn't going to play. It is expected that he will be back, but the Packers don't really need him. James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have already done a very good job during the waning of Donald Driver's career and Jennings's injury.
It might be time to buy low on the Kalamazoo receiver, but the draft pick that could be bundled with Alexander can't be higher than a sixth-rounder. I don't know if the Packers would be up for it, but it sounds like something beneficial for both teams.