You know the trade. In an effort to acquire Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins traded three first-round picks and a second-round selection for the St. Louis Rams' No. 2 overall selection.
Washington is still paying for Griffin and will continue to through the 2014 NFL draft, when the team will again not have a first-round selection. But was the high cost worth it? Did the Redskins receive a fair return for their enormous investment? Or did the Rams win out?
Of course the Redskins won. They got RG3.
That may be a bit of an oversimplification, but it really is that simple. A franchise quarterback is everything in the NFL, and Washington has its. Well, it at least appears that way. Things can always change.
There is no denying that the Rams received a boatload of picks, and, in turn, talented players. It is hard to say that St. Louis lost the trade, but Washington certainly won it.
Prior to the 2012 NFL draft, the Redskins really didn't have a terrible roster. The team clearly had talent on both sides of the ball. But one thing was missing.
The quarterback can make all the difference. Obviously, between 2011 and 2012, the Redskins acquired more players than just Griffin. However, the team's record jumped from 5-11 to a division-winning 10-6 after drafting RG3.
As a rookie, Griffin exceeded even the highest of expectations, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Of course, he also ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.
Simply put, as a rookie, RG3 transformed Washington into a playoff team. It's safe to say that he still has room to improve, and given what we know about Griffin's character, he will put in the necessary work. He truly has Hall of Fame potential.
That would seem to be worth a few first-round draft picks.
St. Louis' Side
If given the chance to take a top quarterback prospect, why did the Rams pass? Because they believed in Sam Bradford. The 2010 No. 1 overall pick was just 24 years old at the time of the trade.
Now, if there were no suitors, St. Louis might have taken Griffin and sent Bradford packing. However, there were plenty of offers, and the Rams had enough faith in Bradford to justify passing on RG3.
In the end, the Rams received Washington's No. 6 and No. 39 overall picks in 2012, its No. 22 pick in 2013 and its first-round pick in 2014. By trading back further, the Rams picked up even more picks. In 2012, the picks from Washington and the resulting moves procured Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Isaiah Pead and Rokevious Watkins.
In 2013, Washington's first-round pick (and another trade back) became Alec Ogletree, Stedman Bailey and Zac Stacy.
Thus far, that is seven players for one. But how do the Rams grade out in comparison to Griffin?
Certainly, St. Louis could have done much worse. Brockers started at defensive tackle in 2012, showing great upside. Jenkins was immediately an above-average starting cornerback, intercepting four passes and scoring three defensive touchdowns. Pead still has potential, but he hasn't proven anything yet. Watkins played in just one game, starting none.
Obviously, it is impossible to evaluate the 2013 selections at this point. However, Ogletree is immensely talented, and Bailey should be a good slot receiver. Stacy projects as a change-of-pace running back.
Was the trade worth it for St. Louis?
It all depends on Bradford. If he develops into the player the Rams hope he does, then yes, it was undeniably worth it. If he doesn't, then the Rams made a mistake.
This trade might not have a true loser. The Redskins found their franchise quarterback, and the Rams added a plethora of talent to a deplorable roster. It's possible that this deal will go down as a win-win.
But, if forced to choose a winner, Washington clearly comes out on top. Who, looking at the names St. Louis drafted, would trade those picks for RG3? Not many.
A franchise quarterback is the difference between a Super Bowl a top-10 draft pick. Last year, Griffin and Andrew Luck showed how much difference a quarterback can make.
While St. Louis might live on to not regret this trade, Redskins fans will likely remember it for decades to come. It could be the trade that turned around a franchise.
More than likely, it was.