When the Redskins recently gave Jason Campbell a first round tender, it left open the possibility of a trade. This is because, for slightly more money, Washington could have tendered Campbell at first and third round tender.
By not tendering Campbell at the highest level, some have wondered about the insight this offers in Mike Shanahan's evaluation of Campbell. By only giving Campbell the first round contract, Shanahan may be trying to entice another team into a trade for the quarterback.
Mike Shanahan wants a veteran quarterback to play for at least part of the 2010 season. If it happens to be Campbell, Shanahan would be satisfied. On the other hand, if a team was to give up a first round pick or something else valuable in a trade for Campbell, then he would be willing to accept a good offer.
Shanahan has already indicated that he is not enamored with Campbell, and that he probably doesn't fit into the Redskins' long term plans. There are other veteran quarterbacks that the head coach would be willing to play, like recently signed Rex Grossman, if the Campbell trade happened. With so many holes to fill on the team, he certainly has to entertain all possibilities.
Which teams might be candidates for a Jason Campbell trade? St. Louis may be the team that would have the deal Shanahan wants.
If St. Louis inquired about Campbell, Shanahan might be willing to work out a deal involving the Rams' first pick in the draft. Some analysts speculate that Shanahan covets Sam Bradford, and might be willing to trade up in order to select him. How about the Rams trading the first pick for the Redskins' fourth pick and Jason Campbell?
St. Louis might not be willing to take a risk on a rookie quarterback this season. If they were to switch spots with the Redskins in the draft, they would be able to pick up a quality defensive player (Suh, McCoy, or Berry). Also, they would gain an average starting quarterback, with much less risk than a rookie.
Another landing spot for Jason Campbell could be Buffalo. If the Bills were to offer the Redskins their ninth pick in the draft for Campbell, Shanahan would probably jump on it. Shanahan would love to have two picks inside the top ten, because it would allow him to grab two premium players.
So far, there haven't been any significant trade rumors involving Campbell. But with the first wave of free agency over, and with the draft drawing near, that situation could be about to change.
If no trade develops, Mike Shanahan will have no regrets about starting Jason Campbell. Campbell would do an adequate job for the Redskins in 2010. But if a significant offer comes along, Shanahan may have already sent a message to the rest of the league that he is willing to listen.