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BREAKING NEWS: TJ Duckett a Redskin

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As reported by Len Pasquarelli at ESPN, TJ Duckett is now a Washington Redskin. The Atlanta Falcons received former Denver Broncos troublemaker Ashley Lelie. In exchange the Broncos will receive an undisclosed draft pick from the Redskins.

Obviously the implications for this are huge for both the Redskins as a team and, individually, for backup RBs Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright. It's hard to imagine a scenario where both remain active on the team with the addition of Duckett.

Furthermore without disclosure of the terms, there is no way to measure the cost of this trade. The rumors surrounding this trade were that WR David Patten would find his way to Atlanta for Duckett to become a Redskins.

I'm pleased that we have not sacrificed a WR for the deal, but uneasy about what an "undisclosed draft choice" might mean. Keep in mind that the Redskins have neither a 2nd nor 4th round pick for 2007, as they sacrificed the former to draft Rocky McIntosh last year and the latter in a trade with the 49ers for Brandon Lloyd.

What we get is a bruising short yardage back who will instantly make us a stronger redzone running team, filling a need that was sorely missed last year. Running behind fullback Mike Sellers, it's hard to imagine Duckett having much trouble punishing defenders all the way to the endzone.

My main concerns:

Which running back is shown the door? Ladell Betts is a capable back who is probably the  better fulltime runner than Duckett in the absence of Clinton Portis. Rock Cartwright has been an enormous contributor on special teams, and it's hard to imagine Duckett adopting that role.

Why sacrifice draft picks for a running back? The position was deep relative to other needs, such as our offensive line. If I were assessing the Redskins prior to the trade, I'd have sought out, if anything, an offensive linemen to shore up our questionable backup unit -- or our secondary.

I'll keep you posted as I find out more.

Update [2006-8-22 22:38:35 by Skin Patrol]: According to the Rocky Mountain News Washington has a conditional deal with the Broncos. If a) Washington finishes with a better record than the Broncos than the two teams swap 1st round picks. Denver also gets Washington's 3rd round pick in this year. If b) Washington finishes with a worse record then the Broncos acquire the Redskins 3rd and 4th picks this year. I will keep you updated as soon as I can confirm that.

Update [2006-8-22 23:6:40 by Skin Patrol]: Two sources dispute the Rocky Mountain News account and say that the Redskins only gave up a 3rd round pick and nothing else. It was reported by:

Fox Sports News

CBS Sportsline

Obviously I prefer these two reports because they are a better deal... nothing more than a 3rd round pick (no 1st round swapping or additional 4th round). Also I find them more believable, since the Redskins cannot possibly trade their 4th round pick in 2007, as reported by the Rocky Mountain News, since they don't have one. Waiting for confirmation.

Update [2006-8-22 23:55:1 by Skin Patrol]: ESPN flip flopped.

ESPN

It's unclear now. I have to go to bed but will try and sort this out by morning.

Update [2006-8-23 0:34:55 by Skin Patrol]: I lied, I don't sleep. As of right now there are conflicting reports. The Rocky Mountain News has not updated their story, which cannot be true. But something comparable has been released and updated by ESPN as well as (allegedly) the Denver Post (I cannot find a link). I'm still holding out for CBS Sportsline, which reports merely a 3rd round pick as well as Fox Sports which has been updated and is also still reporting only a 3rd round pick. As I gather information I will post it here. What's certain at this point is that TJ Duckett is a Redskin and we do not have a 3rd round draft pick in 2007.

Update [2006-8-23 0:41:50 by Skin Patrol]: I found the Denver Post story which has an intriguing offer. If the Broncos have a better record than the Skins, and both teams have good records, than they swap first round positions (and nothing more). If the Broncos have a bad record, than they get the Redskins 3rd round draft choice instead.

I like this trade as well. I have to bet on the Redskins having a great season, and I think the Broncos are a 9-10 win team so the 1st round discrepancy won't be that dramatic. I'll stay on top of this as long as I can stay awake (or sober).

Update [2006-8-23 2:13:43 by Skin Patrol]: This is my final update, because I must sleep.

The Denver Post had this to say:

The exact compensation Denver receives will not be determined until after the season. There are four possibilities, based on the draft-value chart NFL teams use. The scenarios are: The two teams exchange first-round picks, in which the Broncos would make a huge jump up the round; the teams flip-flop their first-rounders and the Broncos get a fourth-rounder in 2008; the teams flip-flop their first-rounders and the Broncos get a third- rounder next year; or the Broncos get a third-rounder in 2007 and a fourth-rounder in 2008.

There's no way to evaluate the trade because we don't know the specific conditional details. Hopefully they will be up early tomorrow morning on either the Redskins or Broncos official websites.

I will update first thing tomorrow. Have a great night and HTTR.