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Redskins (allegedly) covet JeMarcus Russell

Update [2007-3-15 13:3:50 by Skin Patrol]: If you won't take my word for it that this rumor is ludicrous, Redskins Insider weighs in and he's an actual journalist. Deep breaths. I'm speed-walking away from this thing.

Per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports! (the relevant portions are actually on the right hand side of the column):

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has become enamored with the idea of drafting Russell, which has in turn fueled speculation Washington could be targeting Oakland's No. 1 pick in a trade scenario. The trade could involve Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, the team's first-round pick in 2005, getting dealt to another team, or to the Raiders as part of a package to move up in the draft...

If Washington were to be involved in a trade with the Raiders, a move to the top choice would likely cost the Redskins a healthy package of picks and possibly players. And it's worth noting Washington doesn't have a second-round pick this year to use for ammunition...

First let me say I find the implications, even if we take this rumor at face value, uninteresting. Dan Snyder may or may not have become enamored of JeMarcus Russell; even if he did I'm not all that concerned. I do not see the Raiders giving up their pick, especially since he apparently had a pretty great Pro Day. Maybe that's why Dan Snyder's eyes got all big in the first place. And also, as Robinson admits, the Redskins don't have much to offer in the way of trade bait. JeMarcus Russell might be the newest, shiniest toy that Dan has seen, but he's going to cost the Washington Redskins more than the Coach and Team President Joe Gibbs is likely to want to give up to the Raiders for their #1 pick.

Furthermore, Snyder has to go through Joe Gibbs and (if this team is run in a functional manner -- I might not grant that just yet) Al Saunders and I don't think either of them relish the opportunity to teach an entirely new QB their offense in '07.

I've said my piece regarding what I think won't happen. Here's what I think should happen: Jason Campbell is the Quarterback of Your Washington Redskins, damnit, and if we screw this up by trading away a semi-proven quarterback for merely a potentially good one (who may or may not be the best QB in this draft) than I'll rip my hair out. I want to give rumors and unsourced stories some attention but will refrain from commenting additionally as I really think this is about as non-starter as non-starters go. And if this team is seriously considering such an out-of-left-field maneuver than there really isn't any point in ever trying to predict how they'll move in the future, as they will have long since surpassed any and all expectations I may have had for them to act semi-reasonably.

Doesn't this smell just a wee bit like the Redskins are playing to expectations? What if Russell fell to #6 (which he won't, but better to have those bases covered)? Should the Redskins want to trade down, they'd be in a much better position if Minnesota at #7 -- or anyone else for that matter -- thought the only chance to get Russell was to trade up to our pick. In other words, I think this rumor is all about creating expectations so we can move with our #6.