Alright, so I took a hell of a beating last year around the NFL trade deadline. I made the mistake of suggesting the Redskins should trade DeSean Jackson. My whole premise was simply that in order to get value in a trade, you have to offer value. We had/have few players with greater value than DJax. Therefore, I could credibly ask for a decent return because I was offering a player with elite abilities.
That will never happen again.
That is exactly what I intend to do again. With the trade deadline set for tomorrow at 4 PM ET, I am hoping the Redskins are active. Gone are the days when in-season NFL trades were unheard of--there is a brand new willingness to deal it seems, and I do expect to see some deals with big names involved.
When I read that the Cleveland Browns were willing to trade offensive linemen Alex Mack and Joe Thomas, I immediately envisioned the possibility of netting one of these players. No, Robert Griffin III is not going to get a deal like that done. It simply will not happen, but what if we went the bundling route on this? To be clear, as much as I would love Joe Thomas on our squad, I think our need is greater at center, and I think the cost for Alex Mack is and should be less than it would be for Thomas.
Maybe I have watched one too many episodes of American Pickers, but it seems to me that we could call Cleveland and at least be in the ball game by offering RG3 AND a significant "other player." Once again, I give you DeSean Jackson. You might ask yourself why the Cleveland Browns would consider a deal for RG3 and DeSean Jackson.
Almost no team--including the Redskins--can look in the mirror and say, "We don't need a player like DeSean Jackson." Sure he has injury issues, but there simply aren't that many guys who can do what he does when he is healthy. He is 28 years old and has some very good seasons left in him. The rumors on the street suggest that McLovin might choose the $8 million in salary cap relief by releasing Jackson after this season. Between Griffin and Jackson, you have two players that are almost certainly not going to be on our roster next year. That is not exactly a position of strength in a trade, until you consider Alex Mack's situation.
Mack is 29 years old and considered one of the better centers in the league. He has the kind of size that McLovin and Jay Gruden like (he is 6'4", 311 lbs) and he is a very smart player. His contract with Cleveland grants him some pretty sweet power--he can opt out of his agreement after this season and the Browns can do next to nothing about it. Rumors around the Browns organization are that he very much intends to opt out. That would mean they have some incentive to move him in an attempt to net something in return. I believe he also has a no-trade clause, which means the player would have to work with the team to help facilitate a move. Sound familiar?
Robert Griffin III would also likely have to tear up that option language for us to successfully move him. As I said above, Griffin wouldn't be enough on his own to get this deal done--not even close. However, a team would have to think long and hard about the prospect of adding DeSean Jackson to their offensive arsenal (there would be pros and cons of course!). Cleveland would likely want to see about extending DJax, and McLovin would want to look into locking up Alex Mack for longer than just the rest of the 2015 season.
If McLovin were able to turn two players that otherwise would not be here next year into a starting center, he would be a hero. The Browns would probably like to keep Mack, but in Cameron Erving (their first round pick in 2015), they have a HUGE offensive lineman that they think can play center. I guess what I am saying is that Cleveland might not need to be overly sweet-talked to move Mack.
I'm always weary about what else may be required to get a deal like this done. To me, I would value Alex Mack over the combo of RG3 and DJax. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that we aren't going to the Vinny Cerrato playbook and adding a 2nd round pick to the deal. I am confident we would not have to add any other young and promising players to this deal, but I just don't know.
Would you do a deal with Cleveland on these terms? Would you pursue the best deal you could get for the combo of RG3 and DJax otherwise?
Should I expect to take as much of a beating this year for suggesting we trade DeSean?