Redskins trade away chances at stars for scrubs

Redskins trade away chances at stars for scrubs
December 10, 2010, 7:16 pm
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Friday, December 10, 2010 2:15 PM
By Rich Tandler
Imagine for a moment a Washington Redskins offense quarterbacked by Tony Romo, who hands off to LeSean McCoy and throws to Brandon Marshall and Wes Welker. The Redskins center is Dan Koppen with Michael Roos and Jermon Bushrod the bookend tackles. On defense, Trent Cole and Jared Allen zero in on the opposing quarterback from their defensive end spots with linebacker Manny Lawson coming off the edge on blitzes. Cornerback Asante Samuel and safeties Bob Sanders and Troy Polumalu patrol the secondary. However, instead of being able to draft these players, the Redskins have made a habit out of trading away draft picks. In fact, its beyond a habit, its an addiction. Each of the players above was available when a pick that the Redskins had traded away for a player came up on draft day. They were all selected either with the pick that originally belonged to Washington or with a pick later in the same round. The only exceptions are Romo and Welker, who were undrafted free agents in years that the Redskins dealt away a seventh-round pick. The Redskins traded away those picks, and from the players acquired in those trades, you could field a team of Mark Brunell at quarterback handing off to Trung Canidate and T. J. Duckett, and throwing to James Thrash and Brandon Lloyd. Clearing the way in the interior we have guards Brenden Stai and Pete Kendall. On defense, there is Jason Taylor enjoying a cup of coffee at defensive end, while the tackles are Lional Dalton and Martin Chase. Matt Bowen is at safety. You only have to go back through the eight drafts that have taken place since 2003 to find the Redskins lost treasure trove of talent. In all, since 2003, the Redskins have traded away 22 draft picks for players. Since you get seven picks per draft, Washington has essentially sat out three full years of drafting in the past eight. Here is a look at the deals, and what might have been. First round 2003 to the Jets for WR Laveranues ColesThis was a restricted free agent deal with the Jets. The Redskins signed Coles to an offer sheet for 35 million over seven years including 13 million guaranteed. New York declined to match the offer and instead took the Redskins first-round pick, the 13th overall, as compensation. The selection wound up with the Patriots, who selected defensive end Ty Warren, who has been a very productive player, a solid starter from his second year until this season, when a hip injury landed him on injured reserve. Safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Dallas Clark were selected in the next 11 picks. Coles had two good seasons for the Redskins before becoming disgruntled and being traded back to the Jets for Santana Moss. Second round 2004 along with CB Champ Bailey to Broncos for RB Clinton PortisThe fact that the second-round pick had to go along with the better player at the more valuable position to get Portis has stuck in the craw of Redskins fans since the day the deal happened. It has been argued that the Redskins were facing a limited market for Bailey and the huge contract he demanded and Mike Shanahan and the Broncos had them over a barrel. But perhaps if they had waited a while, they could have gotten the deal done with either a lower draft pick thrown in or with no pick at all. The Broncos drafted running back Tatum Bell with the pick. Starting three picks later, safety Bob Sanders, center Jake Grove, and guard Justin Smiley were selected in succession. 2009 along with a 2010 sixth-round pick to Dolphins for DE Jason TaylorMinutes after starting defensive end Phillip Daniels was carted off of the field with a season-ending knee injury, Vinny Cerrato was on the phone to Miami to nail down this trade. Not that there isnt some competition, but this may have been the worst panic move of this era. Taylor was not suited to playing in the Redskins 4-3 defense and the Redskins expended a second-round pick for a player in the twilight of his career. Sure enough, he was one and done in Washington. The Dolphins didnt get much out of the pick, taking West Virginia quarterback Pat White, but selected later in the second round were RB LeSean McCoy and OT Phil Loadholt. The presence of Loadholt, in particular, would have helped as the Redskins would not have had to expend a 2011 pick on Jammal Brown. 2010 along with a 2011 third or fourth to Eagles for QB Donovan McNabbThe Eagles took safety Nate Allen with the pick for McNabb. Perhaps drafting Colt McCoy of Texas, who has played well for the Browns, would have been a better move, time will tell. Third round 2004 to Jaguars for QB Mark BrunellLike the second-round pick in the same draft that went in the Portis deal, this one is a head scratcher. Jacksonville was moving on from Brunell and they allowed the Redskins to negotiate a deal with him prior to the start of the league year. It was widely assumed that the Jags would release Brunell and he immediately would sign with Washington. But when the deal was done, the Redskins had sent the Jaguars their third-round pick for a player that was about to be released. The Packers ended up with the pick and took defensive tackle Donnell Washington. Ten picks later, the Redskins recouped a third by send the Saints their 2005 second to New Orleans and the used that pick to take Chris Cooley. So, in essence, the Redskins expended their 05 second round pick for Brunell. New Orleans used the pick to draft safety Josh Bullocks. The Titans picked next and took Michael Roos, who still is their starting left tackle. 2005 and 2006 first and fourth to Broncos for 2005 firstThis was the pick used to take Jason Campbell. This deal is not listed under first-round picks expended as they basically sent the third- and fourth-rounders to use their 06 first a year early. Denver dealt the 06 first round pick to the 49ers and they took LB Manny Lawson. With the 2006 fourth-round pick the Broncos got WR Brandon Marshall, who would have scratched the itch the Redskins had for a big, productive wide receiver. Or, the Redskins could have taken DE Elvis Dumerville, who the Broncos took with their own pick seven selections later. 2006 plus 2007 fourth to 49ers for WR Brandon LloydThis was another restricted free agent deal .Lloyd was a bust here and in Chicago before moving on to Denver to play at a Pro Bowl level this year. The 49ers didnt get much for the picks but 20 picks after San Francisco took DE Jay Moore in the fourth in 2007, New Orleans selected OT Jermon Bushrod. His performance starting at left tackle during the Saints Super Bowl run last year enabled the Saints to trade Jammal Brown to the Redskins. 2007 plus 2008 fourth to Broncos for RB T. J. DuckettThis was a three-way deal that sent Denver WR Ashley Lelie to Atlanta and Duckett from the Falcons to the Redskins. Portis had been injured in the preseason and for some reason Joe Gibbs didnt trust Ladell Betts to handle the load until Portis could return. Duckett played in just 10 games and gained 132 yards and scored two touchdowns. With the 07 third round pick, the Broncos took OT Ryan Harris, who is their starting right tackle. Fourth round 2003 to Rams for RB Trung CanidateThe Redskins got one 600-yard season out of Canidate. Meanwhile, the Patriots took CB Asante Samuel later in the fourth round. 2004 to Patriots for KR Chad MortonMorton actually came from the Jets as a restricted free agent and Washington had to trade for a 2003 fifth-rounder to get a pick to compensate New York. Washington ended up giving up its 2004 fourth in the deal. Late in that fourth round, the Chiefs too Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen. 2009 to Jets for G Pete KendallThe Redskins got two competent years out of Kendall as a starter. Fifth round 2003 to Detroit for G Brenden StaiThe Redskins got five starts out of Stai before he was injured and released after the season. On the board when the Redskins would have picked in the fifth round in 03 were OT David Diehl and C Dan Koppen, Pro Bowl performers for the Giants and Patriots, respectively. 2005 to Eagles for James ThrashThrash was a nice player, more so as a special teams player than as a wide receiver. With the pick that Philly got, they took a much better player, Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole. Sixth round 2003 to Packers for S Matt BowenThis was another restricted free agent deal. With a later pick in the sixth round, the Colts took Pro Bowl linebacker Cato June. Seventh round 2003 to Broncos for DT Lional DaltonDalton played in nine games for the Redskins. No seventh-round gems that year but TE Antonio Gates, QB Tony Romo, and S Quintin Mikell all were undrafted. 2004 to Saints for DT Martin ChaseThe Redskins got 13 starts out of Chase. Again, there werent any diamonds in the rough taken in the seventh round that year but among the undrafted players were WR Wes Welker, RB Willie Parker, and OT Jason Peters. 2009 to Vikings for DE Erasmus JamesWashington again gave up a draft pick for a player who was about to be released. James played in five games for the Redskins. You can reach Rich by email at and follow him on Twitter @RealRedskins. Join Rich Tandler for an in-game chat live from the press box at FedEx Field during the Redskins-Bucs game on Sunday. Things will get underway on shortly before kickoff at 12:45 Eastern and continue all game long.