Yes, they paid a king’s ransom. However, the Washington Redskins are hoping that Robert Griffin III turns into just that for them — the next king of a division that also boasts Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Michael Vick. To win in the NFC East, the Redskins simply could not roll with another season of Rex Grossman under center (or someone comparable), so they did what they had to do.
That’s a common theme for teams these last few offseasons — doing what they have to do. The Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals are hoping to do the same for Peyton Manning. And those teams that lose out will be forced to take a Plan B route that will likely lead to more mediocrity in 2012.
As for the one team that loses in all of this, the Cleveland Browns do not seem to be aiming anywhere in particular. They’re not in the Manning sweepstakes and they didn’t pull the trigger to move up for Griffin. Perhaps they thought they had time. Perhaps they balked at the price. Both are understandable, yet now they sit with Colt McCoy once again and an AFC North division that will likely leave them picking in the top five in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Matt Williamson faults the Browns as well for Scouts, Inc. He writes, “Yes, Washington gave up a ton to land this potential phenom, but that is the cost of doing business. One thing I take away from this transaction is shame on Cleveland for letting this happen. The Browns were in the driver’s seat to move up just two spots in the draft, but instead of going strong, they will most likely aim for mediocrity and sign a Matt Flynn or use their second-round pick on a prospect like Brandon Weeden or Kirk Cousins. Again, that is aiming for mediocrity. Griffin was exactly what that franchise and city needed, but the Browns couldn’t get it done.”
The Chiefs definitely need to heed this warning as well, although their division allows them to be a bit more comfortable than the Browns should be. After all, they almost won the AFC West in a season where they fired their head coach. But to compete at any higher level, the Chiefs are going to have to find that urgency at some point and make a play for a playmaker. Otherwise they will continue to linger as a league-average team for some time.