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How Much is a Franchise Quarterback Worth to the Redskins?

RGIII! Manning!!

Among the Redskins faithful, there has been much gnashing of teeth since Robert Griffin III, performed at the NFL combine last week. The voices have been loud in the “Should they/ shouldn’t they” argument. The argument against is largley this: He will cost too much in the form of surrendered draft picks, and thus will cripple them going forward. That leaves me with two questions. What is a franchise quarterback worth? And is now the time to go all in on the guy, regardless of who he may be?

In regard to the first question. If there is somebody among the littany of QB choices this year, that the Shanahan/Allen regime believes is absolutely the guy, then they should pay whatever the price may be. It’s become a cliche’, but this is a quarteback league. Teams simply must have a top tier QB to succeed at the highest level. And by that, I mean play in a Super Bowl. The NFL has tweaked and twisted the rules to make quarterbacks ever more important.

People love to immediatley blurt out “TENT DILFER” when it is pointed out that a great QB is essential. But look at the facts. Since Dilfer won 11 years ago in 2001, there have been 22 starting QB slots in Super Bowls. Of those 22 slots only five were not filled by guys who, at some point in their career were in the Hall of Fame conversation. Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhome, and wait for it…. Sexy Rexy. The other 17 have been top level guys. Before you scream, “McNabb is not top level!”, back it up Skippy. Yes, the last few years have been tough for McNabb. But prior to his decline, he was NFC Player of the year, NFC offensive player of the year, a 6 time Pro-Bowler, and went to 4 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.

More recently, you have to go back to ’07 with Rex to see anyone in the big game, who is not a stone cold asassin at the QB position. Simply put, no team is going to be great without a great quarterback. So keep all the draft picks you want. Without a sniper behind center, it’s all for naught.

Lately I keep hearing “why all the ugency now?”. Two reasons, really. First, they hit rock bottom in 2011 with Rex and Beck. Second, they have not, in the last 15 years, been in a better situation to make the move. They have tons of cap room if a free agent is the answer. But more importantly, draft-wise they are in the best position I can remember.

In order to draft in the top two or three positions, you generally have to have 3 or fewer wins. It is hard to be that bad. But at number six, with 8 picks this year they are as close as they may get for a while. RGII may cost as much three first rounders, but that really means two. They’re going to swap number ones this year and lose two of the next two. The leaders have shown me enough, to have faith that they can find talent in the later rounds. Plus, consider this. The addition of Leonard Hankerson and Jarvis Jenkins next year, is kind of like getting two high picks this year. The concensus in Ashburn is that these two will be good, and gave the team nearly nothing last year.

Mediocrity at QB would be a huge leap forward for the Redskins. But ulitimately that is an anchor on the team. Moving to 8-8 only keep them from getting the stud they really need. I don’t evaluate players for a living, so I’m not sure who that stud is. But there is a legion of people in Ashburn who do. So, at ther end end of the day, if they find the guy, do whatever it takes to make him your guy.

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