Desperation is often the tinder that sparks the most blazing trades in sports history. A few times in your life, there is a jump-off-Niagara-Falls deal so brave and so risky that, the instant you hear it, you know it will be debated for decades, maybe even generations. Add Robert Griffin III to the list.
The Washington Redskins just paid the highest price in history for a chance to grab an unproven college player. In the NFL, future draft picks are far more precious than money, and the Redskins gave up their first-round choices in 2012, ’13 and ’14 and this year’s second-rounder, too. The St. Louis Rams have them now and, with drafting competence, may turn them into four remarkable standouts, or, if they choose, as many as 10 useful players.
Maybe the Redskins and their fans will, eventually, feel about this electric, exciting news the way Broncos fans still rejoice at the memory of getting John Elway from the Baltimore Colts for Mark Herrmann, Chris Hilton and a draft pick that became somebody named Ron Solt.
Or they may grin the way Cowboys fans still get a tingle recalling Jimmy Johnson’s inspired 18-player deal in 1989 that sent Herschel Walker to the Vikings for five players and six draft picks. Those 11 pieces were eventually transformed into Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, Russell Maryland and others that formed the dog-to-dynasty leap in Dallas in the ’90s.