When the Redskins traded with the Rams in order to get their hands on the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, they announced to the league and their fans that they're tired of looking for stopgap options at quarterback.
That's basically what this blockbuster trade boils down to. And, of course, this current regime believes they'll hit a home run by selecting Griffin, because if they don't, the Shanahans and Bruce Allen won't be around to deal with the aftermath.
The price for acquiring the second overall pick is enormous: it includes swapping first-round picks this season (No. 6 for No. 2), a 2012 second-rounder, and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. Not only is that a ton, but it may be unprecedented. According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King: "It's believed that no team has ever traded three first-round picks for a draft choice in NFL history." Until now, that is. (Another offseason champions benchmark, fellas.)
Acquisitions and signings like Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck didn't work out and were rather embarrassing for both the team and for fans. So the Redskins decided to go in a different direction and pay that steep price in order to bring aboard the 22-year-old Griffin, who the team hopes to build a dynamic offense around. (Worth mentioning: There's a minute chance that the Colts could select Griffin instead of Andrew Luck. Regardless, the Redskins will be thrilled to have either one.)
This move feels a bit foreign because it involves the Redskins trading draft picks away for a young player instead of aging, past-their-prime veterans. Then again, the Redskins have again traded away valuable draft picks, which is something they can't stop themselves from doing for more than a season or two at a time. Right or wrong -- OK, mostly wrong -- the Redskins don't mind shipping away draft picks.
Luckily, no one knows if this is a smart or terrible choice. The overwhelming consensus seems to be: awesome trade if Griffin pans out; horrible trade if he stinks. I'm not quite sure it's that simple, but if it is, a 50/50 chance doesn't seem so bad after some of the indefensible, free-wheeling moves this team has made in the past. And at least this time they're gambling on a promising, young quarterback, who some scouts even seem to prefer over Luck.
I could probably write thousands of words on Griffin and the new direction of this franchise, but I'd rather just watch this NFL.com video of Griffin being interviewed by Steve Mariucci (which is hard not to be impressed by) and hope he's the star the Redskins have needed for decades.