Skins trading up for RG3?

Quarterback Robert Griffin III could be heading to the Redskins. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFP)

Quarterback Robert Griffin III could be heading to the Redskins. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFP)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:31 PM ET

March madness? U.S. college basketball has nothing on what has been going on in the NFL since the end of February.

The New Orleans Bountygate scandal normally would be the biggest NFL story of an entire off-season, but it ranks no higher than third in the past week alone.

After Peyton Displaced. And, now, after Megadeal.

Late Friday night, news leaked that the Washington Redskins have agreed to send their 2013 and 2014 first-round picks, plus their 2012 second-rounder, to the St. Louis Rams — just to swap first-round picks in next month's draft.

Washington up to No. 2, St. Louis down to No. 6.

Both clubs confirmed their intentions on Saturday; the trade cannot be transacted until Tuesday, Day 1 of the new year. It's one of the biggest blockbuster trades in NFL history.

It appears the Redskins waited about six-and-a-half seconds after learning Peyton Manning was uninterested in them before vigorously pursuing Quarterback Rescue Option No. 2 — RG3.

That is, dazzling Heisman Trophy-winner Robert Griffin III from Baylor, who is rated as the second best player in the draft behind Colts-QB-to-be Andrew Luck.

The Redskins outbid the Cleveland Browns in the RG3 tradeup sweepstakes. At least two other teams kicked the tires with the Rams, according to reports.

The fallout from Megadeal likely changes the courses of all three franchises — Washington, St. Louis and Cleveland — for years to come:

REDSKINS

More than anything, this buys Mike Shanahan time to turn things around. The locals are restless after his disappointing first two seasons.

No one will expect RG3 to start winning right out of the gate — except perhaps impatient owner Daniel Snyder. But even he must know what's ahead: more pain before gain.

The Skins reportedly have plenty of cap room, so they are expected to go after the best wide receivers available in free-agency. Well, except the Steelers' restricted free agent Mike Wallace. Washington would owe Pittsburgh a first-rounder as compensation. And they, uh, don't have any for a few years now.

Shanahan is all-in with RG3. It better work out.

RAMS

Two weeks ago new head coach Jeff Fisher all but said his St. Louis team was sitting on a goldmine, possessing the No. 2 overall pick but not needing a franchise quarterback.

After Megatrade, the Rams still have a Top 10 pick this year, and are set with two first-rounders in each of the next two years.

Thus, Fisher and new GM Les Snead will wisely, slowly, rebuild their terrible team. Quarterback Sam Bradford and running back Steven Jackson appear to be solid cornerstones.

They need a franchise wideout, and there's one in this year's draft — tall, athletic Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State. With his vacuum hands and outstanding speed, Blackmon sizzled at his Pro Day on Friday.

Problem for the Rams is he might not be available for them now at No. 6.

If St. Louis had done its deal instead with Cleveland, at No. 4, they'd have been able to safely get Blackmon as the Minnesota Vikings appear to be a lock to take USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil at No. 3.

Now they have to hope Blackmon's there. But, hey, they're in no rush.

BROWNS

Some sports teams are just snakebitten. Hello, Cubs.

It's hard not to lump in the Cleveland Browns, versions 1.0 and 2.0 both, ever since Jim Brown suddenly retired in the mid-1960s.

Clearly, the Browns are already prepared to move on from their most recent QB project, Colt McCoy. Two years is too early to give up on some top prospects. For others, like McCoy, not so much.

As Mike Mayock said last month, if you intend to win in the NFL without a marquee quarterback, you better have both a damn good defence and a damn good running game featuring one of the league's top running backs.

The Browns lack all of those things. If they can't sign top free-agent QB Matt Flynn (the two-game wonder who has backed up Aaron Rodgers the past few years), then they'd better put all their draft chips on either the third best quarterback, Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M, or the running back Mayock says is the best to come out of the NCAA since Adrian Peterson — Alabama's Trent Richardson.

Somehow, though, you fear the Browns are gonna screw it up.

(Shakes head.)

john.kryk@sunmedia.ca

@JohnKryk

blogs.canoe.ca/KrykSlants

 


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