In a pre-draft blockbuster trade, the St. Louis Rams have agreed in principle to send the second overall pick in this year's draft to the Washington Redskins for three first-round draft picks and a second-round pick, according to a source in Cleveland familiar with the terms of the deal.
trade, first reported by FoxSports.com, cannot be signed off on, turned
in and processed until the new league year starts Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET,
but it is expected to become official then.
In the deal, the Rams will receive the Redskins' No. 6 overall pick,
as well as the Redskins' first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. The Rams
will also receive Washington's second-round pick this year in return for
the second overall pick that the Redskins now will use on whichever
quarterback the Indianapolis Colts do not draft No. 1 overall.
deal was agreed upon early Thursday afternoon, but the NFL Management
Council prohibited any announcement, a league source told ESPN senior
NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The Rams now have the sixth, 33rd and 39th
overall picks in next month's draft.
The widespread expectation is that Indianapolis will make Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck the No. 1 pick and then Washington would follow by selecting Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Cleveland Browns
had stepped up their efforts to try to acquire the No. 2 pick in recent
days, going so far as to offer at least three No. 1 picks to the Rams
and possibly even the second-round pick, according to one source
familiar with the deal. Cleveland sensed it was going to get the deal
done, only to be informed that St. Louis planned to deal the coveted No.
2 pick to the Redskins.
The trade will not change the Redskins'
plans in pursuing Peyton Manning. They still intend to talk with and try
to sign him, even if they are considered a long shot.
move demonstrates how badly the Redskins are in need of a franchise
quarterback after two decades of struggles. Coach Mike Shanahan has
already whiffed on three in his two seasons in Washington, with Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck combining to produce an 11-21 record.
The offense needs upgrades at receiver and along the offensive line, and Peyton would have had to face his brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants twice a year in the NFC East.
The Rams were in the market to trade because they already have their franchise quarterback, 2010 No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford.
sacrificing four premium draft picks, Shanahan is reversing the plan he
set in motion last year to stockpile picks to rebuild Washington's
depleted roster. The Redskins, however, have plenty of space under the
salary cap and can be aggressive in plugging their holes when free
agency begins Tuesday.
Grossman and Beck combined to throw 24
interceptions last year, putting the Redskins just one behind league
leaders Philadelphia and Buffalo on the way to a fourth consecutive
last-place finish in the division. McNabb, acquired in a trade from the
Eagles, was the starter for the first 13 games in 2010, when Washington