Mike Holmgren told me everything I need to know about the Washington Redskins trade-up for the Rams' slot in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Why else would the president of the Cleveland Browns have to explain to season ticket holders that he lost the bid to trade up for the rights to Robert Griffin III?
"I'm not going to tell you exactly what we offered, but I will say what we had offered for the pick was every bit the offer that was chosen," Holmgren told Browns season-ticket holders during a conference call according to a story on cleveland.com.
Two of pro football's leading practitioners of the West Coast Offense thought it was worth it to swap first round picks with the Rams and throw two future first round picks and a second round pick to consummate the deal. When it's Mike Shanahan and Holmgren making that call, it's no longer a question that RG3 is worth whatever it took to make the deal.
I can image in a similar conversation with Shanahan explaining to Redskins season ticket holders how he lost Peyton Manning and Griffin, as Holmgren had to do for unhappy Browns fans. There are tickets to be sold. That's easier today for Washington than for Cleveland.
Here's a great imponderable; would Jeff Fisher have traded down if Sam Bradford were not on the Rams roster and the chance for Griffin stared him in the face?
Don't think so, no matter what would have been offered.
Why are the Redskins slammed for the contract (five years, $42 million, $20.5 guaranteed) with Pierre Garcon?
The Philadelphia Eagles committed a five-year, $48.5 million deal for DeSean Jackson. Vincent Jackson joined Tampa Bay for a five year, $56 million contract with $26 million guaranteed. The Chargers backfilled Jackson with Robert Meachem, signed to a four-year, $25 million deal, $14 million guaranteed. The Colts reportedly offered $7 million per year to retain Garcon.
The going rate for the cream of this year's crop of free agent receivers is in the $8 to $9 million per year range (I'm not counting that megadeal for Megatron.) All of these deals are in the neighborhood of the price to franchise a wide receiver. Garcon's guaranteed portion looks a little high, but not as rich as the offer to V.Jax who is five years older.
Former Colts' executive Bill Polian says Garcon is a great fit for Washington. Fantasy football site Rotoworld.com, panned the deal...after writing this:
"The fit is solid in D.C. in that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan knows Garcon's strengths and weaknesses from their time competing in the AFC South. Garcon figures to be Robert Griffin's top receiver with the Redskins. His run-after-catch skills suit Shanahans' West Coast offense...."
Rotoworld doesn't buy that Garcon will emerge as the No. 1 wide-out that draws double teams.
Like the trade for RG3, the cost for Garcon was the price you had to pay to get what you want. Unlike Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins did not set the bar in this market.
Hog Heaven already called the Garcon-Morgan addition a modest boost to the 'Skins receiving corps. They are not yet at the level of the Giants, Eagles and perhaps Cowboys. If Washington overpaid for Garcon, it is only modestly.
One must tear the deal apart to see how it is structured. A tidal wave of broadcast revenue will roll over the NFL beginning 2014. Those contracts are very affordable if team back-loaded the payouts to those years.
If you believe deals signed for nice players are high now, just wait until those new TV contracts kick in.