A historic trade took place during the 2012 NFL Draft between the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams.
The Redskins were after top-quarterback prospect Robert Griffin III, but the Rams, coming off a disastrous 2-14 season coached by Steve Spagnuolo. The Indianapolis Colts, who also finished 2-14, used the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to select quarterback Andrew Luck. To ensure they’d get the player they wanted, Washington made a trade for the ages with the Rams.
It went as follows: in giving Washington the number two pick in the draft (used on Griffin), St. Louis would receive the sixth overall pick in the very same draft, as well as their first rounders in the following two seasons. Also, the Rams received the Redskins’ 2012 second-round pick.
So who “won” the trade from three years ago? Did Washington? Did St. Louis? Or is it too early to tell?
Let’s take a look.
First, from the perspective of the Washington Redskins.
On July 18, 2012, the Redskins officially signed Griffin to a four-year, $21.1 million contract with a $13.8 million signing bonus. He was the first NFL quarterback born in the 1990’s. In his debut start, which was against the New Orleans Saints, 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding 10 carries for 42 rushing yards. He played 15 out of 15 games that year, helping Washington win seven straight games en route to their first playoff appearance in six years.
His final rookie season stats: 258 completed passes out of 393 attempts for 3200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions, as well as 120 rushing attempts for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.
However, he failed to replicate that same rookie season success into the 2013 season. While throwing for more passing yards, he threw nearly twice as many interceptions and four less touchdowns. His ground game was also less successful, and head coach Mike Shanahan benched him the final three games in what he described as preventing “further risk of injury”.
Griffin’s role diminished even further the following season, playing in only nine games while the Redskins finished last in the NFC East division with a 4-12 record. He has not played in the 2015 season, as Kirk Cousins has just led Washington to a division title.
Now, for the Rams.
Following the trade, as well as multiple trades with other teams over the next two years, the following players were drafted: OT Greg Robinson, LB Alec Ogletree, WR Stedman Bailey, RBs Zac Stacy and Isaiah Pead, DT Michael Brockers, CB Janoris Jenkins and G Rokevious Watkins.
Of the eight players mentioned above, only five remain with the team: Robinson, Ogletree, Bailey, Brockers, and Jenkins. Each one of them has had various success (or lack of success) throughout their careers thus far.
Robinson was selected with the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, and has had little success at the left tackle position. One notable example was during their 37-13 loss to the Bears this season, in which Robinson had three holding penalties, one of which nullified a touchdown. His struggles have been well-documented within the organization, though his career is still very young and has the chance for improvement.
Ogletree was drafted 30th in the 2013 draft, and until his season-ending injury early this year, he has a decent amount of success as a starting linebacker. He started all 32 games combined in his first two seasons, with 179 tackles, 1.5 sacks, along with three interceptions (one of which returned for a touchdown).
Bailey was drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft, along with West Virginia University teammate Tavon Austin (who wasn’t a part of the RG3/Rams trade). He played 12 of 16 games this year, notching 17 receptions for 226 yards, but did not score a touchdown. He caught 30 passes for 435 yards and one touchdown in his second season, but has been used as more of a third receiver in the Rams’ passing attack.
A couple of weeks ago, Bailey was shot in the head while in Miami, Florida. He has been making a full recovery, however. It is unknown if he will play in the final two games of the 2015 season.
Neither Stacy nor Pead are on the Rams’ roster anymore, and Stacy famously tweeted out “Yikes” in response to when the Rams drafted running back Todd Gurley 10th overall in the 2015 draft. He was later signed by the New York Jets. As for Pead, he remains as a free agent as of December of 2015.
Now for Brockers, it can be said that he has been the most successful of all the Rams that were an a acquisition resulted from the trade. Drafted 14th overall in the 2012 draft, the 6’5″, 326-pound defensive tackle has, in 46 career games, 11.5 sacks, 83 solo tackles, and two forced fumbles. Currently, he lines up next to defensive end Robert Quinn and fellow defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Jenkins has had mixed success as a starting corner for the Rams, although this has been his best season to date. Drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, Jenkins has five career interceptions (two of which returned for touchdowns), has made one sack and 221 tackles. He has also found himself in a good cornerback duo with fellow starter Trumaine Johnson.
Finally, there is Watkins. Drafted in the fifth round in 2012, Watkins only made one start; the home opener against Detroit. He has only played in four career games, and is currently a member of the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers.
So, can one say either team has “won” this trade?
Griffin has largely been a bust with Washington, and many of the players drafted by the Rams due to this deal have also had little success (although, as mentioned above, some such as Brockers, Jenkins and Ogletree have had success). But the Rams still have had not made a playoff appearance, none of the players above have made the Pro Bowl (on the Rams), and the team still has not had a winning season in over a decade.
People can make their own cases as to who is the “victor”, but one thing is for sure: the Rams still have a lot of work to do if they want to be at the level they should be at after all these years.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)