An Interesting Night of Football Moves

Two moves caught me be surprise last night and they are both indirectly related to Peyton Manning.

The first was the trade between Washington and St. Louis. Washington gave up their first round pick this year (6th overall), their second round pick this year and first rounders in 2013 and 2014.  They have surrendered all of this apparently to draft Robert Griffin III a QB out of Baylor. With Indianapolis almost certainly to pick Andrew Luck, we should see QB’s go 1-2 in the draft for the first time since the 1999 draft when we saw three (Couch, McNabb and Akili Smith)

And that’s the thing, Washington is betting against history here.  Since the NFL-AFL merger, QB’s have been taken with the first two (or more) picks four times.  You have 1971 where Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning (how about that?) and Dan Pastorini went 1-2-3.  You have 1993 when Drew Bledsoe and Rick Mirer went 1-2. You had 1998 when Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf went 1-2 and you have the aforementioned 1999 draft.

Let’s throw out the 1971 draft because Archie Manning and Plunkett both had decent careers considering they had very little protection. (Both are in the top-15 career “leaders” in times sacked.) In every other draft one team made a good choice and the other(s) made a terrible one. Bledsoe turned out to be a very good QB while Mirer was a failure.  Peyton is a superstar while Leaf washed out of the league quickly. The 1999 draft is the only one where the #1 QB turned out to be a mistake as McNabb had a very good career and Couch did not. (Akili Smith made a total of 17 NFL starts.) So, history says either Washington or Indy will be a loser with their pick, but Indy didn’t give up on anything to earn theirs while Washington paid a huge price, apparently because they couldn’t get Peyton Manning to consider them. The pressure will be on RGIII from day 1.

And speaking of Peyton Manning, it appears the Jets were spurned by the Manning camp as well and decided to hand Mark Sanchez a contract extension. Talk about a 180!  If they had signed Manning, they would have had to have cut Sanchez. But, since Manning didn’t want to come to NY (shocker) they give Sanchez a contract extension when he had two years remaining on his existing deal!? I guess this is the way the Jets try and soothe Mark’s feelings, but if you really cared about that would you have pursued Peyton in the first place?

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