Who Is The RGIII “Mystery Team”?

Posted by Micheal Profetta On March – 7 – 2012
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"Robert Griffin III"

Philly in on RGIII?

Barring a turn of events so shocking that it would probably register on the Richter Scale, Andrew Luck becoming a Colt is just a matter of pen meeting paper. So, as we all know, the real intrigue of the 2012 NFL Draft begins at pick #2, which is currently owned by the St. Louis Rams, but, in actuality, is for sale to the highest bidder.

Robert Griffin III, who would probably be the #1 overall pick in almost any other year, is undoubtedly the second-best value available this April. By now, we’re all familiar with the laundry list of QB-starved teams who will be in line for the Heisman winner’s services (Washington, Cleveland, Miami…Seattle and Kansas City to a lesser extent), but there are whispers of a less obvious, “mystery team” that could emerge as a surprise player. These rumors have opened up a Pandora’s Box of the stuff that we draftnics live for…wild speculation.

Could this mystery team be the Bills? With his intelligence, accuracy and mobility, Griffin is custom-built for Chan Gailey’s spread attack, and Buffalo could squirm out from underneath Ryan Fitzpatrick’s regrettable, $59 million contract simply by refusing to pay him a scheduled $5 million bonus by March 19. GM Buddy Nix has emphatically denied any interest in trading up to #2, but if the Bills really are interested, what would you expect him to say?

How about the Cowboys? Jerry Jones recently intimated that he would rather have Tony Romo than Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin. That statement is either obvious confirmation of what many J.J. critics have insisted all along (that he is completely unqualified to have any say in personnel decisions), or, like 99.9% of what is said by NFL decision-makers at this time of the year, nothing but hot air. For an organization like Dallas, where Staubach and Aikman have set a lofty standard at quarterback, and anything less than a Super Bowl appearance is considered a disappointment, I can’t help but think that the Romo Era is very close to running it’s course…even if a fickle owner who promised to let Wade Phillips coach out the 2010 season (only to fire him weeks later) suggests otherwise.

In Dallas, a bold move for the charasmatic Griffin would definitely keep fannies in the seats of that affront to God that Jones calls a stadium, while potentially foiling the best-laid plans of the hated Redskins, but I believe that if any NFC East team should be willing to sell the farm for RG3, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles.

Most would argue that Andy Reid, given his “hot seat” status, is in no position to put his job in the hands of a raw, rookie QB, or that the Eagles (who have the #15 pick) don’t have the ammo to pull off a trade up to #2. I beg to differ.

One of the reasons that Cleveland’s pick (4th overall) is considered the ideal landing spot for the Rams in a trade down is because CB Morris Claiborne and WR Justin Blackmon, elite prospects who would fill obvious needs in St. Louis, will almost positively be available for the taking. The Eagles can’t offer the Rams a chance at Claiborne or Blackmon with the #15 pick, but what they can offer the Rams are two proven commodities at CB and WR (Asante Samuel and DeSean Jackson), and the ideal “value area” (#15) to address perhaps their greatest need (DT) with a prospect like Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe, Devon Still or, at worst, Jerel Worthy. It’s been reported that the Redskins’ hesitation to part with their 2012 second round pick could potentially be a major sticking point in trade talks with the Rams. Not a problem in Philadelphia, where the Eagles are armed with an extra second-rounder, thanks to the desperation/gullibility of the Arizona Cardinals.

It will take a lot for any team to move up for Griffin, especially considering that they would be getting a potential franchise signal-caller at a bargain rate (new rookie wage scale), but I have to think that a Philadelphia package that includes the #15 pick, Samuel, D-Jax, a 2012 second-rounder, and, let’s say, a 2013 second-rounder, could be very tempting to the Rams. There goes the “ammo” argument.

For those who think that it would be crazy for Reid to go into the 2012 with his job security in the hands of a rookie QB, I have one question: Would it be any crazier than banking on Michael Vick and malcontents like Jackson and Samuel to save his job?

Following his 2010 Pro Bowl season and the signing of a new, $100 million contract, Vick (predictably) looked less the “redemption story” Vick last season, and more like the old Michael Vick. Inconsistent. Impatient. Injury-prone. Now that the warm fuzzies of Vick’s ’10 comeback story have faded, Reid and Co. have to wonder if Vick is the guy that will lead the Eagles to the top.

Vick is approaching 32. For a quarterback whose wheels are his #1 asset, Vick is fast-approaching that proverbial “slippery slope”. Say what you will of Reid’s recent coaching hires and game management…the man undeniably knows a thing or two about quarterbacks, and when it’s time for a change.

Because Griffin is African-American, strong-armed and athletic, he’s been lazily compared to Vick throughout the predraft process. Truth is, he’s everything that Vick isn’t. Griffin is a mature, intelligent, natural-born leader. Vick is a petulant man-child who needs to be handled with kid gloves. Could RG3 step into the starting lineup and lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl? Probably not. But with weapons like LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek at his disposal, and an offensive line that gelled in 2011 under Howard Mudd and features an elite blindside protector in Jason Peters, I see no reason why Griffin (who I would describe as “polished” or “efficient”, not “raw”) couldn’t enjoy ’04 Roethlisberger-type success as a rookie. That type of success, in concert with Andy Reid’s body of work during his tenure in Philadelphia, should easily be enough to buy Reid another season.

The Eagles are soft up the middle on defense, and many Eagles’ fans would be hesitant to part with the #15 pick (the one that you would think is reserved for Luke Kuechly if you look at enough mock drafts), but free agency offers potential solutions such as DT Jason Jones, S Jim Leonhard, MLB Stephen Tulloch and MLB Jameel McClain (a Philly-native who was an excellent fill-in for Ray Lewis last season). Hell, Jonathan Vilma could be had on the cheap once he’s released. If Philly’s fistful of needs are met prior to Draft Day, don’t be shocked if Lurie, Roseman and Reid make a bold move up for RG3.

  • http://www.weberclean.com/ Kyle-Carpet Cleaning Fargo ND

    That would be a lot to give up if you are the bills, probably looking at maybe 3 first rounders, cowboys would be even more.

    • Mprofetta

      Yeah, it’s going to take a bundle for just about any team to move up for RG3…the Rams are well aware that they’re sitting on a gold mine. However, if they really believe that they’ll get three first-rounders for the pick, then they might as well begin talks with Matt Kalil’s agent. Honestly, until Manning and Flynn relocate, nobody has the faintest idea as to which team will ultimately move up to #2…but it’s still fun to speculate. The Eagles are no strangers to bold off-season moves…you never know.

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