Just when things were finally starting to look up for the Saint Louis Rams, the football gods came in to rain on our sunshine party as they have for so many years in the past. The popular though around the Saint Louis Rams fan base has been that we the Rams would either trade down with Cleveland, Washington, or Miami for the highly coveted Robert Griffin III. The rams were in primed position to hold one of these teams’ hostage by gaining multiple picks from one of them while still remaining in the top ten picks of the upcoming draft. It’s a simple concept. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately for the Rams, impossible outcomes have become probable in every situation.
Who would have thought that in this same offseason where the rams would have the number two pick in the draft, a franchise quarterback, and a list of teams that are hungry for one of their own, an unbelievable amount of better options has become better for these various teams? A former NFL scout has said that he believes that Matt Flynn will be the top option for the Cleveland Browns. This is heartbreaking news for Rams fans who have expected the Browns to have been the top bidder for the 2nd overall pick. Many have assumed (maybe incorrectly) that the Browns would part ways with BOTH first round picks in order to move up, but Flynn would cost them virtually nothing but cap space as he is a free agent, and a very good fit for the West Coast Offense that Pat Shurmer runs. Rather than losing picks to obtain Griffin, the Browns could sign Flynn and draft Richardson and Jeffery with their first round picks, greatly improving their offense.
The next team in line for an RG3 ransom is the Washington Redskins. The problem with trading back this far is that while the Rams are sure to gain a lot of picks, they will likely trade themselves out of Kalil or Blackmon. Is that a chance that the rams are willing to take? It may not be up to them now, because it was reported today that Peyton Manning will be likely to be released soon. This is a dream for Mike Shannahan. This is a head coach who is hanging on to his job by the skin (see what i did there?) of his teeth, and he wants to build a winner right now. Drafting and Grooming Griffin might not be the best way to do so, but bringing in a proven winner in Peyton Manning has become a real possibility. With that defense, the Redskins could draft a receiver for Manning in round one and compete in that division from week one.
The final obvious bidder for RG3 may not even be considered a bidder at all if these scenarios were to take place. The Miami dolphins, who are the only other desperate team needing a quarterback, would have no one to bid with if the Redskins and Browns are both out of the hunt. They know that the Rams believe in Bradford, and they know that the only teams ahead of them would no longer be in the race. They could easily sit on the pick and draft him at 8th.
OF course, these scenarios are all speculation as of today. But if these three teams are hungry enough to give everything for Griffin, then you would have to assume that they will each kick the tires on Flynn and Manning, with the loser of both getting a consolation prize in RG3.What started as a dream scenario for the rams has begun to look like a worst case scenario, or even worse, not a scenario at all. It may just be a reality. A reality that the Rams may be stuck at the 2nd spot thanks to the unusual abundance of franchise quarterbacks soon to hit the free agency.