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Reminiscing About The RG3 Trade

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Three years have passed since the "RG3 Trade" involving the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams. The two teams meet on Sunday, but the Rams are unlikely to see Robert Griffin III on the field. Who won one of the most famous trades in NFL history?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

December 7, 2014. The Washington Redskins played the Rams, a 24-0 victory for St. Louis. The same day Rams coach Jeff Fisher poked some fun at the Redskins, by using 6 players (acquired as a result of the RG3 trade) as captains for the pre-game coin toss.

The Rams again face the Redskins this Sunday. Jeff Fisher promised that the coin toss showpiece was a one-time affair. Looks like he'll be living up to his word. With Kirk Cousins now the Redskins' starter (and RG3 riding the bench) it makes little sense to further rub salt in an open wound. Last years spectacle was a not-so-subtle statement about getting the better of the Robert Griffin III trade. No statement is necessary this year. The winner of the trade is abundantly clear.

The Trade

The trade and subsequent transactions:

Players Acquired By The Rams & Grading The Trade

The players acquired as a result of the RG3 trade:

Year Round Player Position School
2012 First Michael Brockers DT LSU
2012 Second Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
2012 Second Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati
2012 Fifth Rokevious Watkins OL South Carolina
2013 First Alec Ogletree OLB Georgia
2013 Third Stedman Bailey WR West Virginia
2013 Fifth Zac Stacy RB Vanderbilt
2014 First Greg Robinson OT Auburn

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">On the Redskins, Brockers, Ogletree, Jenkins, Bailey, and Robinson would ALL be starters. RGIII isn&#39;t a starter. I call that a &quot;homerun.&quot;</p>&mdash; Nathan Kearns (@nkearns12) <a href="https://twitter.com/nkearns12/status/644506648652869633">September 17, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

So who won the trade, the Rams or the Redskins? After leading Washington to the playoffs in his rookie season, RG3 looked like the real deal. The Redskins appeared to be the early winner. Unfortunately for Griffin, the last two seasons have been marred by injuries and turmoil with the team. Griffin now finds himself mired behind Kirk Cousins on the depth chart. Cousins will get the start against the Rams this Sunday. RG3 could resurrect his career and repeat his 2012 performance. It isn't likely to happen with the Redskins.

The Rams parlayed the draft picks acquired in the initial trade into 8 selections spread out over three drafts (2012-2014). 4 of the selections are starters on the Rams' current 53-man roster: Greg Robinson, Alec Ogletree, Janoris Jenkins and Michael Brockers. All four have the potential to earn All-Pro/Pro Bowl honors. Stedman Bailey is a solid contributor with untapped upside. He runs the best routes and has the softest hands of any wide receiver on the team. Isaiah Pead has been a disappointment and may become a roster casualty when Trey Watts returns from his 4-game suspension. Zac Stacy was traded for a 7th round draft choice in 2015. Watkins is no longer with the team.

Grade for Washington: C

Grade for St. Louis: A

The 2012 NFL Draft

There's one aspect of the trade that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It involved the 2012 NFL Draft, the first for Jeff Fisher and Les Snead with the Rams. One of the Rams’ major goals in this draft was to add the maximum amount of talent possible through the acquisition of additional picks. The Rams had targeted LB Bobby Wagner with their third pick in the second round of this draft. Brian Quick and Janoris Jenkins were the Rams’ earlier picks in the second round (at #33 and #39 respectively).

Wagner was still on the board when it came time for the Rams’ selection at #45. Instead of taking him, the Rams traded down to #50, acquiring a fifth round pick in the process. The Rams gambled on Wagner’s availability at #50. He wasn’t available at #50. The Seattle Seahawks selected him with the #47 pick. To compound the error, the Rams then selected RB Isaiah Pead at #50 (passing on LB Lavonte David) and OG Rokevious Watkins in the fifth round. Both Watkins and Pead are certified busts. Wagner is among the best LB’s in the NFL. Like in the war movie "A Bridge Too Far", the Rams went one trade-down too far in the 2012 NFL Draft.