A (Partial) Guide To Trading Up For Robert Griffin III

I don't know if the Seahawks should invest a good chunk of draft capital acquiring Robert Griffin III. I don't know if Pete Carroll and John Schneider would want to go so far out of their way to draft him, or if there's another QB that is (or could be available) that they would rather get. A lot can change between now and late April, and nothing is set in stone (other than Andrew Luck getting picked #1).

Assuming there isn't a devastating injury or outrageous scandal in the next three-and-a-half months, Griffin is the 2nd-best QB in the 2012 Draft, and will almost certainly be one of the first 10 players picked. Right now the Seahawks will either wind up with the 11th or 12th overall pick, and the chances that Griffin falls to us is probably less than 1%. So if the Seahawks want Griffin (and I am not certain they are, as I said), then they'll need to trade up for, arguably, the best QB the Seahawks could possibly hope to acquire this offseason.

And the path to the Heisman-winning QB out of Baylor University goes through The-City-That-Probably-Has-A-Nickname-But-I-Don't-Feel-Like-Looking-It-Up, Cleveland.

The Indianapolis Colts are going to draft (and keep) Andrew Luck. I know I should preface that with "barring any unforeseen developments" or whatnot, but at this point the only thing keeping Luck out of Indy is the sun exploding. On a related matter, it is 100% factual that Manning is owed a $28 million-dollar roster bonus on March 8th, and let's just say that you don't want to give up that kind of pocket change -- as well as the rest of the guaranteed contract the man just signed less than a year ago -- to, at best, a 36-year0old backup QB who is flirting with the idea of retirement (that is, if actor/Colts fan/not an NFL reporter in any way Rob Lowe has anything to say about it). That probably means that one of the best QBs in NFL history will be a free agent, and he'll either sign with another team or retire. Instead of speculating what other teams could or couldn't be interested in Manning, we'll move on to the next team in the draft order.

The St. Louis Rams are not going to trade Sam Bradford. Jeez, he makes a TON of money and just looked AWFUL last season; short of sleeping with Jeff Fisher's daughter (if he has one), Bradford gets another year. The Rams could use a stud receiver to put next to Brandon Lloyd (assuming he stays) next year, but they could also use 7 or 8 new defensive players as well.They could trade back....but more likely it'll be for a team that wants USC left tackle Matt Kalil.

Because Kalil and the Minnesota Vikings are a match made in heaven. The Vikes just drafted Christian Ponder and gave Adrian Peterson gobs and gobs of money, so there is incentive to keep those two healthy and upright (also, replace Peterson with Toby Gehart if Peterson's knee injuries are worse than I think). If Kalil isn't there, Minny will probably trade back.

Now we come to the Cleveland Browns, and their Rudy-esque QB Colt McCoy. On the one hand, the Browns looked COMPLETELY INEPT on offense last season (barely beating Charlie freakin' Whitehurst AT HOME = completely inept); on the other hand Browns ended the season with the 22nd-ranked offense according to Football Outsiders, and that may have had more to do with the chronic injuries to Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty (I spelled his name right before I googled his name to confirm the spelling! Awesome!!!).

Will they give McCoy another shot? Will they draft Griffin? Will they just give Matt Flynn $50 million dollars instead? I'm not sure....but if they stay put at QB this year that might be a sign they'll want Matt Barkley in the 2013 Draft. And since you can't REALLY plan on picking first in a draft 15 or so months from now, getting a 2013 1st rounder

That extra 1st round pick might just the key for the Seahawks to get Griffin (as well as any other team that wants to trade up to that spot). I strongly believe the Browns made the Julio Jones trade last year as a way to get enough ammunition to trade up for Andrew Luck; with Luck essentially off the board, waiting another year for Barkley (might) make sense than trying to teach Griffin a Holmgren-ian WCO (also, they might not hate Colt McCoy as much as I do).

If the Browns don't draft Griffin and don't feel like trading down -- which is possible, I guess -- then the 5th pick belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They may be the team we end up trading with, because the next 3 teams drafting (the Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins) all could strongly consider drafting a QB this year. The Redskins, BY FAR, are the biggest competitors to the Seahawks in getting Griffin. The QB situation in DC is abysmal, and short of signing the not-at-all-retiring Peyton Manning, Griffin would be the splashiest move splash-lover Dan Snyder could make. Blaine Gabbart couldn't be on more shakier ground in Jacksonville, and likes him he could probably be acquired for a song (and the Jags could then just draft his replacement, theoretically). The Dolphins also wouldn't let Griffin get past them, although Miami and new head coach Joe Philben are considered Matt Flynn's #1 destination.....although if I'm the Dolphins management, I question giving Flynn $50 million when you already have a not-dissimilar QB in Matt Moore, who looked more than just marginal in the 2nd half of last season.

After those teams you have the Panthers and Bills, who have just made big commitments to the QBs they already have, and maybe the Chiefs, if the coin flips against us (and I can't think of the last time KC made a big splash in the draft). As far as teams behind us that might want to trade up for Griffin, the Jets seem to be the most likely, if they decide to dump Mark Sanchez completely.....and maybe the Cowboys if they do the same with Tony Romo. I still refuse to believe the Cardinals would invest more in the QB position after giving up a 2nd round pick, and pretty good cornerback and $60 million to their BACKUP QB (and John Skelton looked pretty good this year, at times). No other team looks logically interested in Griffin.

We still have the Super Bowl, East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl (and any other college all-pro games I've forgotten about), the start of free agency/trades, the Indy Combine and individual school pro days to get through. We have PLENTY of time to debate the merits of acquiring Griffin as well as any other QBs the Seahawks could potentially be considering, and we can get to the draft thinking we have this whole thing figured out...and the Bucs take Griffen instead. Or something like that. I don't know what's going to happen at the 2012 NFL Draft, but I'm 99.9999999999999% sure Andrew Luck will be chosen #1 overall, and the Robert Griffin III will be the second QB chosen. Everything else is a just rampant speculation.

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