Robert Griffin III dislocated his ankle on Sunday, putting the rest of his 2014 season in doubt.
It’s his second major injury in three NFL seasons.
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell took a big picture view of the injury on Monday, writing, “Griffin will still have a career, but if this is a season-ending injury, he veers away from the [Andrew] Luck career path and more toward that of somebody like Randall Cunningham or Trent Green as the above-average talent who has a few impressive post-hype seasons in between injuries.”
The difference between Andrew Luck and Trent Green is the difference between the RGIII trade being a success and a disaster.
The 2012 Redskins-Rams trade that gave Washington the right to draft Griffin is one of the riskiest, most interesting moves in recent NFL history. The Redskins gave up so many assets that Griffin couldn’t merely be an average No. 2 pick for the trade to pay off. He had to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for years — a staple of the franchise who stayed healthy and put up huge numbers — for the trade to make sense.
The Redskins were betting on RGIII becoming one of the league’s great players. It was always a huge gamble with long odds.
Washington gave up a No. 2 pick (2014), No. 6 pick (2012), No. 22 pick (2013), and No. 39 pick (2012) for the No. 2 pick in 2012 that gave them Griffin. Based on Chase Stuart’s draft value chart — which assigns each draft slot an expected value based on historical data — the Redskins gave up an expected value of 176 and acquired an expected value of 78.
To make up that gap, Griffin has to be twice as good as the average No. 2 pick over the course of his career. Even if he returns from injury, the chances of him being healthy and good for long enough to return Washington’s investment are slim.
He can’t be Trent Green for this trade to pay off. He has to be someone like Tom Brady. Two years ago it looked like RGIII was good enough to be one of the best quarterbacks in the sport. Now, with the Redskins stuck in the cellar and RGIII facing another lengthy injury layoff, that’s hard to imagine.
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