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Redskins Agree To Trade With St. Louis For No. 2 Pick, Robert Griffin III

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

The Washington Redskins have agreed in principle to trade three first-round draft picks, including the No. 6 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, to St. Louis for the No. 2 pick, thereby allowing them to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Because the league year officially ended on March 6, and the next will not begin until this coming Tuesday, the trade cannot be made official until then. FoxSports.com first reported the news late Friday night.

A Redskins spokesman was unable to speak about the trade when reached for comment, but a team source with knowledge of the plans confirmed it will take place.

Washington, which finished 5-11 this past season, needs a quarterback after both Rex Grossman and John Beck struggled at the position. Griffin, a 6-foot-2, 223-pounder, won the Heisman Trophy this past season and is considered one of the most electric playmakers available at the position.

St. Louis, which has quarterback Sam Bradford under contract – himself the No. 1 pick two years ago – was looking to move down from the spot as it tries to rebuild with a new head coach, Jeff Fisher, as well as a new owner and general manager. Cleveland, which holds the No. 4 and No. 22 picks, were, with the Redskins, considered the only serious contenders.

The Redskins will also give up their second-round pick in this coming draft, meaning they will need to turn to free agency, which begins Tuesday, to address offensive needs at wide receiver and on the line.

Indianapolis, which released 14-year quarterback Peyton Manning on Wednesday, holds the top pick and is expected to select Stanford’s Andrew Luck. The Redskins were interested in acquiring Manning, but according to a report by ESPN, when the veteran quarterback did not show the same level of interest in playing for Washington, the team moved quickly on its offer to the Rams for the draft picks.

“I hope somebody falls in love with me, other than my fiancée, because that’s what you want as a player,” Griffin said two weeks ago at the NFL Scouting Combine. “You want a team that really loves you – a head coach, GM, owner, everybody. They want you in that place and the players really believe in you, so that’s what I’m looking forward to – I’m looking forward to making somebody fall in love with me.”

Griffin, who was timed at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, is just as revered for his arm strength as he is for his speed and athleticism. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said Thursday that if not for Luck, Griffin would surely be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

“You have a quarterback-driven league, a team in Washington that beat the [New York] Giants twice, beat Green Bay two years ago and they had nothing to show for it because they don’t have the quarterback,” Kiper said. “When you’re in a division with Eli [Manning, the Giants’ quarterback] and [Philadelphia quarterback Michael] Vick and [Dallas quarterback Tony] Romo, I don’t care what else you have – you’re going to be in the cellar unless you have that quarterback.”

Kiper later said Griffin is a quarterback “that has star power,” and the concept of trading multiple first-round picks for him is not mistaken if a team believes he can be a franchise player for several years.

“If you believe that you’re looking at a quarterback who could be outstanding – maybe not Andrew Luck, but maybe really, really good, you think about when [Pittsburgh quarterback Ben] Roethlisberger, [San Diego quarterback Phillip] Rivers and [Eli] Manning came out, you thought, ‘Well, is he going to be as good at this guy?’ All three of them are really good. You’ve got a couple potential Hall of Famers there in that group. Sometimes all of them can be really good.”

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