(Editor's note: This post was written by Goosecreek, who asked me to publish the post for him because he was having some technical difficulties. -BW)
The St. Louis Rams have decided to trade their #2 pick to a team looking to move up to win the Robert Griffin III sweepstakes. It is being widely reported that the three teams most likely to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade to get RGIII are the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins. That being said, there is always the chance of another team trading away a fistful of future draft picks for a chance at drafting the "franchise" QB every team desires. This is a look at some of the potential opportunities that Les Snead (Ram’s GM) will be confronted with. I’m sure Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will also be in on any discussions as to what is best for the Rams future.
More after the jump...
When you wonder what the cost to trade up for the Rams pick will be, you can to look to past deals like the one made in 2004 between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants. The Chargers traded the #1 pick (Eli Manning) for the Giants #4 pick (Philip Rivers) plus a 1st round pick, a 3rd round pick and a 5th round pick. The added 1st rounder became Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman, the 3rd round pick became Pro Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding, and the 5th round pick was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for starting left tackle Roman Oben.
Clearly, the value of the Ram’s pick is increased by the fact that at least three teams are vying to move into this slot. This being the case, the Rams should move quickly before free agency QB acquisitions muddy the waters on this trade. Another consideration is that current draft picks have added value as a result of the rookie salary cap implemented by the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA drastically reduced the financial burden of selecting early in the NFL draft.
After looking at all of this information I believe the following is the minimum market price tag for each of the three teams mentioned earlier as probable trade partners.
Cleveland Browns - 2012 - 1st round picks # 4 & #21 2013 - 2nd round pick
Washington Redskins - 2012 - 1st round pick #6 & 2nd round pick #39 2013 - 1st round pick & 2nd round pick
Miami Dolphins - 2012 - 1st round pick #8 2013 - 1st round pick 2014 - 1st round pick
Now that the price has been determined, which offer best fits the needs of the St. Louis Rams? You owe it to your franchise to get the best possible deal for not only the immediate, but also the long-term future of your team. That being said, the worth of future draft picks are nearly impossible to project because the value fluctuates with the success or failure of the respective teams. All three offers seem to be of a comparable value but when you accept the fact that the only known commodities are the 2012 Draft pick positions and which players made themselves available this year, I believe the Rams have one offer that has significantly more value.
Make the deal with the Cleveland Browns.
An Opportunity for Win - Win
A deal with the Cleveland Browns like the one predicted above gives the Rams an opportunity to have their cake and eat it too. The Rams can make the trade with Cleveland and then go back to the Minnesota Vikings and make an additional trade. Offer the Vikings the #4 pick plus their 2012 (#66) and 2013 third round picks for the Vikings #3 pick.
The Rams desperately need a left offensive tackle and getting the #3 pick would ensure they get Matt Kalil, the top rated left tackle to come out in the draft for some time. Thus, by moving back one slot in the draft and losing two 3rd round picks, the Rams get the player they targeted and an additional 1st and 2nd round pick.
The Vikings win in this deal too because they have to be looking at Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, and Morris Claiborne at the #3 pick. Instead they get an above value trade and still get a player they covet while moving down only one slot. The two additional third round picks provide trade fodder should the Vikings decide to trade up later in the draft or are valuable additional picks to use while revamping their roster.