Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breaking Down the RG3 Trade via Trade Chart

(What does the math say about the RG3 trade? Image via)
There is still a great deal of debate in many NFL circles if the Washington Redskins gave up too much to move up to the #2 spot and draft Robert Griffin IIII (possibly Andrew Luck but highly doubtful). While many draftniks, some NFL fans and some experts will tell you that no price is too high for a franchise QB (if you don't have one- most teams don't) but some do believe that the Redskins mortgaged their future for 1 player. Hopefully by doing some math (gah! Math, it's too early for math!!!!) we can determine if the Redskins got a reasonable deal for moving up or were they raked over the coals by the Rams.

What I'm doing today is to explain the Trade Value Chart and by using this unofficial but valuable NFL guide to determine how much was the move from #2 to #6 worth and whether the 'Skins made a reasonable offer to move up to that spot. We'll also look at what the Browns may or may not have offered in order to move up and see how their offer looks compared to the Redskins.In future blog posts, for comparison, we'll look at some of the trades that went down for franchise QBs over the past few years and also compare those trades to the TVC.

Remember, the TVC isn't the end all/be all when it comes to trades. It's an unofficial guide that serves as a baseline for a trade. Some teams have variations of the TVC to compensate for salary (like the old CBA where high draft picks could get as much as $50 million guaranteed before taking a single NFL snap) and some teams have higher values for picks in certain spots (for example the 2nd round is a very valuable round to some teams because you're getting some 1st caliber talent for less than you have to pay in the 1st round). So more or less, when you do a trade you hope to have traded your picks for an item of equal value- thus you want to have about a 0 when you subtract the point value you are receiving by the points giving up using the equation below.

Equation:
Draft Pick(s) received (total TVC points) - Draft Pick(s) Given (total TVC Points) = x (0, + or -  TVC pts)

Here's a link to what a current (standardized) TVC should look like. This is what I'll be using for today's discussion. What you also need to know is how picks are valued (or de-valued) for future years. This is important to understanding what the Redskins did with future picks. When a trade is made, the picks for that year's draft are applied to the TVC. But future picks are valued one round lower per year after that year's draft. So a 2013 1st round pick is given similar value to a 2012 2nd round pick etc.


Here's a great example: Redskins trade QB Jason Campbell, to Oakland for 4th round 2012 pick.
In 2012 this is a great move for the Redskins. We've got an additional 4th rounder. But going by the trade value chart when the trade back in 2010, that 4th rounder is de-valued to the equivalent of a 6th rounder. This is because the Redskins had to wait two years (two drafts) to be able to use that pick. People using the TVC chart take that waiting into consideration and that's why future picks are de-valued-  you have to wait to use them and that you can't use that pick now.

So, now we have that out of the way, let's get to what you want to read about.

The RG3 trade

 Redskins get: #2 2012 draft (2,600 points)

Rams get: #6 2012 draft (1,600 points)
                  #39 2012 draft (510 points)
                  Redskins 2013 1st round pick (~ 520 points estimated)*
                  Redskins 2014 1st round pick (~240 points estimated)*

* It's never easy to determine what future draft picks are worth since we don't know when that team is picking in 2013 or beyond. Since the Redskins are making this trade in 2012 we base those future picks off of where they are drafting this year. So, #6 de-valued one round (for one year of waiting) is equal to a pick at #38 thus, 520 points. #6 de-valued two rounds (2014 pick= 2 years) is worth 240 points.

When we do the math: 2600pts (Redskins receiving) - 2870 (Redskins giving) = -270 points.

For speculation sake, let's look at what the Browns offered**:
#4 2012 draft (1,800 points)
#22 2012 draft (780 points)
Browns 2013 1st round pick (~540 points estimated)
** To be honest, we never really found out what the Browns actually offered. The rumored amount is "three first round picks". The problem is that we don't know if those picks were the 2 1st round picks from 2012 draft or say 1st rounders in 2012 (#4 overall), 2013 and 2014

For the hell of it let's look at that scenario:
#4 2012 draft (1,800 points)
Browns 2013 1st round pick (~540 points estimated)
Browns 2014 1st round pick (~250 points estimated)

When we do the math (scenario 1): 2600pts (Browns receiving) - 3120 (Browns giving) = -520
So based on the TVC the Browns actually offered up much more short term value than what the Redskins offered even though the Redskins offered up more picks and what could be more valuable picks if the Redskins continue to struggle.

When we do the math (scenario 2): 2600pts (Browns receiving) -2590  (Browns giving) = +10
Hmmmmm......I'm starting to wonder if this was what the Browns actually offered up to the Rams. It's the closest of all three offers to zero. Remember, ideally you want to be at zero or have a positive value when you do a trade. A zero value based on the chart is considered a trade of equal value.

Analysis: The Redskins get their guy more or less and for the Redskins they gave up an additional 1st round pick in 2014 to win the RG3 sweepstakes. Remember, the Rams didn't offer a bidding war to contending teams. Rams GM Les Snead wanted each team to throw out their best offer and the winning team was the team that offered the most. The Redskins offered three high picks (along with swapping their 6th for the Rams 2nd) to get their guy (or at least get to the spot to get their guy). The Rams get three potential starters out of the deal so think the equivalent of Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins. That's a lot of potential talent, although the Rams will have to be patient through three drafts before they can collect all of those picks. For the Rams sake, it will hopefully be worth the wait or Jeff Fisher and Les Snead will be looking for new jobs.

The Redskins had to make this trade no matter how it pans out. Manning wasn't coming to DC. The Redskins didn't like what was on the free agent market (Flynn et al.) and Ryan Tannehill is a project. The Redskins had to give up a lot because Cleveland and Miami were serious about moving up as well and Cleveland had the most ammo to win a bidding war. Classic law of supply and demand. The more demand for an item (including draft picks) the higher the cost. The Redskins were willing to pay the higher cost (something Dan Snyder has never had a problem doing) and as a Redskins fan I thank them for doing it.

As for Cleveland, they get to keep their draft picks and hope they can find talent to build around Colt McCoy. McCoy is actually a good fit for Holmgren's style of WCO. It was clear to me that McCoy had no play making WRs to target, no RB to back him up (Peyton Hillis was injured a big chunk of 2011) and no one to block for him with exception to their LT. So instead of crying to Browns' season ticket holders about how he was screwed, Holmgren needs to figure out what players the Browns need to help McCoy and learn how to follow directions.

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