The cost to land Robert Griffin III already was high. Then he measured taller than expected. Then he aced his media session, leaving the press praising and marketers drooling. And then he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds Sunday morning.
None of this was really surprising. And yet it's still clear that after this weekend at the scouting combine, it will cost even more to get him. The combine is more about confirming opinions than changing them, and Griffin confirmed what everyone thought.
But the price to get him might pale in comparison to the cost of not getting him, especially if you're the Redskins.
How much is it worth to solve the most frustrating position in Washington for most of, oh, the past 20-plus years?
Keep in mind that the Redskins are more than $40 million under the salary cap and own eight picks. After drafting 12 players last year, they don't have to have another mega-class. The Redskins also have done a good job of adding picks, so they could trade for Griffin, then somehow add a couple more through other deals. And they can afford to be smart and aggressive in free agency, picking up a couple starters that way -- as they did in 2011.
There's no way to know whether Griffin is the answer (yes, if you trade that many picks, you better think he is). There's also no way to know whether Peyton Manning would work here in a system that would need a philosophical overhaul to suit him (of course, all he'll cost is cash). Nor is there any way to know whether cornerback Morris Claiborne or any other option at No. 6 will develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Whatever the Redskins do, there's a gamble involved.
The interesting part will be to see when a deal is struck. It makes sense for St. Louis to try and make a trade before free agency. Once guys like Manning and Matt Flynn get signed, two teams will exit the market for Griffin.
Regardless, if you think Griffin is a potential franchise quarterback, then you make the deal and sleep well.
- John Keim