Obviously this is a very interesting move, especially considering a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback is being shipped within the division. Let’s take a look at what the Washington Redskins might be thinking with this huge acquisition.
I have written several times that I wasn’t a fan of what the Redskins are doing this offseason with their acquisitions of over-the-hill running backs. I felt that Washington -- particularly Mike Shanahan -- obviously was looking at the Redskins’ rebuilding project as a long-term situation. They added Band-Aid type running backs to get them through this season as they built the more crucial aspects of the offense. Then, after the line and passing game were in better shape, Washington could add the running back next offseason or even the offseason after that.
But this move does not add up with that line of thinking. Of course Shanahan could be much higher on what Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker bring to the table at this stage of their advanced careers than what I think they are capable of.
Or maybe this was just too good of an acquisition to pass up. Washington’s ownership is very aggressive and has consistently been in a win-now mode year after year. I like Jason Campbell, but I cannot argue that Donovan McNabb isn't an upgrade.
I have mixed feelings on how well McNabb fits Shanahan’s scheme. Shanahan stresses accuracy and great anticipatory passing. I don’t consider either being McNabb's strengths. Plus, those three running backs aren’t big assets in the passing game and they don’t have any resemblance to Brian Westbrook, whom McNabb has had as a safety valve out of the backfield for the majority of his career. But it should be noted that Shanahan doesn’t require as much from his backs in the passing game as Andy Reid. There will be a learning curve.
Campbell now must be considered expendable. And if I were in Oakland's or especially Buffalo’s shoes, I would be extremely tempted to send this year’s second-round pick to the Redskins for him. If that does happen, then the Redskins would switch Campbell for McNabb at a very minor cost. In addition, it is probably safe to pencil in Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung as the fourth overall pick in the draft, which is something I have been in favor of since the start. If all that does work out, who could argue with this trade?