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Thursday, December 22, 2011
What the Barkley news means to Redskins

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Even if the Washington Redskins liked Robert Griffin III better anyway, or even if they were already planning to try and trade all the way up to No. 1 and take Andrew Luck, the news that USC quarterback Matt Barkley has decided to stay in school another year will make it tougher for the Redskins to find their franchise quarterback this offseason.

It's simple economics. The number of teams that still need a quarterback is the same as it was an hour ago, while the number of available quarterbacks has been reduced by one. When demand remains constant and supply is reduced, prices go up. The price for that No. 1 pick -- even if it's available -- will be higher than it would have been if Barkley were in the draft. The level at which a team will need to be drafting in order to ensure it can get Griffin -- who's now clearly the second-best quarterback prospect in the draft if he wasn't already -- goes up.

As it currently stands, the Redskins would hold the No. 7 pick in the draft. It's widely assumed that the Colts would take Luck with the No. 1 pick, but if they believe Peyton Manning can come back healthy -- and if they get overwhelmed by an offer -- they could trade out of the spot. Several of the teams picking 2-thr0ugh-6 also already have commitments to quarterbacks they've drafted in the first round in the past two years, and any or all of those teams could be looking to trade out of their spots, with teams likely offering big packages in an effort to jump over the Redskins and snatch Griffin.

It's possible the Redskins won't be able to get the quarterback they need if they stay put at 7, and that's likely a big part of the reason Mike Shanahan was so reluctant to part with 2012 draft picks last offseason to get a quarterback like Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb. He wanted to be able to maneuver in what appeared to be a quarterback-rich first round of the 2012 draft. With Thursday's news that Barkley -- one of the potential franchise quarterbacks who looked as though he'd be available -- won't be in that draft, that maneuvering is likely to be a little bit trickier.