Redskins QB ‘search is over’ after trade with Rams

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In Washington, he would work under Mike Shanahan, whose legacy is on the line. Shanahan has won only one playoff game since John Elway retired after capturing the second of back-to-back Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos in 1998, and he hasn’t been to the playoffs in his last five seasons as a coach.

Shanahan has already misfired on three quarterbacks in his two seasons in Washington, with Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck producing an 11-21 record.

The Redskins were among the teams hoping to be in the running for Peyton Manning, but the odds were stacked from the start against the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback coming to Washington. The offense needs upgrades at receiver and along the offensive line _ too much rebuilding for someone about to turn 36 _ and Manning would have had to face brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants twice a year in the NFC East.

The Rams were eager sellers given they already have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, and are needy at most other positions after going 10-38 the last three seasons. Rather than drag out the intrigue, they maximized their haul by capitalizing on competition and signed off on a deal more than six weeks ahead of the draft.

The player most often mentioned as the Rams‘ potential pick at No. 2 was Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, but he could also be available at No. 6.

The Redskins, meanwhile, had to make sure they outbid the Browns, who could have offered both the No. 4 and No. 22 selections in this year’s draft. Cleveland general manager Tom Heckert acknowledged on Thursday he had talked to the Rams.

But the Browns have too many needs to give up as much as the Redskins did. Cleveland will now either stick with Colt McCoy, make a run at Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb, or draft a quarterback such as Brandon Weeden or Ryan Tannehill.

“The question is whether we have enough to see what Colt can do, and I think we do,” Heckert said. “If we catch more balls and protect him better, can Colt be a lot better? Yes. That’s our goal. We still think Colt can play in this league, and it’s our job to help him out.”

The Rams haven’t made the playoffs since 2004 and are rebuilding under new coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead. They were 2-14 last year, tied with Indianapolis for the NFL’s worst record, and before the trade were set to pick either first or second for the fourth time in five years.

St. Louis has holes at wide receiver and backup running back behind Steven Jackson, and there’s uncertainty on the line with tackle Jason Smith’s history of concussions. Special teams were awful, and the defense threatened the franchise record for yards allowed.

By giving the Rams four premium picks, Washington reverses the plan Shanahan set in motion last year to stockpile picks to rebuild a depleted roster. The Redskins, however, have plenty of space under the salary cap and can be aggressive in plugging holes when free agency begins.


AP Sports Writers R.B. Fallstrom in St. Louis and Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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