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Comparing Friday’s big trade to other Redskins blockbusters

- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Redskins have never given up more for a player than they've given the Rams for the second pick in the draft. The laundry list includes three No. 1s (2012, '13 and '14), one of them the sixth pick this year, plus a No. 2 (2012). That's how badly they want Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Baylor (or, if the Colts opt for Griffin, Andrew Luck, Stanford's to-die-for QB).

Four times in their history, though, the Redskins have traded at least two first-rounders for a player. Here are the details of those deals and how they turned out:

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OT Chris Samuels, 2000: Sent the 12th and 24th picks to San Francisco for the third, and used it to select Samuels, who became a fixture on the left side of the line. In his 10 NFL seasons, all with the Redskins, he was voted to six Pro Bowls.

Who the 49ers got: OLB Julian Peterson, CB Ahmed Plummer and CB Jason Webster. (They traded down with the 12th pick and turned it into a No. 1 and a No. 2.) Peterson was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Niners and Seahawks. Plummer and Webster started at corner for several seasons but were nothing special.

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WR-KR Desmond Howard, 1992: Shipped the sixth and 28th picks to Cincinnati to move up to the fourth spot and take Howard, the diminutive Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan. Howard was largely a bust for the Redskins and lasted only three years in Washington, catching just 66 passes. But he had some nice seasons as a returner later in his career and — how quickly we forget — was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXI (thanks in part to a 99-yard kickoff return for the clinching Green Bay touchdown).

Who the Bengals got: QB David Klingler and FS Darryl Williams. Klingler, who played in the run-and-shoot in college, was a disaster in the pros, going 4-20 as a starter. Williams had a bit more success, lasting a decade and making the Pro Bowl with Seattle in 1997, when he had eight interceptions.

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LB Wilber Marshall, 1988: Gave up their first-rounders in '88 (27th pick) and '89 (12th) as compensation for signing Marshall, a free agent who had spent his first four seasons with Chicago. Wilber wasn't quite the force with the Redskins that he'd been with the freewheeling Bears, but he helped them win Super Bowl XXVI and was a consensus All-Pro the following year (1992).

Who the Bears got: WR Wendell Davis and DE Trace Armstrong. Injuries curtailed Davis' career. In his six seasons, he had a modest 207 receptions (with a high of 61 in 1991). Armstrong proved much more durable, surviving 15 years, racking up 106 sacks and earning Pro Bowl honors with the Dolphins in 2000.

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DT Dave Butz, 1975: Butz, a 6-foot-7, 291-pound behemoth originally drafted by the Cardinals, was another free agent signing that required compensation, specifically two No. 1s (1977 and '78, both the 19th pick) and a No. 2. He anchored the defensive line in Washington for 14 seasons, going to three Super Bowls, winning two rings and making the Pro Bowl in 1983, the year he had 11 1/2 sacks.

Who the Cardinals got: QB Steve Pisarkewicz, S Ken Greene, LB Calvin Favron and WR Mark Bell. (They picked up an additional fifth-rounder, Bell, by trading down in the second round.) Pisarkewicz was supposed to succeed Cards legend Jim Hart, but he wasn't up to the job. That's why the team had to draft Neil Lomax four years later. Greene was Just a Guy. He was out of the NFL by the age of 28. As for Favron and Bell, they barely made a ripple in the league.

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As you can see, those No. 1s and No. 2s the Redskins forked over — 10 of them — produced a mixed bag of players ... and only one multiple Pro Bowler (Peterson). It's something to think about when evaluating this latest blockbuster. High picks are merely tickets in the lottery. There's no telling what kind of talent they'll bring.

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