- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The Redskins’ decisions haven’t been all bad. They reached the playoffs last season and upgraded their roster at several positions since Joe Gibbs returned to the franchise. Here are five moves that worked:


What happened: The Redskins traded their third-round pick in the 2005 draft and two 2006 picks (rounds 1 and 4) to the Broncos to move into the 25th spot and draft the quarterback from Auburn.

The result: Campbell assumed the starting position last month and has posted a 2-3 record. The move appears good so far because Campbell has performed well and shows great potential for further improvement. The trade also demonstrated that Gibbs had zero confidence in then-starter Patrick Ramsey and realized Mark Brunell was near the end of his career — and that Gibbs occasionally thinks about what the Redskins will look like in 2010.


What happened: The Redskins swapped fifth-round selections with the Saints in the 2004 draft and traded a second-round pick in the 2005 draft to move into the No. 81 spot and select the tight end from Utah State.

The result: Cooley has developed into one of the most consistent players on the roster and a potential Pro Bowl player. The Redskins could have drafted tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. in the first round in 2004 but opted instead to choose safety Sean Taylor in the first round and Cooley in the third. The move paid off big time. Cooley has played every game and caught 153 passes for 1,696 yards and 18 touchdowns. Winslow played only two games in his first two seasons and has 81 catches for 805 yards and three touchdowns in his career.


What happened: The Redskins traded disgruntled receiver Laveranues Coles to the Jets for Moss in March 2005.

The result: A good trade for both teams but especially for the Redskins, who acquired a game-breaking receiver in exchange for a player who wanted out of Washington. Coles has more catches (160 to 130) since the trade, but Moss has more yards (2,141 to 1,910) and touchdowns (14 to 11). The Redskins could have dealt Coles for a draft pick but knew they needed an established receiver in return.


What happened: Days after trading cornerback Champ Bailey in March 2004, the Redskins signed Springs for six years and about $31 million.

The result: The Redskins erred in trading a future Hall of Fame corner in Bailey, but they recovered from that blunder by signing Springs, who has been a solid player for three seasons. Springs played at a Pro Bowl level (five interceptions, six sacks) two years ago and has proven he can shut down opposing receivers. The Redskins could have kept the since-traded Fred Smoot and a high draft pick at cornerback but made a good decision on Springs.


What happened: The Redskins released then 33-year-old linebacker Jesse Armstead in March 2004 and signed Washington, 26, from the Colts for six years and $25 million.

The result: Washington has turned into the key player on the defense. He hasn’t missed a start in three seasons, made the Pro Bowl two seasons ago after recording 107 tackles and 4.5 sacks and followed that up with 93 tackles and 7.5 sacks last season. He ranks second on the Redskins with 86 tackles this season. The Redskins overpaid a little for Washington, but at least it was for a young player who will play out the entire contract.

— Ryan O’Halloran

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