- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Redskins have already made their mistake, offering their first-round pick to the Chicago Bears for Lance Briggs and the 31st overall pic, which would lead to them signing Briggs to a deal that could guarantee him $20 million.

Now we’re waiting to see if the Bears will make a mistake … and turn down the trade.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo told the Chicago Tribune he will get back to the Redskins in a timely manner. What the Bears have to be weighing at this point is whether they want to have the sixth pick and pay a big contract to that rookie.

The league’s annual meeting wrapped up Wednesday in Phoenix and most of the Redskins’ brass was traveling back to the East Coast today. Joe Gibbs isn’t expected back at Redskin Park until Monday.

Three things on Briggs that didn’t make our story in Wednesday’s paper.

1. The Redskins will essentially be paying mega-bucks to a two-down linebacker because I doubt Gregg Williams will overhaul his scheme for Briggs.

I watched a tape of the Redskins-Giants game (Week 17) when word broke the team was interested in Briggs. The Redskins used three linebackers on 39 of the Giants 61 offensive snaps, two linebackers on seven plays and one linebacker 15 times. Rocky McIntosh, in the spot Briggs plays, was on the field for only three of the 22 plays where the Redskins didn’t use three linebackers.

London Fletcher in the middle will be an every-down backer and Marcus Washington, because of his threat as a pass rusher, will also be on the field on third down. The way to keep Briggs on the field is to use a look on passing downs that uses Washington as a stand-up defensive end/pass rusher. Not an ideal scenario.

2. Acquiring Briggs will add a solid tackler, but it won’t solve two big problems: Creating turnovers and pressuring the quarterback. In 64 career games, he has 3.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and six interceptions.

3. How little confidence do the Redskins have in McIntosh? Can they possibly be giving up on him after one season and two starts? My take is that they weren’t thrilled with McIntosh’s development last year (I mean, he couldn’t beat out Warrick Holdman) but the coaching staff still thinks he can play. The Briggs pursuit has been led by The Danny.

4. Doesn’t the owner remember what happened with Adam Archuleta? He thrived in Lovie Smith’s scheme in St. Louis, but didn’t fit Williams’ scheme in D.C. That should scare Snyder away from anybody with ties to the ‘Tampa Two’ philosophy, especially linebackers and defensive backs.

As my loyal e-mailers have been saying in dispatches to the Redskins Mailbag the last two days, this trade will not be well-received among Burgundy & Gold Nation.

(The Redskins should have also asked for the Bears’ second-round pick, No. 38 overall, which the Redskins had until trading to the Jets last year.)

However, a trade that nets Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson would be applauded by the masses.

A deal for Briggs would eliminate that possibility. If I were The Danny, I would forget about Briggs and try to make something happen with Johnson since the Redskins seem determined to do “something” big.

The package it will take to move up is the No. 6 pick, possibly a second-round pick next year and a player. Since no team in their right mind would want Brandon Lloyd, the likely player is Antwaan Randle El.

Adding Johnson finally gives the Redskins a big receiver (6-5) who is equally effective as a possession receiver and a long-ball threat.

Look at the potential lineup for Jason Campbell to throw to: Receivers Santana Moss and Johnson (I don’t count Lloyd until he catches his first touchdown for the Redskins — he had none in 15 games last year), tight end Chris Cooley plus running backs Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. Moss’ numbers would suffer the most.

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