In April of 2012, the Rams and Redskins agreed to a blockbuster deal that was prepared to alter the future of each franchise for the better. The Redskins paid an incredible price -- multiple first-round picks were included -- to get Robert Griffin III, who would be then-coach Mike Shanahan's quarterback in Washington for years to come.
The Rams were loading up on picks that would allow then-coach Jeff Fisher to build a roster loaded with first-round talent.
With just about every party involved in the deal now fired, Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post correctly points out that nobody won the trade.
There are various points where that didn't look like the case.
Immediately after the trade, current (for now) Rams GM Les Snead called the deal a "win-win" situation for both teams and predicted in five years we wouldn't be "talking about a winner and a loser" in the deal.
"I'm going to always call this [a] win-win," Snead told The Washington Post in 2012 following the trade. "This is something we'll have to look at in five years. But even in five years, I don't think you're going to be talking about a winner and a loser. I think this will be a win for both sides."
Snead wasn't wrong.
Right after 2012 ended, it also looked different. The Redskins ripped off seven straight wins to close the season and win the NFC East, with Griffin posting incredible numbers and looking like a special NFL talent capable of carrying a team to the postseason regularly. He tore his ACL in the playoff loss to the Seahawks, but optimism was still high.
Even the Rams were flirting with .500 after drafting Michael Brockers, Brian Quick, Janoris Jenkins and Isaiah Pead with their picks accrued through the Washington trade and a subsequent trade with the Cowboys (who gave up a second-round pick to move up and get Morris Claiborne).
Everyone looked like a winner, but the Redskins were rolling.
Then RG3's career derailed. He rushed back for 2013 and wasn't ready. He went 3-10 and his numbers fell off a cliff. Mike Shanahan was fired amid an RG3 benching and plenty of public sniping in the media. It was quite the scene.
And 2014 wasn't any good for either party involved in the deal either. The Rams went 6-10 and the Redskins had more infighting with a different coach and Griffin being benched for Kirk Cousins late in the year. Time is a flat circle.
The Rams went 6-10 but it were about to collect on a top-five pick from the Redskins. Fisher trolled Washington by making the players acquired in the deal his captains before playing the Redskins.
By 2015, it was obvious the Rams won the deal. Griffin was being benched for the entire season to avoid an injury that would guarantee his $15 million fifth-year option.
But the "win" was more about the players acquired than the situation. The Rams were in the process of moving to Los Angeles and traded Bradford for Nick Foles, who they promptly handed a contract extension. Say it out loud -- it's not a good solution.
The Rams would finish ... *drumroll please* ... 7-9! The Redskins actually made the postseason again, winning a very bad NFC East on the strength of Kirk Cousins' breakout season; good thing they spent all that capital to acquire a quarterback.
In 2016, the Redskins were fully clear of the disaster that was the trade and had moved on. Griffin signed with the Browns and was injured in the first game of the year. All that remained was for Fisher and Snead to make good on the talent accrued to make a move in the NFC West. After a 3-1 start, the team careened to a 4-10 record.
Fisher was fired last week and now all that's left is the stable of players the Rams got in the deal. It's not nearly as impressive as you might think.
- Michael Brockers (good defensive tackle)
- Janoris Jenkins (signed by Giants in free agency)
- Isaiah Pead (lost part of leg in car crash)
- Rokevious Watkins (no longer on team)
- Alec Ogletree (good linebacker)
- Stedman Bailey (involved in scary off-field incident)
- Zac Stacy (no longer on team)
- Greg Robinson (benched this year)
Ogletree and Brockers are players you want to have on a good defense, which the Rams have had most of the time. Fisher tried to pin his lack of success on Pead and Bailey being involved in bizarre off-field incidents (Pead's car crash this year and Bailey being shot in the head but surviving) but they were third-round picks.
It was more about the Rams never developing an offense and never finding a franchise quarterback. Of course the only guy who we know can play the position is Cousins, drafted in the fourth round to be Griffin's backup. He's the only winner in this whole thing and it's only by virtue of attrition.