While the NFL Combine rages in Indianapolis and Andrew Luck simply waits for his agent to negotiate the deal with the Colts, RGIII has been making it known that he is the right guy for any number of teams that need a QB. He has said all the right things, backed up his 40 yard dash prediction, and stares the media in the face and comes out looking smarter each time he takes the mic. He has interviewed with apparently three teams, the Dolphins being one of them, and will likely blow away scouts and GM’s at his pro-day down the road. The only question remaining is who will be the team to land the highly touted prospect?
I have said since this whole process began following the week 17 game against the Jets that RGIII will not be a Pro-Bowl NFL QB. Will not lead a team to the Super Bowl. Will not likely take a team to the playoffs each and every year. While I still firmly believe that conviction, I can’t help but come away impressed with the man I see presenting himself to the league. He is impressive.
The issue here is what to do with that pick that St. Louis has. They can trade it, they will trade it, the question is when. For the Dolphins, it’s a matter of taking the reigns and dictating the terms of the deal and not the other way around. If Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin want this kid, they need to make a move with St. Louis prior to the start of free agency. The price will only go up after that.
If the Dolphins, or any team wanting RGIII for that matter enter free agency looking for a QB and don’t find one…IE Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn, then the Rams will hold the only other option for them and that will drive up the price. The closer it comes to the draft, the higher the price will go up and the more likely a team will pay. That being said, it would be easy to point out that the Rams really hold all the cards here. By making teams wait closer to the draft. That has it’s flaws as well.
In the real world, only three teams are truly in the mix for RGIII. Washington, Miami, and Cleveland. If two of them land the high profile free agent QB’s the price goes down for St. Louis. The Rams need competition for the pick. Ideally for them, Peyton Manning won’t get cleared to sign prior to the draft or a team like the Chiefs or Seahawks snag him instead of one of the other three. That would leave two teams vying for that pick.
The possibilities at this point are really endless in terms of who might go where and who might be standing on the outside looking in for the RGIII services. Can the Dolphins afford to get in a bidding war with Cleveland or Washington for Flynn or Manning, lose out and then have to try and move up from 8 to 2 to get RGIII? The Rams could view that as a team desperate for a QB which would drive up the price. However, it should be noted that if Cleveland and Washington are out of the picture, the only other team that would be in play would be Seattle and they pick in the 12 spot. Hardly conducive to making a big move of 10 draft slots.
In this scenario the Dolphins can simply not negotiate with the Rams. Instead opting for a lesser trade partner in Minnesota at three or perhaps even allowing RGIII to drop to Washington at 6. St. Louis won’t draft RGIII if they can’t move the pick. They will take Justin Blackmon or Matt Kalil. The Vikings won’t take RGIII, Cleveland would have already signed a free agent QB, leaving Tampa Bay and Jacksonville as the only other teams in front of Miami. Assuming of course that Washington landed the other prized FA QB.
Miami could simply sit and reap the reward. Which is exactly why they should be trying to get that pick now instead of later. Why? Because the above scenario is not a likely one. Possible yes, likely? No. Again, this is all predicated on whether or not Ireland and Philbin want RGIII more than their FA options. If they do, then dealing with the Rams now is the best for both parties. The Dolphins will hit free agency knowing that RGIII is theirs for the taking and St. Louis can draft prep for the 8 spot. Cleveland and Washington of course could and should be doing the same. In fact, the three teams can battle it out now allowing St. Louis to get the most for the pick. Once free agency kicks off and Flynn and Manning come off the board (provided one or both lands with two of the interested teams in RGIII) the price will start to slide.
This of course is not to say it will happen only that it’s something all parties should be discussing in depth. The best options for the Rams and new HC Jeff Fisher is a deal with multiple interested parties. Take two of them out of the equation and you lose your leverage. Right now, they have all the leverage. They should be using it.