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ReEvaluatingThe Math Of The RGIII Trade One Year Later
Last year I wrote a piece on IIWII that took a look at the value of the RGIII trade via the somewhat controversial Trade Value Chart. My conclusion? Well, mathematically speaking it had the Redskins give up an additional 1st round pick (the 2014 draft pick) above the value of moving from #6 to #2 overall. The cost however made sense since there was significant competition from the Cleveland Browns and interest from other teams like the Miami Dolphins.
A year has passed and RGIIIis considered a superstar and had an impressive rookie season despite ending on a sour note with a knee injury. The Redskins won the NFCE for the first time since 1999. Meanwhile, the Rams took advantage of the 2nd round pick from the Redskins and acquired CB, Janoris Jenkins. Also worth noting the math of this trade has changed and it is to the favor of the Redskins.
As I have written before it is hard to give value to future draft picks. The reason is simple: you have no clue where a team will finish each season. While you do the math using where the team is picking in the year of the trade (ie. the Redskins were picking at #6 in 2012 so you give the 2013 and 2014 picks a similar value at #6) obviously when you bring in a player to help your team you would hope the team would finish better. In the Redskins case, they went from #6 to #22. So, with this new information we have another piece of the puzzle to determine the true value of the trade (at least at a mathematical level).
Before we can evaluate the math, let’s take a quick refresher on the equation that we will use to determine value, the actual deal of the RGIII trade and the value of future picks in a trade.
The Equation
Draft Pick(s) received (total TVC points) – Draft Pick(s) Given (total TVC Points) = x (0, + or – TVC pts)
Ideally, in a trade you want the total points to be equal to zero or end up with a positive number. It doesn’t always work that way but that’s the goal if you are going by the chart (Remember, many teams do not go strictly by this chart. It’s primarily a reference to help determine values of picks).
The RG3 Trade
Redskins get: #2 2012 draft (2,600 points)
Rams get: #6 2012 draft (1,600 points)
#39 2012 draft (510 points)
#22 2013 1st round pick (~ 520 360 points estimated)
Redskins 2014 1st round pick (~240 points estimated)*
Now that we know that the Redskins would have been picking at #22 had they kept the pick, we can give an official point value for the 2013 pick in the deal. Now I know what you are probably thinking: “Why is the 2013 and 2014 1st round picks worth less than the 2012 2nd round pick? That makes no sense!”
That’s a great question. I’ll answer that in my final point on future draft picks in a trade.
The Value of Future Draft Picks in a Trade
According to many draftniks and experts who use the TVC to grade trades, future picks when used get devalued one round for every year the team receiving said picks have to wait to be able to use that draft pick. In this trade the Redskins are giving up 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014. The trade went down in 2012, so the Rams had to wait 1 year to be able to use the 2013 first round pick and they have to wait two years to use the 2014 pick. Therefore, the 2013 pick is given a second round value and the 2014 pick is give a third round value.
Now if I’m the Rams would I rather have two 1st round picks over two years or an additional 2nd and 3rd immediately? The answer is easy, give me the two 1st round picks. That said, the Rams have to wait two years before they get all of their picks from the Redskins. There are some coaching tenures that don’t last that long in the NFL, so much like the old saying that NFL means “Not For Long” there is more value in a 1st round pick now than a 1st round pick later and the TVC tries to adjust for those differences.
So how does the trade look after the 2013 adjustment?
When we do the Math
2600pts (Redskins receiving) – 2710 (Redskins giving) = 110 points
So what does this mean? Well, based on this calculation the Redskins still gave up a little more than usual to get to #2 overall and thus RGIII, but this is going strictly by the math of the TVC. Obviously you have to factor in who the Redskins were trying to obtain and who else wanted him as factors and that makes a big difference. Also, this equation assumes that the Redskins would be picking at #6 next year. If the Redskins make the playoffs again in 2013 and hypothetically say they would be drafting around #20 in 2014, the team practically breaks even. Thus they get exactly what they wanted in a trade mathwise.
Of course does this mean anything when it comes to the state of each franchise? No. The Redskins made the trade with the Rams and wound up going 106 last year; won the NFCE and hosted a playoff game. The Rams went 78 and are waiting to really start getting their value of the trade with an additional 1st round pick in this year’s draft and one in 2014. It will be hard to determine who came out on top of this trade until years later, but if the Redskins can keep winning, go deeper into the playoffs and possibly win a Super Bowl then they seem likely to be the team who came out on top.