It appears that the cost—reported to be a second-round pick in 2009
and a sixth-rounder in 2010—was quite steep for a player who has said
he will play for one more season.
I don’t usually like to do pull quotes from something I wrote just a
few hours ago, but I’ll make an exception in this case:
this article posted today a 4:16
Trading for Jason Taylor and giving up a conditional fifth-round pick
and having him work his contract to a cap-friendly deal that would
contain a big roster bonus to be paid on opening day of 2009 would be
OK. Giving up a second-rounder and having to work around his $8.1
million salary this year, making him a very expensive one-year rental,
would be dumb.
The deal that went down this evening was the “dumb” deal and then
some. The Redskins gave up an ’09 second and a ’10 sixth for the right
to Taylor’s contract as is.
The only potential mitigating difference here is that Vinny Cerrato is
“100 percent confident he'll play more than one year.” There’s some
reason to believe that this is the case as, according to Jason
LaCanfora, the relationship between Cerrato and Taylor’s agent Gary
Wichard is “uncommonly close” (not that there’s anything wrong with
So, if Taylor plays for two or three years, the deal starts to make a
little more sense—but only a little. A second is a lot to give up for
a short-term player and by any definition two or three years is short
The trade does improve the defense, immediately and considerably.
Taylor was the league’s defensive MVP just two years ago and he
immediately becomes the team’s best defensive linemen, perhaps their
best overall player. For the first time in years the Redskins will
line up bookend defensive ends, both of whom should post double-digit
sacks. Andre Carter posted 10.5 sacks in 2007.
It’s the kind of deal that would be great for a team that is just a
player away from being a legit Super Bowl contender. Are the Redskins,
a playoff team two of the past three years, that sort of team?
If not for a couple of factors like a head coach and a quarterback who
are going to be doing some on-the-job learning, maybe. By Zorn’s own
admission, it’s going to take Jason Campbell a few years to master his
version of the West Coast offense. Jason Taylor won’t be playing here
in a few years and neither will the second-round talent that the
Redskins gave up to obtain him.
Initially, the news that the Redskins had pulled the trigger on this
trade surprised me. It seemed like they were changing their ways and
using draft picks on college players instead of dealing them for short
term quick fixes.
But then I remembered all the way back to April when Cerrato had an
offer of at least one first-round pick and possibly two for Chad Johnson. They were saved from that one by the Bengals insistence that
they were not going to trade away Johnson.
The Dolphins weren’t inclined to save the Redskins from themselves on
Maybe Taylor will play for three seasons, post 35 sacks, and be a key
to a couple of deep playoff runs. Or he may provide a few, very
expensive thrills before riding off into the sunset after the 2009
The Redskins are all in betting the former.
Tandler blogs about the Skins at