I have an iPod Nano. It's one generation old and it's perfectly functional for what I need an iPod to do. It plays music fine and while the video screen is pretty small I can still watch stuff on it without killing my eyes.
I was in Costco last week and I saw the new iPod Touch. Much bigger screen, WiFi, you can use most of those cool apps made for the iPhone. It clearly is superior to my Nano.
But it carried a price tag of over $200. I probably could sell my Nano on Ebay and recoup some of the cost, but it still would be a net purchase of well over a hundred bucks. I went home, did some research on it, went back to the store picked up the card to take to the register to buy the Touch.
Before I got in line, however, I decided to stick with the Nano. I put the card back and walked away from the shiny new Touch. While the Touch certainly would have been an upgrade, the price of that upgrade didn't justify the added benefits.
I'm sure you know where I'm going here. Jason Campbell is that Nano that the Redskins already had and Jay Cutler was the slick, shiny model that the Redskins coveted. The Skins were willing to pay to upgrade. Apparently, they were willing to overpay, but only so much. When the price became too steep, they walked away.
Of course, it's not as simple as that. There were other factors in the unraveling of what seemed to be a done deal that would have brought Cutler to Washington and would have sent Campbell packing.
A big factor was that the Broncos weren't particularly interested in Campbell. I was told that by someone who knows the team well when all of this popped up a couple of weeks ago. According to John Keim, that may have been the deal breaker.
"They had the compensation," another NFL source said of the Redskins. "In the end they [the Broncos] chose Orton over Campbell."
To be sure, the Redskins could have sweetened the pot enough to make the Broncos swallow hard and accept Campbell. Or they could have gone further to make the three-way deal with Cleveland discussed in Keim's article, one that would have sent Brady Quinn to Denver, one that the other two parties couldn't refuse.
But even teams in a "covetous frenzy" as Michael Wilbon put it, have their limits. I'm not going to join those congratulating Snyder and Cerrato for their restraint because, from what I can gather, what they were willing to give up was still ridiculous. They just didn't cross the line to totally outrageous.
Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't make. We'll have to follow the careers of Cutler, Campbell, and whoever the Redskins take in the first round this year and next to figure out if this trade the wasn't is one of those.
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at firstname.lastname@example.org