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The Shutdown Five: Moves to trade up and draft a quarterback

Shutdown Corner

In honor of the Redskins trading a Snyder's ransom to move up in the draft and take Robert Griffin III, we look back through NFL History at five of the biggest trade-up moves for quarterbacks.

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5. Mike Phipps, Cleveland Browns.
If you don't have a clear recollection of the Mike Phipps trade, that's probably because it's better remembered as the Paul Warfield trade. In 1970, the Browns traded the best wide receiver in the league to move up to the No. 3 spot to take Mike Phipps. Good move? Well, you tell me ‒ ever heard a Browns fan long for the days of ol' Mikey Phipps? It wasn't all bad, though. In 1973, the Phipper did lead the league in yardage lost via sacks. It stands as one of the proudest accomplishments in Cleveland Browns history.

4. Eli Manning, New York Giants.
The Giants gave up a lot for Eli in the 2004 draft ‒ a first-round pick, a third, a fifth and Philip Rivers. It wasn't that long ago that most people believed the Chargers got the long end of the stick, but now's a pretty good time to be arguing for Eli, yes? He's coming off his second Super Bowl win, while Philip Rivers was most recently in the headlines for his love of Santorum. Advantage, Giants.

3. Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons.
You could argue victory for either side in this one. The Chargers had the top pick in the draft and Michael Vick was set to be a revolutionary at the quarterback position. Atlanta was a bit more enamored with Vick than the Chargers were, so they gave up a first-rounder, a second and a third, plus Tim Dwight, to get him. He certainly energized the Falcons franchise, made them a better team and put some fannies in the seats. But the Chargers also got LaDainian Tomlinson at number five, and though he wasn't involved in this trade, they waited and got Drew Brees at the top of the second round. Still, no one involved got any rings out of the deal, so it's close to a wash.

2. Jeff George, Indianapolis Colts.
Proving that the Colts don't always do the right thing with the top overall pick in the draft, the Colts traded up to get Jeff George, the original laser rocket arm, in 1990. They gave up a first-round pick plus Andre Rison and Chris Hinton to the Falcons, and all they got out of George was four years of inconsistent play and the temporary admiration of Jason Whitlock. It worked out great for the Falcons; that is, until they traded to acquire George four years later.

1. Ryan Leaf, San Diego Chargers.
This is the nightmare scenario for the Redskins. The Chargers traded two first-round picks, a second and Eric Metcalf to move up one spot and get Ryan Leaf in 1998. It's not as high a price as the Redskins paid, but then again, Robert Griffin III, doesn't come with the same character concerns. That's hindsight, of course ‒ everyone makes fun of it now, but in 1998, it didn't seem like a bad idea. I can't imagine that things will work out this poorly for the Redskins. Griffin would have to personally take a baseball bat to the knees of Santana Moss and Brian Orakpo, and then burn down FedEx Field to put himself on Leaf's level.

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