If one of the reasons you don’t want the Redskins to draft Marcus Mariota if he’s there when they are on the clock is that they keep on spending their limited resources on quarterbacks, well, you may be onto something.
The outstanding website Football Perspective took a look and said that only four teams have expended more draft value chart points (by their calculation, using the Approximate Value metric) on quarterbacks. The Lions have spent the most, 78.4 draft value points, followed by the Jaguars, Raiders, Falcons, and Redskins, who have spent 69.4 draft value points on quarterbacks since 2000. In return, Washington has obtained Todd Husak, Sage Rosenfels, Patrick Ramsey, Gibran Hamdan, Jason Campbell, Jordan Palmer, Colt Brennan, Kirk Cousins, and Robert Griffin III.
But this method of calculating substantially understates how much Washington has spent on quarterbacks. It doesn’t count trades and the Redskins have racked up quite a bill in draft pick trades for quarterbacks.
The FP study, for example, accounts only for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft (30.2 value points) the Redskins used for Griffin. But in reality, Griffin cost four picks. Washington spent the 6th and 39th picks in 2012, the 22nd pick in 2013, and the 2nd pick in 2014 for the one pick to take Griffin. Looking at Football Perspective’s chart, that is a total of 79.6 draft value points alone to get Griffin, more than the Lions have spent for their five QB’s.
As they say, wait, there’s more. Jason Campbell was selected with the 25th pick in 2005. To get that pick, the Redskins traded their third-round pick that year (76th) and their first (22nd) and fourth (119th) in 2006. So instead of costing 13.9 draft value points (the value of the 25th pick), he actually cost them 26.1.
To complete the picture here we need to look at one more trade, the one that brought Donovan McNabb to Washington. He came to the Redskins in exchange for the 37th and 104th picks in the 2010 draft. Those picks total 16.6 value points.
So to recalculate what the Redskins have spent, start with the 69.4 points FP originally figured out, subtract out the points originally added in for Griffin and Campbell, add in the real costs of drafting those two quarterbacks and add in the cost of the McNabb trade. It comes to 147.6 points. That’s about equal to four No. 1 overall picks plus a mid-second rounder.
(Update: I forgot in include the 2004 3rd-round pick that was dealt to the Jaguars for Mark Brunell. Add 7.4 points for the 72nd overall pick.)
Without researching and recalculating what quarterback related trades the other 31 teams have made, we can’t be certain that the Redskins have spent more on quarterbacks than any other team. But it seems very safe to say that that they have expended a lot and have received very little in return.