Posted at 1:54 or so. (FYI to everyone who has suggested that we include a timestamp: we’re trying to get it set up to include automatically, but for now I’ll just try to remember to include something like this.)
So I’m reading through the media reaction to the Taylor trade, and I notice a few trends.
1) Obviously, the Dancing With The Stars references. (And, yes, I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.) It’s as if everyone looked at Jason Taylor, thought, “Hey, what does he do besides football,” and that’s what we all came up with.
2) Trade described as a win/win, which is nice to see. (No, really. I mean it. I think it’s all too rare that people can see both sides of an issue.)
3) Nearly everyone frames this as a continuation of Daniel Snyder’s legendary fondness for stars. This is the one that I’m finding problematic.
Now, there’s obviously two ways to spin this. The first is nicely illustrated by Mike Wise over at the Washington Post, who opens his column thusly:
Here they go again. From the people who brought you Neon Deion, Snyder Productions’ newest, big-name venture:
Dalliance With The $tar$.
Pretty clear where he’s going with that, you’d think. We’ll come back to that in a second.
Here, for contrast, is how Peter King approaches the same sort of thing in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback:
There aren’t many teams that would have a major injury two hours after sunrise and have a better player in-house two hours before sunset. The Redskins historically have done the wrong kneejerk thing. This was the right kneejerk thing.
Pretty much explains itself, and is a fair assessment of how things seemed to go down. Acknowledges some mistakes of the past, while allowing for the possibility that this time around is at least somewhat different.
“But wait,” you might say, “of course Wise is putting a negative spin on it, if he disagrees with the trade.” But that’s the thing. As Wise continues his column, he acknowledges that this was pretty much a must-do for the Redskins.
And before anyone compares acquiring Taylor to throwing money away on Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith or Brandon Lloyd, let’s be clear: After watching Daniels go down and out for the season — and maybe his career — and after watching a backup like Buzbee crumple to the ground in agony, this was a move the Redskins needed to make.
I don’t want to just pick on Wise, here. Just about everyone — ESPN’s John Clayton, FOXSports.com’s Alex Marvez, and plenty of others — all went or hinted at a similar route.
My question is, why? The team’s worst days of crazed spending, the ones that most everyone is alluding to, are almost a decade old. There have been bad decisions, yes — Brandon Lloyd and T.J. Duckett leap to mind — but there have also been shrewd moves and offseasons of reasonable, measured growth.
Essentially, I’m just not sure why so many people are in such a rush to call trading for a six-time pro bowler who’s almost two years younger than the guy he’s replacing a Hollywood star-chasing move.
Could it go wrong? Absolutely. But if everyone agrees it was a move that had to be made, why mock them for making it?