Redskins make deal with Rams for No. 2 pick in NFL draft

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WASHINGTON — Red­s­kins receiver Anthony Arm­­strong, who hopes to be catch­ing passes soon from Ro­bert Griffin III, tweeted that “Stock in Superman socks just sky rocketed.”

More pertinent was the reaction from someone who figures to be blocking for the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor.

“The search is over, I guess,” guard Kory Lichten­steiger said.

If it is, it took long enough. And it certainly cost a lot. But if Griffin can solidify the Redskins quarterback position for the next decade and lift the franchise out of its long funk, it undoubtedly will have been worth the price.

The Redskins and St. Louis Rams have a deal in place for Washington to move into the No. 2 overall spot in April’s NFL Draft. The Redskins will give up three first-round selections – this year’s No. 6 overall, plus first-round­ers in 2013 and 2014 –
plus a second-round pick this year in the swap, which must be approved by the NFL and can’t be completed under league rules until the free agency period begins Tuesday.

Details of the trade emerged Friday night, and Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff confirmed it Saturday.

It allows the Redskins to leapfrog all other teams that had an interest in Griffin, especially the quarterback-needy Cleveland Browns. The Indianapolis Colts are expected to take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 choice.

It’s a bold move by a team that repeatedly has been frustrated in its search for a franchise quarterback. The Redskins have started 21 quarterbacks over the past 19 seasons, with only three playoff appearances to show for it.

They have finished last in the NFC East for four years running, leading to a slow erosion of a fan base long known as one of the most passionate in the NFL.

MANNING: The Peyton Manning stakeout moved to Arizona on Saturday, even though there was no sign of the superstar in the desert.

Manning spent nearly six hours at the Denver Broncos’ facility Friday, and speculation was high that the Cardinals would be his next stop.

Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, taking part in a fundraiser held by Kurt Warner, said he knew nothing of any contact the team might have made with Manning.

“I haven’t heard anything,” he said. “I’d like to feel like if he was going to be here I would probably hear something from somebody.”

The team has invested millions in quarterback Kevin Kolb and is scheduled to pay him $7 million if he is on the roster Thursday. The Cardinals, though, had more success with second-year quarterback John Skelton starting than with Kolb, who missed much of the season with turf toe and a concussion.

Fitzgerald, the Cardinals’ career leading receiver, said he understood why Arizona would be interested in Man­ning.

“He’s a four-time MVP. He’s a Super Bowl champion,” he said. “He’s arguably the best quarterback to ever play football. He’s a free agent. If he’s healthy, I know he’s somebody that can help any team that he goes to. I understand the interest. It makes sense.”

VIKINGS: Minnesota shed more than $13 million in payroll and three established starters in preparation for free agency.

The Vikings released left guard Steve Hutchinson, right guard Anthony Herrera and cornerback Cedric Griffin on Saturday, cutting three players who have been in their starting lineup for the better part of the past five seasons or more.

Hutchinson, a five-time first-team All-Pro pick, spent six years with the team after signing the richest contract for a guard in league history. He was due to draw a $6.95 million salary this season, and the Vikings are aiming to get younger as they rebuild from a combined 9-23 record over the past two years.


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