Ping, pong. Ping, pong. After spending the last three seasons as a Philadelphia Eagle, James Thrash is set to once again become a Washington Redskin. Expected to be announced later today, the Eagles will apparently receive Washington's 5th round pick in 2005.
Thrash never really found a niche in the Eagles offense, and the recent acquisition of Terrell Owens virtually assured Thrash of his departure. In fact, Thrash was originally offered for T.O in the now infamous 'San Fran-Philly-T.O-Trade-Debacle'. The proverbial writing was on the wall for the receiver who had 49 catches but just one touchdown in 2003. In three seasons with the Eagles, Thrash had 164 receptions for 2,026 yards and 15 touchdowns. He had a career-high 63 catches for 833 yards and eight touchdowns in 2001.
Thrash is a special teams standout and an excellent slot receiver, but where does he fit into the Redskins' plans?
Just look at the glut of bodies at WR right now... Thrash, Laveranues Coles, Rod Gardner, Taylor Jacobs, Cliff Russell, and Darnerian McCants, who is expected to re-sign very soon. The Redskins have already expressed their desire to retain McCants, and he has already stated that he's looking forward to playing for Coach Gibbs. Taylor Jacobs may not have been considered much of a factor previously, but impressed coaches at this weekend's mini-camp. It may not move him into the top 3, but it would certainly indicate that he's capable of filling the #4 slot. So is Thrash a 'depth luxury' that teams can ill afford in this cap age?
Not likely. Perhaps what it does mean is that Rod Gardner may be on his way out. Gardner has been somewhat disappointing since joining the Redskins, but would still bring a fairly high draft pick in a trade with the right team -- likely a second rounder. The staff at theHogs.net have been known to be of the opinion that the #2 receiver position can not only easily be filled by McCants, but perhaps even filled more effectively. Gibbs has even gone as far as to say that he sees elements of the great Art Monk in Darnerian... high praise indeed. And not likely the praise you'd throw at a guy you wanted to be your #3 receiver. A trio of Coles, McCants and Thrash could be very well suited to Gibbs offense -- they certainly fit a very similar mold to the one that Gary Clark, Monk and Ricky Sanders did. Add Jacobs for backup, and it's not hard to think of the WR corps without Gardner.
The Redskins already added a draft pick from the Bears for signed-then-traded Bryan Johnson giving them 2 picks on day two at the draft. They'd like to add another and have two on day one as well. Gardner would likely do just that, he's a little bit better bait than Johnson.