Someone got played
I can already see how this TJ Duckett thing is working out, and it's 'not good.' To refresh: in August, the Redskins traded a 3rd round pick in next year's draft to the Broncos, who in turn sent 5th yr egoist Ashley Lelie (Don't take it personally, Ash. You're on my fantasy team!) to the Falcons, who in turn sent 5th yr pinerider TJ Duckett to Washington. This came at a time when Clinton's arm was freshly pulled out of socket and there was great hand-wringing in Washington about whether the offense would still be great without him, or merely awesome.
When I wrote about this in August, I thought this was just a case of Denver and Atlanta trying to out-stupid each other, culminating with someone in Redskin Control Center validating stupid with stupid by acquiring a player at a position where they did not really need help. This would fit with Snyder's obsessive-compulsive inability to keep from making moves and news.
Then, I read Master4Caster's The Duckett Conspiracy piece at Running Redskins. He put forth the Die Eagles Die theory that the Redskins may have acquired Duckett to ensure that the Eagles could not get their clammy palms on him. Note that the same week the Redskins traded for Duckett, the Eagles brought former Redskin Stephen Davis in for a workout. Davis is not as big as Duckett, but certainly is a heavier load than Westbrook or Buckhalter. In fitting with the Eagles, er, thrifty ways, they opted to look at the cheaper and oft-injured guy off the street, thereby missing a chance at Duckett themselves.
Did Redskin Control Center do the math and realize the Eagles were targeting Duckett next? In any event, the Eagles did not sign Davis, but they did trade with the Saints for Donte Stallworth, which has been good for my fantasy team, even if it does force me to root for a hated Eagle. Not an RB, but a position player, which leads me to believe that Reid did not think he had the horses to run the offense.
I see a new twist coming into this story already. Right before the Texans game, which I argued became a missed opportunity for Redskin Control Center to try some new things with a tough schedule looming, Jason La Canfora wrote this in his Redskins Insider blog:
TJ Duckett is scratched for this game. Skins gave the equivalent of a third-round pick to get this guy in three-way trade with Denver and Atlanta. So through three weeks with Washington, he will have appeared in a single contest, with 5 rushes for 24 yards. Considering the import of these three games, doesn't seem like much value.Duckett came here to play. Actually, he would have been happy to stay in Atlanta and play. He's in a contract year, as is Betts, so they both need to get as many carries as they can, else they'll both wind up with league-min deals next season. If Duckett has any role with this team that can be predictable and that will be 'his,' it will be the Gerald Riggs heavy-jumbo back in short yardage and goal-line, since neither Betts nor Cartwright is a true buller and Mike Sellers never carries the ball. Heavy-jumbo back is something of a disappeared role with the Redskins, though, since Clinton can run through a keyhole and get used on every down in every situation, so I think that since we haven't seen it yet, we won't be.
With some cajoling from the media (and shit-disturbing bloggers), look for the Duckett story to become the 'locker room distraction' that is missing (for now) with Clinton back and no quarterback controversy.
TJ Duckett: Wire Image via redskins.com