Redskins Make Trade for NFL Draft - 20 Years ago Today


Here at we've reported earlier how there will be abundant rumors and reports regarding the Redskins making a trade involving the second overall selection in this upcoming NFL Draft.

Sure enough, the Redskins did make a trade involving their first round draft choice, twenty years ago today, February 26, 2000.

In fact, the trade involved three first-round draft choices, as the Redskins made a transaction with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Redskins coveted so much the 49ers No. 3  overall selection in the first round, Washington sent two first round selections (No. 12 overall and  No. 24 overall) along with their selections in the fourth (No. 119) and fifth rounds (No. 154) as well for that 49ers choice, the third pick in the draft. 

Oh, the excitement for Redskins fans leading up the 2000 NFL Draft.

With the trade, Washington now owned the second and third overall selections in the annual draft.

The 2000 NFL Draft was then conducted April 15.

Cleveland chose Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown, and Washington followed with Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington second overall and with that third overall selection acquired from San Francisco, the Redskins selected Alabama left tackle Chris Samuels.

The Redskins drafted well in trading up for Arrington and Samuels.

Of the other seven players taken in the top 10 in 2000, only Brian Urlacher clearly had a better career than either Arrington or Samuels. 

Arrington was a sculpted 6-5, 257 pound linebacker with explosive athleticism who would be a 3-time Pro Bowler in his six seasons as a Redskins.

Following the 2005 season, Arrington signed a seven-year contract with the NFC East rival New York Giants, only to tear his Achilles tendon in the 2006 season, and retire in September 2007.

When the Redskins drafted Chris Samuels (6-5, 310 pounds), they found their offensive left tackle for the next nine seasons.

Samuels was a six-time Pro Bowler (2001, 2002, 2005-2008).

His career was ended when in a 2009 game against the Carolina Panthers, Samuels experienced a severe neck compression, resulting in a temporary upper body paralysis.

Samuels retired the following March.

Why did the Redskins initiate the 2000 trade involving five draft choices?

Washington made the trade because they had won the NFC East in 1999 finishing 10-6, won a playoff game (Detroit 27-13) before losing in the divisional round at Tampa Bay 14-13.

The Redskins felt gaining two stalwarts in the 2000 NFL Draft might propel them to an NFL championship.

They already owned New Orleans’ second overall selection, due to the 1999 NFL Draft day trade in which New Orleans sent the Redskins a whopping eight draft choices for Washington’s fifth overall selection, to draft Texas running back Ricky Williams.

Not only did the Redskins gain two big-time players in Arrington and Samuels, but they did lose out on four draft choices, two of which were in the first round.

San Francisco later chose to actually trade three of the four choices in other deals, choosing to keep only the 24 overall selection and choose Ohio State defensive back Ahmed Plummer.

Plummer would grab seven interceptions in 2001 and four in 2003 before injuries cut short his seasons in 2004 and 2005, forcing his retirement.

The 49ers did not simply make choices at the 12 and 24 positions.

They instead chose to trade the 12 overall selection to the NY Jets.

The Jets chose Tennessee defensive end Shaun Ellis at No. 12, while the 49ers, receiving the No. 16 and No. 48 choices from the Jets, selected five-time Pro Bowler, Michigan State linebacker Julian Peterson and Texas A&M defensive back Jason Webster who had seven interceptions for the 49ers in his four seasons in San Francisco.

What about those other two Redskins choices (No. 119 and No. 154) that also went to San Francisco?

The 49ers traded both of those choices to Seattle for the Seahawks round three (No. 86 overall) selection, and drafted linebacker Jeff Ulbrich who gave the 49ers 75 starts, playing in 120 games in his ten seasons as a 49er.

Will the Redskins trade down or keep the choice and select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young?

We don’t know, because we don’t know what sort of offers the Redskins will receive, and in life wisdom teaches you to at least listen to all offers.

But if they do determine to make such a trade; it will require they receive at the very least something similar to the four choices they were willing to give up to the San Francisco 49ers, 20 years ago today, February 26, 2000.

Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18