The price of acquiring QBs by trade

Nathan asks via Facebook why the Seahawks watched the Redskins acquire Donovan McNabb without making a move for him.

Mike Sando: Seattle already has an older quarterback entering his contract year, and the team thinks the recently acquired Charlie Whitehurst could develop into its next starter. Those would be a couple of reasons.

The price Washington paid for McNabb -- the equivalent of roughly 560 to 600 points on the draft-value chart, depending on whether the Eagles get a 2011 third- or fourth-rounder as part of the deal -- was equal to what Seattle paid in acquiring Hasselbeck from Green Bay in 2001. That's far more than the roughly 270 points Seattle paid for Whitehurst in its trade with San Diego this offseason. But if Seattle had invested 560 to 600 points in McNabb after paying 270 for Whitehurst, the team would have massive amounts of draft capital tied up in a position only one player could play, all while marginalizing Hasselbeck.

That might not be the wisest use of resources.

Accounting notes

The Redskins sent the 37th overall choice, worth 530 points on the chart, and a 2011 third- or fourth-rounder to Philadelphia for McNabb. A draft choice next year generally carries about one round less value than a draft choice this year. In assessing what the Redskins paid for McNabb, then, we can use values associated with choices falling in the fourth or fifth rounds of the 2010 draft. I singled out choices near the middle of those rounds. Those picks would be worth about 70 points (the value of the 112th choice) or 34 points (the value of the 145th choice). Adding 530 to 70 or 34 reveals about what Washington paid.

Earlier: What Seattle paid for Hasselbeck and Whitehurst.