While the Rams won the RG III trade, they still aren't contenders

RG III trade hasn't been as big a boon as Rams hoped (2:10)

With Robert Griffin III now in Cleveland, ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner says the Rams didn't capitalize on the 2012 trade as well they should have. (2:10)

It has been more than four years since the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins consummated the blockbuster draft trade that allowed Washington to acquire quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Rams to spin those picks into eight players.

Much has happened to the nine players involved in that deal since. Griffin led Washington to an NFC East title and playoff appearance as a rookie, only to find himself released and signing with the Cleveland Browns a few years later.

Of the players the Rams acquired, only three remain on the active roster, another is still with the team but has an uncertain future, two have been released, one has been traded and another signed a free-agent mega-deal this offseason.

At the time the deal was made in March 2012, the Redskins received the No. 2 overall pick in exchange for the No. 6 overall pick and a second-round pick in 2012, plus a first-round pick in 2013 and 2014. The Rams continued dealing with some of those picks to get more picks, which brought the total haul to eight players.

Both teams hoped it was the type of transformative trade that would carry them to long-term success. Griffin was to be Washington's franchise quarterback. The many pieces the Rams acquired were supposed to be the catalyst for a perennial contender.

“[We have] no regrets," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said in 2014. "At the time it was a good deal for us and it was a good deal for Washington.”

To be absolutely clear, the Rams were and still are the winners of that trade, if for no other reason than the overall production and remaining pieces they still have compared to Washington.

But if the intent of that trade was to lay the foundation for a Rams renaissance, the type of deal that could turn the moribund franchise from a perennial loser to a consistent contender, well, the Rams have come up short.

“With the interest other teams had in our first-round pick, we found ourselves in a unique situation,” Fisher said at the time of the trade. “This trade gives us a great opportunity to immediately upgrade our team through the draft and then sustain our team’s improvement with valuable picks in future drafts.”

It is, perhaps, no surprise the only three players the Rams have remaining on the active roster from the deal are the three first-round picks: defensive tackle Michael Brockers, linebacker Alec Ogletree and offensive tackle Greg Robinson.

Brockers has been a solid, if unspectacular, starter in the middle of the line since he arrived as the No. 14 overall pick in 2012. In four seasons, Brockers has 153 tackles, 14.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 61 games.

Ogletree, whom the Rams took 30th overall after a trade down in 2013, has all the makings of becoming the best player involved in the trade if he isn't already. In 36 games, he has amassed 272 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and three interceptions. He's moving to middle linebacker in 2016 and will be asked to take the reins of a defense long led by the man he's replacing, James Laurinaitis.

Robinson has the smallest sample size after the Rams used the No. 2 pick on him in 2014, but he's also off to the shakiest start of the first-round trio. Robinson has started 28 games but has struggled with penalties (he has 24 accepted flags called on him) and in pass protection, where he has proved every bit as raw as observers expected coming out of Auburn.

Aside from that mixed bag of results, the Rams don't have much else to show for the trade. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was right there with Ogletree in contention for best player in the deal but he signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal with the New York Giants in March. The Rams released running back Isaiah Pead and guard Rokevious Watkins and traded running back Zac Stacy for a seventh-round pick in 2015. Receiver Stedman Bailey is still with the team but it's unclear when or if he'll return to football after he was shot twice in the head on Nov. 24 of last year.

“If you recall, it was our first draft," Fisher said. "I personally looked at the roster prior to accepting this job and then immediately following after we hired [general manager] Les [Snead] we sat down and did an extensive review of the personnel and felt that we needed as many picks as we could possibly get to rebuild this roster.”

Washington, meanwhile, would undoubtedly love to have its picks back, especially considering the success it had in 2015 with 2012 fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins at quarterback. But while the Redskins and Rams have had similar results in terms of record in the four years since -- Washington is 26-38 and the Rams are 27-36-1 -- Washington has won two division crowns and been to the postseason twice.

To be fair, the Rams have had a tougher road in the rugged NFC West but haven't gotten much closer to their first playoff berth since 2004 and haven't had so much as a .500 season in four years under Fisher. And though the Rams have some talented young pieces such as defensive tackle Aaron Donald, end Robert Quinn and running back Todd Gurley to build around, all of those players were taken with picks that originally belonged to the team.

So while the Rams might have "won" the trade with Washington, the margin of victory hasn't been enough to turn into actual, meaningful wins where it counts most.