Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Trade: Lelie to Falcons, Duckett to ‘Skins, Pick to Broncos

The Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, and Denver Broncos pulled off a three team trade yesterday.

The Atlanta Falcons traded running back T.J. Duckett to the Washington Redskins on Tuesday as part of a three-team deal and acquired holdout receiver Ashley Lelie from the Denver Broncos. The Broncos received Washington’s third-round pick in the 2007 draft as part of the deal, according to two officials within the league who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been officially announced.

Washington had been shopping for a running back since star Clinton Portis partially dislocated his shoulder in the preseason opener against Cincinnati. The Redskins are unsure if he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season. The Falcons, meanwhile, were eager to land another receiver after losing Brian Finneran to a season-ending knee injury in the early days of training camp. Lelie was the NFL’s leader in yards per catch in 2004, but he held out of training camp this year in hopes of forcing a trade.

In an interesting twist, Duckett and Lelie were involved in the same deal after being taken with consecutive first-round picks during the 2002 draft.

The Redskins continue to trade away first day draft picks as if they were meaningless. Giving away a third for a merely decent running back as an insurance policy for a star that will likely be back in the first game or two is a real head scratcher.

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