A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1

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    Indiana

    Default Tip Sheet: Let's make a deal

    O.K. Allen and Shanny are being wonderfully methodical, thoughtful, careful, thorough-all the things I wanted the Redskins to be during free agency when they were spending like drunken sailors getting name-recognition with playing ability a nice addition if it came with the package-you know the drill.

    But they are playing things very close to the vest which creates a dilemma.

    What the hell are we gonna chatter about?

    Brother Om, who I hope forgives me for taking a tack in a different direction than his fine "Interpreting the Silence" piece, spoke of being comfortable with the atmosphere being created by the lack of, as he so artfully puts it, "blog-fodder". As a Redskin fan I like it myself-it beats the old normalcy of trepidation and dread awaiting the sure-to-come act of lunacy from Ashburn that would make me want to holler "You idiots!" yet one more time.

    But something is missing, the let-the-imaginations-go hypothesizing and conjecturing, tossing around wild ideas-that sometimes didn't seem that wild after being thought about for a bit.

    Anyway, it's with that preface that I bring up something to chatter about-it may or may not be actualized in Redskinland but it looms as a possibility. Or at least something to chatter about.

    Trades.

    I found this piece by Len Pasquarelli on ESPN's site about trades in the NFL this off-season:

    Originally Published: March 12, 2010
    Tip Sheet: Let's make a deal
    New free-agent landscape has made trades more feasible, attractive

    What has transpired to this point in free agency, with seven veteran players changing franchises via trades, is essentially the equivalent of a runaway swap meet.

    At least by NFL standards.

    Through Thursday evening, there have been seven trades in the NFL since March 5, all of them involving a league veteran. If that doesn't seem like a lot of trade action, consider this: In the past three years, between March 1 and May 1, the league averaged eight trades that included at least one veteran switching clubs.


    Compared to the country's other professional sports leagues, where the respective trade deadlines usually garner enough attention to merit their own "SportsCenter" specials, the NFL has virtually been a no-trade zone.

    But that might be about to change -- relatively, of course -- in a major way.

    In an environment in which the free-agent pool has been severely gutted by the ramifications of the uncapped year, including the exclusion of more than 200 four- and five-year players who would have been unrestricted free agents but are now relegated to restricted status, expect more of the same.

    "With so many [players] taken out of the unrestricted pool, and teams still having needs to address, you're naturally going to see more [trades] now," said former NFL general manager and current CBS studio analyst Charley Casserly at the league combine two weeks ago. "I don't know that we'll see [rampant] wheeling and dealing. But there definitely will be more deals."

    Prophetic words, indeed.

    With so few quality players in unrestricted free agency, teams have generously expanded their lists of available veterans to include some trade-mart guys they formerly might not have considered. And those franchises that regard draft choices as the NFL's currency of choice have been all too willing to surrender overpriced or unwanted veterans for extra selections in the 2010 or 2011 drafts.

    Among the veterans dealt to this point are a onetime league leader in interceptions (cornerback Antonio Cromartie, from San Diego to the New York Jets), a two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver (Anquan Boldin from Arizona to Baltimore), a former Pro Bowl safety (Kerry Rhodes to the Cardinals from the Jets) and a backup quarterback with 14 career starts (Seattle's Seneca Wallace to Cleveland).

    Each of the seven trades included a veteran player for a draft choice/choices. None of the deals featured a player-for-player swap. All included veterans with at least one more season remaining on their existing contracts.

    A lot of past trade rumors -- Boldin was on the block a year ago, for instance, but the ESPN.com Tip Sheet reported at least twice in the past two months that the Cardinals' brass had decided to deal the wide receiver -- have suddenly become trade realities. With the absence of a salary cap, trade price tags have been lowered in some cases, clubs have taken advantage of the opportunity to dump salaries, and trades that normally would not have advanced beyond the discussion stage have been culminated.

    For years, one of the NFL's several excuses for the dearth of veteran trades was the difficulty of fitting a player under the salary cap. Even though most franchises have suggested they will have a self-imposed budget in 2010, the simple truth is there are technically no salary-cap limitations with which to contend.

    Said Cromartie, who in 2007 collected a league-best 10 interceptions, but whose alleged soft play for the Chargers in 2009 and perceived indifference led to his availability in the offseason: "It used to be that you'd hear talk [about trades] and kind of ignore it. But now, where there's smoke, there might be fire too. So you've got to listen hard anymore. Something could be coming down."

    Even with the relative trade spree over the past week, the deals figure to keep coming. For one thing, there have been ongoing trade conversations in some cases, and one player agent noted he has "heard more [trade-related] talk this spring than in the last 20 years or so," and anticipates further action. For another, NFL teams have yet to dive into a potentially fertile market where some restricted free agents will be swapped.

    Clubs have placed one-year qualifying tenders on most restricted players. But let's say a team places a tender on a player, and the one-year offer requires first-round compensation from the club that signs the veteran. Rather than match an offer sheet from a new team, the incumbent club may decide to reach a trade agreement instead, to deal a player for less than the tender level and collect an extra draft pick.

    The Philadelphia Eagles, for instance, are said to be interested in Minnesota defensive left end Ray Edwards, a former fourth-round pick who received a first-round tender.

    "The [restricted] market is next," said Washington general manager Bruce Allen. "Before it's all said and done, we'll see some deals there."

    And when that occurs, the past week might seem fairly benign by comparison.

    Len Pasquarelli, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
    Article link:http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column...len&id=4988561

    Does, or could this be a part of what the Skins FO has available as options to consider during this off season? If so, got any ideas or suggestions or hopes or fears or anything. I'm just stirring up the conversation pot here-kind of an experiment in brain-picking among a very knowledgeable-and hopefully imaginative-bunch of Skins fans.

    Have at it.
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    I'm giving it a 2-4 year window. Looking for improvement in all areas. Redskins, you're on the clock.

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the Skins trade a few players if there are decent offers out there. But if it happens, it won't take place until right around the draft IMO.
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  3. #3
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    Carter seems obvious. I hate to see him go but his value is appearing more marginal at this time. I hope we can get a decent player for him. Maybe a decent OL or a draft choice. What is your guess on draft choice? The Bills drafted Maybin at 11 last year. Carter is a sure thing albeit a bit aged. For the right team it seems a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be a great deal. However, I doubt we have much leverage and would be lucky to get a 4th rounder.
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  4. #4
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    VCU

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    This front office has been awfully tough to predict, but I'll go on record as saying that I guarantee we won't have 4 TE's on the roster on opening day.
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  5. #5

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    I'm still only about 80% certain Jason Campbell will be on the roster on opening day. If the asking price weren't so high, I have to think he'd be in some other uniform this year.

    I have a hard time believing Shanahan sees him as the future. Only the lack of a better alternative right now may give him protection.
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  6. #6
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    Not that we'll necessarily see them but, if trades are going to happen they need to happen this year. With no salary cap, teams have a great chance to fill holes by trading players for players or players for picks or a combination of both.

    I expect to see a LOT of that come Draft Day but not likely before. With the Draft spanning three days this year, the lack of a salary cap presents teams with a much better opportunity to wheel and deal. I would be mildly surprised if the Skins didn't engage in some of that wheeling and dealing themselves. By that time, Shanahan will have a mini-camp under his belt and just might have a better idea of what he wants to do/see personnel-wise.

    In other words, don't expect to see much more news BEFORE the Draft. It sucks for those of us who enjoy a lively offseason but I'll trade boredom this time of year for a winning season ANY day.
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  7. #7

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    Indiana

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    Well, so far, there seems to be a consensus developing that were the Skins to get involved with trades it won't be until draft time-which seems very likely to me as well especially given the statements from Allen and Shanny that personnel moves are going to be a continuing process throughout the off-season.

    I was intrigued by brandies mentioning Carter because he was the first one I thought of myself after reading the article. I'd hate to see him go too, he had an excellent season after all, but questions have arisen about how well he'd fit in a 3-4 and even with his experience and the statements made in the Brian Murphy interview, what sticks out to me is how attractive he'd be to another team looking for an experienced DE-thus possible trade-bait as has been mentioned.

    Boone, your comment on Jason Campbell struck a chord with me. As much as I've changed in my view of his abilities, I still can't shake the feeling that a new QB is coming at some point, either via the draft or FA-or, possibly even a trade of some sort-again, indications are this is something that could develop in the next few months. In fact, in the spirit of wild off-the-wall conjecturing I'm going to throw out an out-of-left-field name. Matt Flynn-the Packers back-up QB behind Rodgers-there apparently was some interest in him that developed recently by the Cleveland Browns and I couldn't help but conjure up a scenario where he'd wind up as back-up to JC being groomed as heir-apparent. What of Colt Brennan, you ask? My #2 pick as trade bait-I don't think he's going to turn out to be a fit here but he might catch some other team's eye as a future project type that we might be able to maneuver to our advantage personnel wise.
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    I'm giving it a 2-4 year window. Looking for improvement in all areas. Redskins, you're on the clock.

  8. #8
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    I understand the fun in the guessing games and trying to figure out what the Skins are going to do at QB. Basically, I think we have to be realistic and assume the Skins are going to do one of two things, they are either going to try to trade up with the Rams to take Bradford or we take Clausen with the #4 pick. If we do trade up for Bradford I would expect Campbell to be part of the package that would go to the Rams.

    Why doesn't Shanahan stick with Campbell you ask? In 2005 the Redskins traded back up into the first round to take Campbell. Who did they trade with? Shanahan! He obviously wasn't interested in Campbell then. Once Shanahan got fired from Denver before 2009 season, I think it was obvious that he was coming to Washington at that point but felt that he has missed to much of the offseason to come in for 2009 season. So the Skins tried to trade for Cutler on Shanahan's behalf and when that didn't work out they tried to get Sanchez. Given all of those hints I just don't think Shanahan believes in Campbell. Could he be the starting QB in 2010? Sure he could, beyond that I just don't see it.

    Thoughts anyone? Am I way off base?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinsfan76 View Post
    Thoughts anyone? Am I way off base?
    Not at all. While we pretty much have no clue what Shanahan is thinking about Campbell, most of us have thought, at one time or another, that the Skins were either trying to entice Shanahan by trading for Cutler or they were trying to set the team up for Mike's imminent arrival with Sanchez, after the Cutler deal fell through.

    At this point, unless a trade partner is found for Campbell, we're stuck with him for 2010, assuming he signs his tender.
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  10. #10
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    Navy Salisbury

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinsfan76 View Post

    Thoughts anyone? Am I way off base?
    Well, if the Skins somehow got Bradford at #4, would you really get rid of Campbell and put a kid who could be fragile and has limited snaps under center out there when the Skins current best option at LT is Stephon Heyer (at best we re-sign Levi Jones or draft a kid in the 2nd round hoping he'll be a starting LT) and Heyer being our best option at RT currently?

    No.

    Clausen maybe b/c he has pro system knowledge, but again if we take him at #4 do you put your new franchise QB out there with no LT to block for him?

    Unless the Skins sign Grossman or some other vet who can start in 2010, it's more than likely that Campbell will be the starter in 2010 unless the Skins can find some good O-linemen rather quick.
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  11. #11
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    there are no left tackles available except in the draft.

    that is what makes the pick at #4 so important.

    taking a skill position player, esp. a quarterback, could be a recipe for another 4-12 season.
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  12. #12
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    To me, the main point is that Campbell doesn't really have much of an advantage over anyone else, given he'll have to learn yet another system. ANY veteran QB would likely have a slight advantage over the rookie just based on their knowledge of the NFL but a veteran QB starting might not necessarily be the case.

    Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez were able to come in and be successful right away however, their Offensive Lines were a LOT better than the Skins' O-Line. Matt Stafford showed flashes but his O-Line was suspect and the team he played on wasn't very good. I suspect Bradford or Clausen would fare better than that under Shanahan providing the Skins are able to find a LT, whether by drafting one or trading for a RFA using any combination of players and/or post-first round picks.

    I suppose Bruce Allen could take a page from the old man's book and trade next year's first round pick if it came down to it, but that would seem to go against this "plan" he and Shanahan seem to have. I have to believe, if Okung is still on the board at #4, he'll be the pick UNLESS they have a deal with another team in place by the time the pick comes around.
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