The NFL, more than any other major sports league in North America suffers from what I like to call "Home-team induced stupidity." Every fan in the country seems to think that his team's side of a trade proposal is far more valuable than anyone with half an ounce of common sense should.
In the spirit of this, I have decided to concoct various trade proposals that both make sense, and are balanced in terms of value on both sides. Of course not every trade can be 100 percent balanced, but I truly believe some of these are as close as they could be.
Trade Proposal No. 1: QB Kevin Kolb to the St. Louis Rams
Rams receive: QB Kevin Kolb.
Eagles receive: DT Adam Carriker, STL second-round choice 2010 draft (33rd Overall), their fifth-round choice back from STL, STL sixth-round choice 2010 draft, Conditional 2011 draft choice. If two of the following conditions are met in 2010, the draft choice is STL first-round choice in the 2011 draft, if not, they receive STL second round choice.
- Kevin Kolb starts 16 games.
- Kevin Kolb is selected to the 2010 season Pro Bowl.
- Kevin Kolb passes for 3500 yards and 20 TD's.
- The Rams win the 2010 NFC West with Kevin Kolb starting 14 games.
- The Rams make the 2010 playoffs.
If the Rams win the NFC West title, this would automatically trigger the clause in the deal, as two of the conditions would be met.
With the rebuilding process the Rams are going to have to go through, the first piece of the puzzle they need to find is a quarterback. Rumours have been circulating all offseason linking them with Michael Vick, also from the Eagles, who would be substantially cheaper in terms of draft compensation.
Although this is a reasonable direction to go, I feel paying more for Kolb is the smarter long-term move. He is a younger, more pocket-orientated Quarterback, which may not suit the team for his first season, but down the road he could be the franchise Quarterback for the Rams.
With this selection, St Louis can go ahead and take Suh or McCoy with the first overall pick in the draft. Despite neither Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen being perceived as top overall talents, rumours have circulated that the Rams may take one of them to help secure the position.
Securing the position by sacrificing lower draft choices, the Rams can take, potentially, the best player in the draft, or the best player for their scheme. Furthermore, they could also trade out of the first pick and acquire similar compensation from that trade, as they are giving up picks to get Kolb, essentially turning the first pick into a NFL calibre Quarterback and a few extra picks.
A factor that could go unnoticed in this whole situation is the offensive coordinator link in St Louis. Pat Shurmur was hired to run the offense for the Rams before the 2009 season, after serving as the Eagles QB coach for 7 years. This link to both the west coast offense and Kolb's developement so far as a professional is not something that should be looked at lightly. Kolb and Shurmur have the connection of both having their careers so far moulded by the West Coast offense that Andy Reid runs.
Despite this, there are always risks involved in a trade like this. If the Rams do stick with the first overall pick, they have given away a sizable portion of their draft picks, which are vital in a team rebuilding.
Even with a quarterback being vital to this process, so are players to place around him, so smart free-agent signings and a deep draft class are needed to make the trade a long-term success.
The final thing the Rams need to consider is Kolb's potential behind a less talented line and with less talented receivers. With the Eagles, he had a more talented team that would have helped his progression, which could limit his potential on a different team.
From the Eagles' perspective, this deal has tremendous upside. With the upcoming McNabb/Kolb controversy, this deal would resolve that in a positive way. McNabb has shown in recent seasons that he still has several years left in his career, and with this move, the Eagles could retool parts of the team to give him a couple of more serious attempts at winning a Super Bowl.
Adam Carriker would be a good fit for the Eagles' fast, blitzing defense as a run-stopping DE, then moving inside as a pass-rushing DT on third down, similar to what Antonio Smith does in Houston.
The Eagles could also draft a Linebacker with their second-round choice from the Rams, filling a position of need. With the Eagles having an explosive offense, retooling an aging defense with extra draft choices would be the best thing they could do to win a Super Bowl.
Despite the benefits of this trade, there is a small element of risk for the Eagles. In a league in which quarterbacks are at such a premium, having a backup who is as capable as a starter is a rare commodity, and one that should not be undervalued.
The Falcons showed this when they traded away Matt Schaub. This risk is something that will have to be considered by the Eagles. They will also have to consider whether Kolb is in fact a better quarterback than Donovan McNabb.
Overall, I feel this trade would benefit both sides and would help them to reach their overall goals, whether it is to win the Super Bowl, or to rebuild what was the league's worst team last season.
Trade Proposal No. 2: WR Anquan Boldin to the Miami Dolphins
Dolphins Receive: WR Anquan Boldin
Cardinals Receive: RFA TE Anthony Fasano, MIA 2010 third-round draft choice (73rd overall), 2011 third-round draft choice.
Cardinal fans world wide have been discussing the possible value of Boldin ever since word spread two seasons ago that he wanted a new contract.
After the 2007 season, a first-round mark was placed on him, after the 2008 season he was often labelled with a second-round draft choice in a trade, and I am now going the next step down. I truly believe with his history of injuries and his contract situation, this deal is at the maximum of the value they are going to get in return.
Despite Boldin showing durability over the years, the fact remains that he has had a high number of injuries. Wide receiver, as much as any position in the NFL, is greatly affected long-term by injuries, especially to the extremities. The Cardinals also have the depth at WR to absorb this loss without any great dent in their offensive scheme or production (loss of production caused by Matt Leinart not included).
In this deal, the Cardinals get two draft choices of value as well as a starter in a position of need. The Cardinals could then use the third-round choices to fill in gaps on their interior line on both sides of the ball, or retool their linebacking core for the full time conversion to three-four.
From the Dolphins perspective, this deal sacrifices one mild strength to improve a major weakness. With the emergence of Chad Henne at QB, a glaring hole at WR is only more apparent.
With options limited out wide, the Dolphins have relied more and more on their wildcat offense to try and produce big plays, which has only weakened this once potent tool. With Boldin out wide, the Dolphins will finally have a piece in their offense that will make the defense respect the pass, or at least remember it is there.
Furthermore, Ted Ginn's production can only go up at this point. With a legitimate threat opposite him, Ginn may finally live up to his deep threat hype when he was taken in the first round in 2007.
The loss of Fasano is something that can be schemed out. Fasano was both a physical receiver over the middle, and a legitimate blocker from the TE position. Boldin's willingness to go over the top and block is something that will fit very well in the power offense they run.
Boldin blocking on an end around from the Wildcat? That sounds like something any team would like to have. Boldin may not be Hines Ward in the blocking department, but he is leaps and bounds above the blocking skills of any WR on the Dolphins' roster.
Keeping a prominent receiving threat on the field in a run-first package like the wildcat opens up a world of opportunities for gadget plays.
This trade benefits both teams, giving them each an upgrade at what could be considered their top needs. Also, both teams are better because of this.
The art of a good NFL trade is to balance what you are losing with what you have gained. Placing too little value on what you are receiving is as costly as placing too much in what you are giving. Past production should be a guide, but future production is the key, and this is something that most people forget to factor in when conjuring up trade deals.
(Two more trade proposals will be posted on Saturday. Hint, the Texans will be gaining a player and the Chargers will be losing a player!)