Hit the Road Jackson
NFL general managers might be the most reticent people in sports when it comes to making in season trades. That is not to say that it never happens though. During last the Detroit Lions traded receiver Roy Williams for a first rounder and change to the Dallas Cowboys.
And in 2010 it might be even easier to make a big trade then in 2009. 2010 is the uncapped year and teams do not have to worry about negative cap implications by making a trade. There is no cap to complicate.
The uncertain salary cap situation has also increased the likelihood of a trade because there are a greater number of players who are unhappy with their contract negotiations. Many teams are reluctant to extend their own players because no one can know how any of those contracts will be affected by a newly negotiated collective bargaining agreement.
A big sticking point for players is that even if their contracts were due to expire this season, if they have not accrued six years or more NFL service they automatically become Restricted Free Agents, even if they were supposed to be Unrestricted.
What that means is that any team that signs a restricted free agent would have to sacrifice draft picks to do so, and that is only if the the player's original team decides not to match the terms of the contract, which is their right.
Football players don’t want to hear that though, they want to be paid according to their performance, and many of these men have too much pride and fear to play for a small one-year contract. Pride in that they know they deserve more, and fear of injury.
So unlike other years 2010 features a few Pro-Bowl players holding out into the season, hoping for a trade.
The following is a list of NFL stars that could and should be dealt before the October 19 deadline along with what compensation I think teams are looking for a player and which teams are in the running or should be in the running for trading for the player.
I have written in the past that Chargers’ General Manager A.J. Smith’s handling of this situation is childish. If he has the option to trade him, he should trade him, but it seems like he just wants to stick it to Jackson as long as he can before he does.
Meanwhile Jackson sits at home while his value suffers.
One of the main reasons Jackson is in this position though is not Smith’s fault; Jackson has gotten arrested for multiple DWIs. Due to those arrests Jackson has been suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the first three games of the 2010 NFL season.
If Jackson gets arrested again, the suspension could be for a very long stretch, possibly the season.
However Jackson is one of the league’s elite deep threats and at 6’5 230 pounds it is easy to see that he is not a system receiver. He is also only 27 years old, he hasn’t hit his peak as a player yet.
So while Jackson’s trade value is compicated by his off the field actions he can still be dealt. If Brandon Marshall can get a good contract and trade haul for Denver, I see no reason why Jackson wouldn’t as well.
And the interest in Jackson is strong, with Seattle and Minnesota rumored to have made overtures already.
Potential Compensation: A 2011 second and fourth round draft pick.
Teams that are or should pursue Jackson
1. Minnesota Vikings— With Sydney Rice out until midseason Favre needs a big target.
2. Washington Redskins— Perfect fit for Mike Shanahan’s West Coast offense.
3. St. Louis Rams— Sam Bradford needs weapons, and Mark Clayton isn’t enough.
Lynch started off his career with a bang for the Bills. Drafted 13th overall in 2007 by the Bills many at first thought Lynch would be the Bill’s workhorse for the next decade.
But the NFL does stand for “Not For Long” and Lynch is no longer considered the future of the Bill’s backfield. That standing belongs to rookie running back C.J. Spiller and to a lesser extent Fred Jackson. This leaves Lynch out in the cold, which in Buffalo is not a fun place to be.
Lynch though is far from washed up, he is only 24 years old, is a fantastic athlete, has terrific size and has proven that he can be an effective three-down back in the NFL.
So why hasn’t a single team made a serious attempt to trade for Lynch? Like Jackson Lynch has off-field worries that scare general managers, being arrested at least once.
But as the season wears on injuries begin to take their toll. Once that happens teams that once scoffed at trading for Lynch will be picking up the phone trying to deal for him.
Regardless of a person’s opinion of Lynch the person, as Lynch can flat out ball. He can truck defenders, dance with his fancy feet and is very underrated as a receiver out of the backfield.
Former Cal teammate Aaron Rodgers has publicly stated that he would welcome Lynch onto the Packers with open arms.
Potential Compensation: 2011 third and sixth round draft picks.
Teams that are or should pursue Lynch
1. Green Bay Packers— Ryan Grant is hurt, and Aaron Rodgers knows Lynch from playing together in college at California. Perfect marriage of need and fit.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers— Cadillac Williams is a nice story, but there isn’t much tread left on those tires.
3. New York Giants— Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs both have a history of getting injured, and the Giants have bad depth behind them.
Mankins has publicly announced his disgust with the Patriot’s organization, calling owner Robert Kraft a liar.
There have also been reports that just when a contract would be finalized making Mankins the second highest paid guard in the NFL the Patriots told Mankins they wanted him to make a public apology for denouncing the organization during the holdout.
Mankins balked, and walked away even more entrenched in his hatred for the Patriots. This has been a very messy divorce so far.
However is must be said that Mankins is one of the best guards in the NFL, right up there with Chris Snee and Jahri Evans. He cannot only maul in the running game but he can also be fantastic pass blocker, a guy who can keep a quarterback clean from gut pressure. And the guy is in his prime with several good years left.
That being said making a deal for Mankins wont be easy. It will be sure to involve a new long-term contract extension for Mankins and compensating the Patriots. And the Patriots are going to demand maximum value for Mankins; they aren’t going to do him any favors.
Any team that acquires Mankins will see their run and pass game become more effective and team chemistry on and off the field improve as well. Not only would any team that get Mankins get a top five guard in his prime, but also a team captain.
While the rumors around Mankins have been cold, it is obvious he will never willingly play for the Patriots ever again.
Potential Compensation: 2011 second round and conditional 2012 third round draft picks.
Teams that are or should pursue Mankins
1. Detroit Lions— Matt Stafford needs better pass protection before he gets Tim Couched or David Carred. In other words early retirement or shell shocked.
2. Cleveland Browns— Mike Holmgren knows the value of pairing an elite left guard with an elite left tackle. Remember Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones?
3. Kansas City Chiefs— A very young offense in need of leadership would really benefit from Mankin’s presence and the Pats and Chiefs have excellent lines of communication.
Haynesworth is single handedly putting the NFL Players Association into a terrible bind. Just when the NFLPA is trying to convince the public that they deserve the money they make if not more there goes Haynesworth, collecting $20 million so he can boycott practice.
When people talk of selfish over-paid athletes it’s because of players like Albert Haynesworth. For crikes sakes Haynesworth has already announced he will skip next season’s offseason camps as well. Classy move by a classy guy.
And why is Haynesworth throwing a temper tantrum? Because Haynesworth doesn’t want to play in a 3-4, he wont get great stats that way.
So why would a team trade for this guy? Because he only is owed about $16 million left on his contract that runs for another three years and he can still play at an elite level.
So a team that is already a contender, plays a 4-3 and has strong enough leadership to control Haynesworth would be hard pressed to not look into trading for him.
Yes he is a malcontent, yes he is always out of shape, and yes he whines and complains. But when Haynesworth is on, triple teams wont stop him. He is one of the few NFL defenders capable of completely taking over a game by himself.
So while the Redskin’s might have lost a ton of money and will get little in trade compensation and production from Haynesworth; getting rid of him would be addition by subtraction.
Mike Shanahan knows this, which is why Haynesworth is rumored to be on the block.
So far Tennessee has been rumored to be the team to show the most interest in trading for Haynesworth.
Potential compensation: A 2011 third round draft pick.
Teams that are or should pursue Haynesworth.
1. Tennessee Titans—Haynesworth is from Tenn., born and raised. The team also has the leadership to control him, and Haynesworth’s best seasons came as a Titan.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—As an organization they don’t care much about character, and with Haynesworth manning the middle with Gerald McCoy the Bucs would have a lethal defense.
3. Oakland Raiders— Al Davis loves reclamation projects and the Raiders’ defense would allow Haynesworth to play the style he loves.
Greg Olsen is a talented traditional pass catching tight end. While he is a decent pass and run blocker Olsen was expected to earn his living in the NFL catching the football.
Olsen was a first round pick out of Miami in 2007. And while this is his fourth year in the NFL he is still only 25 years old with a lot of room to grow as a player. Also Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler established an excellent chemistry in their first season together last year.
Standing at 6’5 255 pounds with excellent athleticism and pass catching instincts Olsen has a chance to be a top five pass catching tight end in the NFL.
So why would the Bears trade him?
Two words; Mike Martz. Martz is the new offensive coordinator and despite his high flying advanced offense he still has a very traditional view of how a tight end should play. They should block, block, block some more and maybe catch one pass a game.
In San Francisco Martz had arguably the most physically talented tight end in the NFL, perhaps that the NFL has ever seen, and just an average wide receiver core. Yet he basically made Vernon Davis a sixth offensive lineman while forcing the ball to the wide receivers.
Is it any wonder he was let go by the 49ers? Not really, so it shouldn’t shock people that Martz wont use Olsen even if it means it would help him keep his job.
So while Martz has been publicly complimenting his new tight end behind the scenes rumors have indicated that indeed Olsen is on the block, but interest is currently lukewarm due to excessive trade demands by Bears' General Manager Jerry Angelo.
Potential Compensation: A conditional 2011 third round draft pick.
Teams that are or should pursue Olsen
1. St. Louis Rams— Having Steven Jackson and Greg Olsen together would be a great security blanket for rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.
2. New York Giants— The Giants had thin tight end depth before starter Kevin Boss suffered a concussion and emergency sub William Beatty sustained a leg injury. Now they are barren at the position.
3. Arizona Cardinals— They have perhaps the worst tight end situation in the NFL and need to replace some of the production that left when they traded Anquan Boldin.