NFL Trade Ideas: The 3 Best Trade Scenarios for the 2011 Season
It is odd we are still talking about trade scenarios at this time of year. Yet, this is the type of offseason we are to expect because of the NFL lockout, now into day 101.
Of course, it seems we should be discussing the June 1st veteran cuts, how draft picks looked during the OTAs, development of last season's rookie players as camps are just around the corner and smack should be spewed as fantasy owners begin prospecting for the coming draft.
While news is coming out that both sides are discussing contract language in collective bargaining agreement talks, one can only be hopeful that this ridiculous charade is nearly over.
When the lockout does finally come to a close and the world as we know it continues as it always should, plan on taking the next day off work to keep up with all the action. Free agents will be signing deals, undrafted rookies will be finding homes—albeit temporary in most cases—and yes, the blockbuster deals we've all been waiting for are finally going to happen.
Kevin Kolb to Arizona Cardinals for...
It's easy to say, "Kevin Kolb traded for future draft picks," but I tend to think it's not quite that easy. I don't envision any scenario where the Arizona Cardinals give up even one first-round pick.
The Philadelphia Eagles are always looking to stockpile picks and I believe they like having high second- and third-round picks that they can trade for draft picks a year later. The typical value for a current year's second-round pick is a first-round pick the next season.
All that being said, I also believe there will be more bodies on the move than just Kolb's.
In what I consider to be the most likely scenario, the Cardinals will acquire Kolb from Philadelphia for two second-round picks, either John Skelton or Max Hall, and Tim Hightower.
Here's why this makes perfect sense. Arizona gets the quarterback it wants and that keeps Larry Fitzgerald in town and happy. Philly gets second-round picks (which it loves), a quarterback project for Andy Reid to work with—but also a backup to Mike Vick with some experience—and Tim Hightower is a steal and a difference-maker that the Eagles could use.
To me, Hightower is the most intriguing piece to the deal. He can run the ball, but is a dangerous pass catcher. In three seasons, he's caught 118 balls. LeSean McCoy has as many catches in two seasons. The point being, the Eagles like to throw, but have no other battle-tested running back on the roster. Hightower would be a tremendous complement—on any down—to McCoy and the play-calling would never have to change.
Kyle Orton to Miami Dolphins for...
That depends on why the Denver Broncos decide to deal Orton. If the reason is because they fully believe in Tim Tebow, then they may accept a little less than market value. However, if they're trading him because they're attempting to avert a potential issue in the locker room over who is the leader, then they may take anything.
Either way, the Dolphins will not have Chad Pennington for the upcoming season because he is taking the year off to recover from knee and shoulder surgeries, and the benching of Chad Henne last season tells me the organization believes he is not the answer at the position.
Unfortunately for Henne, the immediate success for guys like Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, coupled with the front office apparently ready to move on from the Tony Sparano era, has made it impossible for Chad Henne to settle down and have consistent success.
I don't think the Fish will have to give up much. Certainly, draft picks will be involved. Their top two running backs from last season, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, are free agents. Brandon Marshall does not figure to be a part of the trade either. Then who?
I doubt this will go down as just Kyle Orton straight up for a pick or a pair of picks, but it could. What I see being the most likely scenario is Kyle Orton being traded for a second- or third-round pick and then the teams swapping picks in either the following round or one of the middle rounds.
It's hard to say how Denver, second-worst record in football, will finish in 2011. That's why it can be tricky trading picks without having a specific value. If Tim Tebow can lead them to an 8-8 record and Miami falters without a bona fide rushing attack, then the deal could be very sweet for Denver.
Carson Palmer to Seattle Seahawks for...
Peace of mind?
All kidding aside, what is Bengals owner Mike Brown thinking?
Carson Palmer hasn't put up the numbers he is capable of since a rash of injuries hit his knee and throwing arm. Nonetheless, he is still viewed as a very valuable player at quarterback across the league. Why play hardball? Why not make a deal with his college coach?
This is not a knock on Seattle QB Charlie Whitehurst. Chuck just isn't Carson Palmer. Carson is game tested, has won two titles in one of the toughest divisions year in and out in the NFL. Although 31, he as gas left in the tank.
Cincinnati recently drafted TCU quarterback, Andy Dalton, in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. The Bengals may not be returning with their top two receivers from 2010, but that's probably a good thing. They've added Georgia rookie A.J. Green to go along with second-year pro Jordan Shipley. A changing of the guard is happening in Cincy, and Mike Brown just needs to get with the program.
A deal for Palmer would make too much sense for Seattle. The Seahawks play in the worst division in the universe and still finished under .500. They have a strong running game with Marshawn Lynch carrying the rock and grabbed a pair of guards early in the draft. The emergence of Mike Williams on the outside and John Carlson at tight end make for a decent pair of targets.
The team also has second-year pro Golden Tate, who underwhelmed as a rookie, but largely due to the quarterback play. Matt Hasselbeck (turning 36 in September) is a free agent and is showing signs of diminishing skills, as he had one of his worst statistical years since becoming Seattle's starter in 2001.
How do these teams get from no deal to deal? Pretty simple really—Palmer is going. The price tag Mike Brown will put on him at first is going to be tremendous. Let's pretend that teams have inquired and perhaps have whittled that figure down. If not first-round picks, I think the deal can get done with a pair of second-round selections or Golden Tate and some picks.
Tate would give the young Dalton three reliable targets (Green, Shipley and Jermaine Gresham at tight end) and the opportunity to add more players via the draft.
The Seahawks would more than likely want to keep Golden Tate. I think if it's just picks being dealt, they pull the trigger all day. Tate's departure would give them serious cause to say "no," as it would not be in their best interest to trade for a QB by giving up one of his developing targets to make it work.
Ultimately, I think something gets worked out between the two franchises. What that comes down to is anyone's guess.