Lee Evans: What It Would Cost for the Arizona Cardinals to Get Evans?
Lee Evans is on his way out of Buffalo. It's just a matter of time.
As the Buffalo Bills continue to rebuild their team through new and younger faces, the causalities of the new regime will be "have-been" stars that are still commanding top dollar.
Marshawn Lynch was traded with the arrival of C.J. Spiller, and Lee Evans will be next with the emergence of Steve Johnson.
The Arizona Cardinals would be perfect trading partners, for they are both in similar rebuilding modes. There are several ways of acquiring Lee Evans. Whether it is a draft choice, a promising prospect or a seasoned veteran, each will come with their own cost.
Let's examine the different costs of trading for Lee Evans.
Least Costly: Draft Choices
The most obvious route that the Arizona Cardinals could take to acquire Lee Evans is by giving up draft choices. And with a second-round pick already taken by the Philidelphia Eagles, losing another draft choice could be costly.
The most recent rumours peg the cost for Lee Evans as a mid-to-late round draft pick.
If the cost was a fifth-round pick, wouldn't fans be screaming for management to make that move?
Athough the cost seems small, consider the draft history of the Arizona Cardinals. Some of their greatest value picks have been a third-round pick or higher.
Round 4: O'Brien Schofield—Too early to tell, but he was a steal in the fourth round even with his knee injury.
Round 5: John Skelton—He will be the backup in 2011, but known as a project pick, he showed signs of promise in limited action in 2010.
Round 4: Greg Toler—Now the longest starting CB on the team. Great tackler. Still great upside.
Round 7: Larod Stephens Howling—Extremely small and agile. Great hybrid running back on passing plays
Round 5: Tim Hightower—Has been traded, but was a consistent producer in his short tenure.
You might take Lee Evans over any of these players, but this is where the Arizona Cardinals have done some of their best drafting.
More Costly: An Established Roster Player
If the Arizona Cardinals want leverage in dealing for Lee Evans, then they must remind the Buffalo Bills that they will be paying Lee Evans' $1.5 million bonus.
In return, the Buffalo Bills may be willing to take on the Cardinal's own baggage.
Lee Evans for Deuce Lutui and a fifth-round pick could satisfy both teams.
The Bills get their pick and a veteran that has benefited from a training camp to get back in playing shape. Deuce Lutui will naturally be the brunt of a lot of jokes due to his weight, but he has been a consistent lineman for the Cardinals over the years.
It may not be Lutui, but a surplus veteran may be all that is needed to get their needed WR.
Most Costly: Young Upsided Talent
Lee Evans is still capable of putting up good numbers.
For this reason alone, the Buffalo Bills may command an asking price of a young player that can step into their roster immediately.
The Arizona Cardinals need to ask themselves if Lee Evans' talent over one or two years is greater than a young roster player for years to come.
If the answer is yes, the Cardinals may be asked to send players like O'Brien Schofield or Steve Williams to the Bills—possibly even being packaged with a seventh-round pick.
Would asking for these players be a deal breaker for you?
Conclusion: Hidden Costs
After the obvious cost of trading for Lee Evans, would there be any hidden costs?
What should cause the most fear in fans of the Arizona Cardinals is how anonymous Lee Evans was when Terrell Owens blew through Buffalo. Expectations were that he would become even more productive with all the defensive attention on T.O. Instead, his receiving yards were cut in half.
The question must be asked: Will the same thing happen if Lee Evans plays second fiddle to Fitzgerald?
The other cause for concern is with Lee Evans; they may never truly know what they have in Andre Roberts or Steven Williams. Cutting their playing time and needed experience could prove to be the most costly in the long run.
So should the Arizona Cardinals trade for Lee Evans? If so, what would be the least costly way of doing so? If you think they should stay away from Evans, what are your reasons?