2007 NFL Draft: Potential Trades
by Trevor Whenham - 04/24/2007
We're in the misinformation phase of the lead-up to the NFL Draft. Teams, for the most part, have a pretty good idea of what they want to do, so their job is to lie publicly so that no one else can be sure of their intentions. It's a silly process, but so is most of what goes on between the end of the season and draft day. Besides, just because something is silly doesn't mean it can't be fun to watch. Potential trades are one area of the draft that is full of misdirection by coaches and intense speculation by fans and the media. Despite our best hopes and wishes, the reality is that most of these trades won't happen. That shouldn't stop us about talking about them, however. Here's my take on six trades that people are talking about:
Players that could change their address:
1. San Diego's Michael Turner. The Chargers backup running back is the most popular, most praised basically unproven guy available now that Matt Schaub has moved to Houston. His most likely new home appears to be Tennessee, though several other teams could be in the mix. He's a free agent after this season, and LaDainian Tomlinson obviously isn't going anywhere, so he's not going to re-sign with the Chargers. It makes sense, then, for San Diego to extract whatever value they can from him.
The move makes sense for the Titans, too. They lost Travis Henry, and they don't seem to see a starring role for the obese LenDale White, so they need someone who can carry the ball 25 or 30 times a game. The deal seems like a good fit for both teams. My only concern is that the Titans could overpay quite significantly for Turner. He has put up impressive numbers for San Diego, but they've been in limited action behind a ridiculously good offensive line and against defenses that would be letting up and breathing a sigh of relief that LT is off the field. Turner is talented and there is no reason to think that he won't play well for Tennessee, but the Titans need to pay a realistic price, not one inflated by the media's love for this fifth rounder from Northern Illinois. This will be especially important for the team to keep in mind because they are likely to give him a new contract soon after acquiring him.
2. Kansas City's Trent Green. Kansas City has given up on Green. That means that they are going into the season with, at this moment, some serious quarterback questions. Miami has been trying to get Green for a while now, but they have balked at the price of a second round pick. They'll find a way to make it happen eventually. Green as a Dolphin makes me happy, but only because I can't stand the Fish and am happy when they struggle. The problem they have had since, well, Dan Marino is that they haven't had a quarterback who can consistently win games. Last year was a total disaster, and I don't see how Green makes it dramatically better. He'll be 37 this year, and it seems doubtful that he will be what he once was after that crushing hit last year - he certainly wasn't after his return to the team.
Making this trade will do little to make Miami better in the short term, and nothing to solve their longer-term problems. As for the Chiefs, they had better hope that Damon Huard is more than a flash in a pan, because their quarterback depth, with all due respect to Brodie Croyle, is far from inspiring.
3. Miami's Daunte Culpepper. Miami obviously is done with this disaster, and all they have to do to get rid of him is come to terms with the fact that all they are going to get is a couple of used footballs. Culpepper would be tempting for some teams - it wasn't that long ago that he was piling up the yards in Minnesota. He has a very bad knee and a monster contract that act as twin albatrosses around his neck, though. He still has seven years left on his contract so he's not going to renegotiate it. It's a huge risk for any team to take him on, but eventually a team will get desperate enough to give it a try. I just hope it's not a team I like.
Draft picks that could be moved:
1. Tampa Bay moving up to grab Calvin Johnson. As much as Jon Gruden seems to like Johnson (and who doesn't), I don't see this trade happening because it doesn't make a lot of sense. The Bucs are already at No. 4, so it seems unlikely that they would pay a heavy price to move up a couple more spots. They have problems all over the field, and it seems illogical that they would give up the opportunity to fill some of those holes just to get the freakish Johnson. Besides, it's not unreasonable to think that Johnson might be available in the No. 4 spot anyway. If Oakland goes with JaMarcus Russell, then the Lions aren't going to pick yet another receiver, and they may have trouble finding someone who wants their spot. The Browns will pick Brady Quinn or Adrian Peterson over Johnson because of need, so Johnson could fall into the hands of the Bucs. Even if that doesn't happen, moving up makes no sense unless the Lions are willing to give their spot away at a bargain price.
2. Lions moving down. Matt Millen should try very hard to do this, even if they don't get full market value. He has shown himself to be a terrible judge of draft talent, and it seems unlikely that anyone that is available at the top of the draft can do more to turn around this pathetic team than a handful of picks would. He could free up lots of salary cap room by avoiding the price tag that comes with the No. 1 pick.
3. Redskins moving up from sixth. I love this rumor, if only because it is so ridiculous. I really hope it happens as it would be yet more proof that Dan Snyder is a total moron. They have already hijacked their future by trading away all but two of this year's draft picks in a failed attempt at creating a good team. To move up they would have to sabotage next year's draft, too. I'm not convinced that anyone, including Johnson, is worth giving up a whole pile of draft picks for. That's what the Giants did to get Eli Manning, and look how well that turned out.