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Saints, Browns shopping a few veterans

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Draft trades, deals that occur either during the two-day lottery or in the week preceding it, typically involve picks and not people. Most franchises, it seems, still prefer swapping for the nebulous instead of the known. So while there have ...

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Old 04-22-2006, 09:14 AM   #1
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Saints, Browns shopping a few veterans

Draft trades, deals that occur either during the two-day lottery or in the week preceding it, typically involve picks and not people. Most franchises, it seems, still prefer swapping for the nebulous instead of the known. So while there have been 136 draft trades in the NFL since 2000, they have featured just 27 warm bodies, veteran players who have changed addresses.

Still, the 27 veterans who switched affiliations in the last six drafts represent the most real player movement of any six-year stretch since 1980, and not just the shuffling of faceless draft choices.

Not all of the names, of course, were memorable. Dealing for, say, an Aveion Cason, Derek Combs, Fred Vinson or Wali Rainer isn't likely to knock a team's first-round draft choice out of the headlines. Yet the draft deals since 2000 have included high-profile talent, such as Keyshawn Johnson, Aeneas Williams, Trent Green, Ahman Green, Drew Bledsoe and Corey Dillon.


The biggest name involved in a trade last season was cornerback Patrick Surtain, who went from Miami to Kansas City just before the start of the draft. Only three other players -- cornerback Phillip Buchanon (Oakland to Houston), tight end Doug Jolley (Oakland to the New York Jets) and quarterback Luke McCown (Cleveland to Tampa Bay) -- were dealt either during or just before the 2005 draft.


Could there be some meaningful draft trades this year, maybe starting early next week, and continuing through the two-day proceedings next weekend? Well, there are certainly rumors that indicate the trade market might be an active one. One AFC personnel director noted on Thursday that the chatter is a bit louder this year than in recent drafts, but he also acknowledged that even heightened dialogue doesn't usually translate into deals.


"Unless you've got something arranged ahead of time," said the personnel chief, "it's hard to make trades during the draft. People don't understand that, once the draft starts, a trade offer is like a curveball. You're so focused on the draft, what's going on and how names are coming off the board, that concentrating on a trade that actually involves a body becomes a tough thing to do. So you'd better have some contingencies in place. But, even then, it's dicey. Still, there are some names being dangled."


And because several of them are wide receivers -- the Green Bay Packers may be willing to entertain offers for the disgruntled Javon Walker, while Denver could part with Ashley Lelie, New Orleans with Donte' Stallworth and Washington with Taylor Jacobs -- the climate for connecting on a trade might be enhanced. This draft's wide receiver class is deemed one of the thinnest in years, with only two or three prospects earning first-round grades, and teams desperate to add a playmaker might consider the trade route instead of the draft.


There is speculation that the deal Denver made earlier this week, swapping the latter of its first-round picks to San Francisco for extra second- and third-round choices, was completed with an eye toward the Broncos attempting to land Walker, who for a second straight year is trying to talk his way out of Green Bay. But the Walker situation is reflective of how difficult it can be, because of various complications, to complete a trade for a veteran player with just a limited time to deal with all the entanglements.


For openers, Walker missed all but one game of the 2005 season because of surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament. While his rehabilitation is said to be progressing well, Walker still isn't running full speed yet, so there are no guarantees that he will be the same player he was in 2004, when he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Additionally, the four-year veteran is in the final year of his contract, so any team trading for him would want to sign him to an extension and would have only a short time to negotiate a deal that meets Walker's demands.


So even if the Packers deviate from the heretofore steadfast stance that they will not acquiesce to Walker's trade demands, completing a deal would require a lot of pieces to fall neatly into place. And, as most general managers concede, neat is generally an elusive pursuit in the NFL.


That said, there is enough trade talk going on in the league that some action is likely before the draft or even during it. Here's a shopper's guide to some of the players rumored to be on the trading block:

Joey Harrington
Quarterback
Detroit Lions

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2005 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp Yds TD Int Rat
330 188 1885 12 12 72.0

• Agent David Dunn made a calculated move this week when he had client Joey Harrington announce that he was prepared to sign a contract with Miami and that Detroit Lions president Matt Millen should finish a deal that would send him to the Dolphins. How the Lions brass reacts to the gambit by their former starting quarterback remains to be seen. Harrington is due a $4 million roster bonus on June 15, and that's really the only deadline the Lions face. Still, it might be time for Detroit to cut a deal that rids them of Harrington and allows everyone to move on. One quarterback who likely isn't going anywhere is Atlanta backup Matt Schaub. The object of admiration from several quarterback-needy teams, despite starting just two games and winning neither, Schaub isn't quite an untouchable. But the Falcons have set the bar high for any team seeking to acquire him and really haven't received as many substantive inquiries as some media outlets have suggested.


• If New Orleans officials have their way, the song lyrics may have to be changed to: "Oh, when the Saints got marching out." No franchise, it seems, is offering up as many players in trade discussions. In addition to the speedy Stallworth, who finally stayed healthy in 2005 and responded with his best season (70 catches, 945 yards, seven touchdowns), the Saints are dangling free safety Dwight Smith and linebacker Courtney Watson, who was the team's second-round choice just two years ago. The desire to deal Smith, at least from a performance standpoint, is puzzling. The veteran defensive back, who began his career as a cornerback in Tampa Bay, had 86 tackles, two interceptions, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a sack in 2005. Smith is a real ball hawk, and if the Saints are serious about trading him, they could find some interested buyers.


• The Broncos' Lelie is a consummate tease, a former first-round wideout who flashes brilliance every once in a while but whose inconsistencies are maddening. He hasn't helped himself by not participating in the team's offseason conditioning program and, after four seasons, it seems the frustrated Broncos have had enough of him. At age 26, Lelie could still become a force, but a change of scenery seems best for all the parties here. Lelie has averaged 17.9 yards per catch in his career and has 18 receptions of 40-plus yards.


• San Diego general manager A.J. Smith has confirmed the Chargers are actively shopping linebacker Donnie Edwards, a 10-year pro who has been the NFL's second-leading tackler over the last seven years. Edwards is 33 and has one year left on his contract, at a base salary of $3.55 million, and the Chargers have some terrific young linebackers they want to get onto the field. Still, it's surprising that the Chargers are so determined to trade off such a productive player and quality person. The Chargers are also trying to find a taker for safety Hanik Milligan, who was named to the Pro Bowl as a special-teams player in 2005 and who wants to upgrade his contract.


• Beyond Edwards, keep an eye on Atlanta's Demorrio Williams and Tennessee's Peter Sirmon as other linebackers who could be involved in trade talks. Atlanta isn't actively shopping Williams but has gotten inquiries about the two-year veteran, and he could become trade bait if the Falcons decide they want to move up to grab a player they have targeted. A natural weakside linebacker, Williams is a bit undersized but would be a good fit in a defense that would allow him to run to the ball. Sirmon is a solid six-year veteran who has hinted he would like to be traded.


• Expect a run on runners. Backup tailbacks T.J. Duckett (Atlanta), J.J. Arrington (Arizona) and Lee Suggs (Cleveland) were all highly regarded at one point by their current teams but seem to have fallen out of favor. Duckett is a former first-rounder and Arrington was the Cardinals' second-round choice in 2005. The problem for Suggs, who possesses rare outside speed, is that he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Any or all of the three backs could be dealt during the draft.


• Suggs isn't the only veteran with whom the Browns would part if the price was right. Center Jeff Faine, the team's first-round choice in 2003, has been on the block since the Browns signed two-time Pro Bowl interior lineman LeCharles Bentley on the opening weekend of the free-agency period. Faine could be the latest leftover from the Butch Davis Era to be moving on. The Browns, however, won't just give Faine away. Unless they get a good offer, they'll keep him and let him stay at center, and play Bentley at guard. There are also rumblings that, with the development of young cornerback Leigh Bodden last season, the Browns would consider moving Daylon McCutcheon, an original member of their expansion roster.


• Run-stuffing defensive tackle Hollis Thomas has been trying to get out of Philadelphia for two years now, and given the Eagles' depth at the position he might finally get his wish. The odds would increase even more if the Eagles, who covet depth on both sides of the line, invest a high-round choice on a defensive tackle. The price tag for Thomas doesn't figure to be very high, but he's still an effective anchor player, and there are plenty of teams looking for help stopping the run.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft0...len&id=2416478
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:31 AM   #2
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RE: Saints, Browns shopping a few veterans

Some deals are surprising. But smoke screen come from entertaining trade offers. As for the smith deal it might revolve around trading down to 7 and huff as an option. The more positions you put in question the more concern you can cause with possible trading partners and getting out bid.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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RE: Saints, Browns shopping a few veterans

I would be interested in seeing what they want for Hollis Thomas. We need some meat up front.
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:00 AM   #4
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RE: Saints, Browns shopping a few veterans

I would take the picks. Nothing against Hollis papz. I have been preaching that day 2 has alot of good meat to offer at DT. I hope the deals some how get us 5,6,7 round picks sprinkled in for spice.
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:28 PM   #5
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I wonder what the Saints would be able to get for Courtney Watson? I was a big fan of his and i havent given up on him, but i thought he would be a guy that could benefit from the new staff. What you think? 4th or 5th rounder?
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:17 PM   #6
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good questions bones. love ythe pic bro. whatever we do i am hoping there is a plan and i like our staff. i really thought that payton went afetr some good coaches to fill his staff. so i am hoping that they know what their doing
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:50 PM   #7
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My thinking with the Saints guys they have on the market, Stallworth, Smith, and Watson...there is no way they can get value for any one of the three. We are not a good enough team to replace our #2 receiver and our best DB with a pair of 3rd round picks. In turn, we would have to draft guys in the first or second round to replace them and we have enough holes as it is. Watson, i can understand...if we draft a linebacker early someone has to be the odd man out between Watson, Fincher, Allen, Simmons, Bockwoldt, and Fujita. My guess would be Watson so unload him if you get a chance.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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good points bones. bones why does your pic say i would hit it. um that isn't the best bro. i like the pick of the fonz but what is up with the i would hit it?
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by spkb25
good points bones. bones why does your pic say i would hit it. um that isn't the best bro. i like the pick of the fonz but what is up with the i would hit it?
Thats just The Fonz being The Fonz.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:03 PM   #10
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jesus bro i hope. lol
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