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10 players on the trading table

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Trade season not yet over ProFootballWeekly.com asks associate editor Jeff Reynolds for his thoughts on the hottest topics in the NFL. Deals that broke down on Draft Day may be revisited Several veterans were dangled as trade bait during last ...

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Old 04-29-2004, 11:24 PM   #1
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10 players on the trading table

Trade season not yet over

ProFootballWeekly.com asks associate editor Jeff Reynolds for his thoughts on the hottest topics in the NFL.

Deals that broke down on Draft Day may be revisited

Several veterans were dangled as trade bait during last weekend’s draft. Two — WR Kevin Johnson and OL John Welbourn — were actually dealt. But teams continue to discuss personnel options and shop for roster upgrades around the league.

PFW: Is it likely that we'll see more trades this offseason?

Reynolds: For a few of these veterans, it will take a force far greater than gravitational pull for an interested team to pry him from his current club. Others are destined to be released after June 1. Here are 10 players still available via trade.

Larry Allen, Cowboys — Allen rejected a Draft Day trade that would have sent him to Detroit, where he would have started at right guard. A Pro Bowler last season, more on reputation than performance, Allen has lost his mobility and agility but remains a capable blocker because of his raw power. Ankle and lower leg injuries each of the past two seasons have been issues. Allen, says Cowboys general manager Jerry Jones, will be in the Cowboys’ plans this season. If the team planned to release him, it would do so prior to June 1 in order to absorb the entire cap hit this season — the Cowboys have the room to do so and don’t want to handicap themselves financially for next season.

Tim Couch, Browns — The Packers are talking with Couch’s representatives daily. The likelihood a deal gets done was described by one Packers sources as “good,� but he was adamant neither side was in “much of a hurry.� Couch’s agent, Tom Condon, spoke on Thursday with the Bears, who are scratching price tags of backup quarterbacks and will consider Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner. Couch, 26, has some potential. He’s never had the benefit of a good offensive line, his receivers have been milquetoast and William Green wasn’t exactly a Hall of Fame running back when Couch had the starting job. It is more difficult to evaluate Couch because he has never had continuity in his career. Injuries (hand, forearm) have been problematic.

Donovin Darius, Jaguars — Darius signed the Jaguars’ $4.1 million tender offer after it became clear the two sides wouldn’t agree on a long-term contract. Darius is underappreciated on a national scope, but teams are wary of a player whose head coach goes on the record with hard-hitting criticisms that the strong safety is selfish and not team-oriented. He rubbed the front office the wrong way by skipping out on the offseason conditioning program, but he also reported to training camp in the best shape of his life in 2003. Darius, 26, could start for 20 or 22 teams in this league, and the fact that Jacksonville continues to limit his mobility on the open market by twice placing the franchise designation on him despite minor clashes with the coaching staff says something.

Jason Gildon, Steelers — No longer the sack master he was three years ago, Gildon was poor to average on the whole last season. He’s making too much to remain in Pittsburgh as Clark Haggans’ backup, and 3-4 teams like Houston have backed off showing interest. Like any veteran, the Raiders and Patriots will call Gildon if he’s released.

LaMont Jordan, Jets — The Jets threw Jordan in the mix in their March trade offer to the Redskins for Champ Bailey. The power running back garnered more work last season as a goal-line and short-yardage replacement for Curtis Martin, but he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season. Dallas had interest in Jordan last season but hasn’t called since then. Teams won’t pay the Jets’ price for Jordan with the knowledge he will be available to the highest bidder next March; Martin’s contract constricts the Jets’ salary cap to the point Martin may not even get an offer to return. GM Terry Bradway used a seventh-round pick on Ottawa (Kan.) RB Derrick Ward, who has the same package as Jordan and would appear to be his replacement.

Ty Law, Patriots — Let’s run down Law’s last four months: three interceptions of NFL co-MVP Peyton Manning in the AFC title game; led Super Bowl parade celebration after adding a second ring; called his well-respected head coach a “liar�; claimed his contract stance was about respect, not cash. Law and the Patriots are hardly at a standoff, but tension is near an all-time high between the two sides. New England protected itself by drafting defensive backs and adding veteran CB Jeff Burris should Law decide to hold out. If the Patriots realize in their first minicamp that rookie safeties Dexter Reid or Guss Scott can play free safety, they can move Eugene Wilson back to cornerback and give Law the boot.

Mike McKenzie, Packers — Disturbed by the Packers’ unwillingness to redo his existing contract, McKenzie is skipping this week’s minicamp and has been a no-show at offseason workouts. The Packers are fielding calls, but the phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook. McKenzie’s contract isn’t a major issue for Green Bay — he makes less than $3.5 million each of the next two seasons, and trading him would create cap space, not a cap hit. But McKenzie wants any team that trades for him to give him a new deal.

Dennis Northcutt, Browns — Bitter agent Jerome Stanley let him down (Stanley didn’t file the appropriate paperwork to enable Northcutt to gain free agency). Northcutt has vowed, through his agent, he’ll never play in Cleveland again. The Ravens made a bid but were denied. Cleveland reportedly has offered Northcutt a two-year deal, but it falls short of the 2003 offer worth approximately $13 million. Northcutt may come to the realization that his best option is returning to the Browns for the next two years to increase his free-agent worth in 2006. Northcutt did lead Cleveland in catches in 2003 but is not big enough to play on the outside for most teams.

Adewale Ogunleye, Dolphins — A restricted free agent, Ogunleye wants to play in Chicago, but the Bears don’t have the cap space or means (Miami wants multiple draft choices) to add the former Indiana defensive end. Ogunleye had 15 sacks last season, but how many of those can be credited to the “Jason Taylor effect�?

David Terrell, Bears — Disgruntled does not begin to describe Terrell, a first-round pick who has failed to live up to expectations. He gets new life under Lovie Smith, but Terrell needs a change of scenery. He is a decent red-zone wideout, but Terrell lacks the discipline to play every down.

[Edited on 30/4/2004 by saintz08]
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