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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; another take on howard from dallascowboys.com- Here's the Cowboys dilemma trying to trade for a guy who has 41 sacks in his five NFL seasons - 11 this past year - all averaging out to nearly .6 sacks every NFL ...

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Old 03-16-2005, 10:41 AM   #1
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another take on howard from dallascowboys.com-

Here's the Cowboys dilemma trying to trade for a guy who has 41 sacks in his five NFL seasons - 11 this past year - all averaging out to nearly .6 sacks every NFL start. That's good, even great by Cowboys' standards, but certainly not in the neighborhood of Michael Strahan or Dwight Freeney or Simeon Rice.

So the last thing the Cowboys want to do is give up one of their two first-round picks in this coming draft. Two firsts give a team somewhat control of that first round. Plus, by my logic, a first-round pick should last, if you pick correctly, like at least six to seven years.

But Howard turns 29 in November. Chances are, you aren't going to get seven years out of him. Heck, you might not get five. And if that's the case, then you aren't getting enough value for your first-round pick.

That brings us to a second-round pick, which it appears the Saints would be willing to accept, along with something else, just to ease that $7.8 million salary cap pain. But understand, you give up this year's second, and without a third-round pick (to Houston for Drew Henson), the Cowboys would be void of any ammo to move up with either of those first-round picks.

Wonder if the Saints would take 2006 draft choices?

Then again, you have to give up something to get something, and Howard would seem to be a guy who has become more of a salary-cap headache to the Saints than a guy whose production no longer is commensurate with his salary, as usually is the case with free agents. Sort of like Glover back in 2002.

Now there also is this salary thing, too. Howard's agent, Gary Wichard, has been asking the Saints for Grant Wistrom money - the six-year, $33 million and a signing bonus significantly more than the $14 million paid by Seattle last off-season. That would seem a tad pricy for a guy who has yet to land in the Pro Bowl. That also means, unless you are willing to eat a year or two of what would be a $2.83 million a year prorated signing bonus if he gets like $17 million, you are counting on Howard being able to play at a high level through age of 35.

Now you see the Cowboys dilemma? Feel their pain?

Or is this just the price of doing business when three of the past four defensive ends drafted in the first round or with a first pick and the one high-priced, free-agent signee have gone bust?

Ideally, the Cowboys probably would like to sign Howard to a five-year deal for around a $12-13 million signing bonus. They'd probably like to hang onto their second-round draft choice, but there seems to be little way around that, unless the Saints are willing to accept a draft choice in 2006. And since the Cowboys do not want to meet the Saints' desire to acquire Dat Nguyen, not sure there are any other expendable starters the Saints would accept that wouldn't significantly weaken one position for the Cowboys to strengthen another. I mean, for a one-for-one, I'm sure the Saints would be asking for like Roy Williams or Terence Newman or Flozell Adams - their accelerated signing bonuses making a trade cap-prohibitive.

Also, understand the Cowboys aren't the only team interested here, which is sure to drive up the stakes, both for the Saints and Howard. So you have to factor in not necessarily what's fair, but what the auction renders. And as you know, anytime you get involved in a live auction, you overpay, right, because there is always someone else there stubborn enough to drive up the price.

That means overpay the Saints and overpay Howard - double jeopardy.

This right here will better allow us to judge just how anxious the Cowboys are to turn things around in 2005. The needle currently seems to be splitting the extremes right down the middle, meaning they'd like to, but not at the expense of, say, 2007. This one might tip the scales.

We'll see just how sweet this really is.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:47 AM   #2
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Excellent post!
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