Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NFL Trade Deadline Advice for Ted Thompson

The NBA and MLB trade deadline is exciting because teams actually make franchise altering trades, think the Milwaukee Brewers trading for C.C. Sabathia, unfortunately that is not the case in the NFL.  Even with the NFL moving the trade deadline from the Tuesday following Week 6 games to the Tuesday following Week 8 games, I expected little to no movement.  Thanks to Hurricane Sandy's wrath, the NFL moved the trade deadline back two more days from Tuesday, October 30th to Thursday, November 1st.  This marks the latest NFL trade deadline that I can remember yet I would still be shocked if any team made a blockbuster trade.

Unfortunately if NFL teams are reticent to make trade deadline deals then Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson loathes making trade deadline deals because almost any trade would mean that Thompson would have to part with draft picks.  Normally I agree with Thompson but the Packers have some legitimate needs: a punishing running back, a mercenary middle linebacker, and a legitimate starting safety.  It is highly unlikely that the Packers will make any trades but here are five realistic ideas for Thompson:

Offer the Tennessee Titans a 6th round draft pick for Jared Cook (TE): At first glance this trade makes no sense because the Packers have a ton of depth at tight end (Finley, Crabtree, Williams, Taylor, and Quarless) and Cook is in the final year of his rookie contract (only earning $615,000 this season) but adding Cook would give the Packers another physical freak at tight end besides Finley.  Plus if Cook outperformed Finley then the Packers could decline their option for Finley for 2013 and move forward with Cook, Crabtree, Williams, Taylor, and Quarless.  At the very least it would be interesting to see if Cook and Finley could co-exist in 2012 right?

Offer the Buffalo Bills a 3rd round pick for Jarius Byrd (S) and a 6th round pick: The Bills came into 2012 with high expectations but their season is about to come to an end.  After losing to the lowly Tennessee Titans to drop to 3-4, the Bills go on the road to play the Texans and Patriots so the Bills will be effectively eliminated from playoff contention before Week 10 so they might as well get something for Byrd since he looks poised to leave via free agency following 2012.  There is no denying that Byrd is an upgrade over Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings.  That doesn't even factor in that the Bills should be motivated to move Byrd because they have a ton of defensive players signed to expensive long-term contracts: Mario Williams (DE), Kyle Williams (DT), Chris Kelsay (DE), Marcell Dareus (DT), and Mark Anderson (DE).  Again this trade makes too much sense for both teams, so it will never happen. 

Offer the Carolina Panthers a bag of balls for DeAngelo Williams (RB): Despite the fact that Williams is rapidly approaching 30, he is in just the second year of a five-year, $43 million contract that pays him $5.25 million dollars this season.  I actually think the Carolina Panthers would be the big winners in this trade because it would rid them of one of the worst contracts in the NFL.  So yes this is a joke, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Offer the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 7th round draft pick for LeGarrette Blount (RB): It is sad that the 3rd string running back for the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be a better option than what is currently on the roster.  Blount has some issues (The Punch) and is by no means a long-term solution the Packers desperately need at running back, but Blount would give the Packers a big body built for situational touches in short yardage situations.

Offer the San Francisco 49ers a 5th round draft pick for Larry Grant (MLB) or Tavares Gooden (MLB): The 49ers have the best tandem of middle linebackers in the NFL in Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis so if any team can part with a middle linebacker, it is the 49ers.  I say Grant or Gooden because they are essentially fungible goods (quality middle linebackers only signed through 2012) so the Packers are essentially trading for a mercenary middle linebacker for this season because Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith are set to return healthy in 2013.  I doubt that the 49ers want to help a fellow Super Bowl contenders but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Offer the St. Louis Rams a 4th round draft pick for Stephen Jackson (RB): Much like the Packers previously flirting with trading for Randy Moss or Marshawn Lynch, this trade makes too much sense.  A 4th round pick might seem a little rich of a guy starring down the barrel of 30 that is set to earn $3.5 million for the rest of 2012 and $7 million in 2013 but the Packers need a running back that they can give the ball to on 3rd and 1.  Jackson is the running back that actually picks up the requisite yard for a first down.  With the Rams entering full rebuilding mode, any draft pick the Rams could get for the woefully overpaid Jackson is a win.

Again I would be shocked if Thompson made any of the aforementioned trades but it is undeniable that adding any of the players discussed above (besides Williams obviously) are the type of realistic acquisitions that could catapult the 2012 Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl.

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