speculation about speculation about speculation

>> 3.17.2009

This little tidbit appeared on the mlive.com "Highlight Reel" blog: the Lions might be sniffing around Buffalo's LT, Jason Peters.  Peters played last year in Buffalo only after an extensive holdout, and this year he looks ready to do the same.  Peters is doing the same thing that many of us have been doing lately when examining candidates for the first overall pick: comparing his worth to that of 2008 rookie LT Jake Long.  This is the first time (that I know of) that a player is trying to establish his market price in relation to a recent top pick, as opposed to what other veterans are fetching on the free agent market.  The Bills appear to be essentially saying, "Hey, 1.1s get 1.1 money; their market is compared to previous 1.1s, not to veteran players of the same position".  These negotiations, if they go sour, might be a tipping point in the debate over the contracts doled out at the top of the draft . . .

Meanwhile, the Lions are licking their chops.  If they can get a young, proven veteran LT in his prime, then they will have filled another hole.  Moreover, that would give them tremendous flexibility in their attempts to swing a deal for Jay Cutler.  If they already have a franchise LT, and MLBs look plentiful at 1.20, they could trade the 1.1 to Denver, let them board the Matt Stafford Failboat, and ride Jay Cutler to the NFC North title, the year after going 0-16.  Or, they could draft Aaron Curry 1.1, and still give up the 1.20 without giving up the chance to land a quality LT.  Or, they could draft Stafford 1.1 without guilt, knowing they've already built a tremendous OL in front of him, and put talented skill players around him.

One other article I'd like to draw your attention to is over at DF79's blog.  He dissected the Redding/Peterson trade in incredible detail, including all of the various salary cap implications.  A tip of that hat to you, sir.

4 comments:

Anonymous,  March 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

A #1 pick for Cutler??? Look sir, there are treatment options for your condition call 1-800-IMCRAZY.

Ty March 17, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

So you'd rather the Lions make a $100M investment in Stafford? Chain the franchise to some kid who has all the earmarks of being the next Joey Harrington? Burn that pick on an LT who barely ever had to run block in his entire career at a mid-major? Getting out from under having to cut a thirty-five million dollar check to a rookie, gaining a young, experienced, proven franchise QB, and still having a shot at Rey Maualuga or James Laurenitis at the 1.20? Sounds like a pretty plum scenario to me.

That #1 overall pick is as much of a death sentence as a boon. Who cares what the draft chart says, the best Matt Stafford can possibly be is Jay Cutler's equal. If the Broncos will take that trade, the Lions must pounce on it.

Peace
Ty

Steve March 18, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

Ty--Regarding "Speculation about Speculation..", Don't them wiseass-fillosophers call that "Meta-Speculation"?

At any rate, you are right, proven commodities have more intrinsic value, especially in the form of young players like Peters and Cutler.

There are people who would argue that gaining pick 1.1 for ineptitude, rather than helping league parity, actually serves as a form of punishment, especially for those franchises in small markets or ones that struggle in generating local revenues.

So if the Lions were able to turn their early picks into either one or both of the top 50 players in the NFL, I would not say that they are crazy, unless you add this appendix..."like a fox"

Ty March 18, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

Steve--

Ha ha, right you are. "Meta-Speculation" it would be, indeed. And yes, the salaries attached to the top few overall picks have basically been dooming struggling franchises to take tackles and quarterbacks who may or may not be worth it. You can see it with us and Harrington, with San Francisco and Alex Smith. "The best quarterback in the draft" isn't necessarily the best player in the draft, or even close to it for that matter. I think Stafford would make sense below the 15th pick, but not before.

And yes, spending the 1.1 on an established franchise QB (instead of a guy who's got about a 30% chance of becoming one) would be crazy like a fox.

Peace
Ty

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