Could Joe Thomas or Joe Staley be Traded

The NFL trading deadline is approaching and while in season trades of star players is still pretty rare it is being floated that two left tackles are available for the right price. The Browns are supposedly willing to deal 9 time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas for a 2nd round draft pick while the 49ers are hoping for a 1st round pick for 5 time Pro Bowler Joe Staley. We’ll take a brief look at the cap room needed to acquire each player as well as the realistic market for both. Continue reading Could Joe Thomas or Joe Staley be Traded »

Thoughts on Eagles and Vikings Trade of Sam Bradford

Following a devastating injury to Teddy Bridgewater the Vikings turned around a traded a 1st and 4th round draft pick to the Eagles for Sam Bradford. It’s an interesting trade. One it reinforces the desperation that teams have for a QB. Secondly the Eagles paid $11 million for Bradford this year and he will never take a snap for the team, essentially paying an extra $11 million for a draft pick. It is, in my opinion, the first trade that starts to really put into focus how much a team truly values a draft pick versus cap room and putting into focus the Eagles unique philosophy regarding contracts and team building.  Continue reading Thoughts on Eagles and Vikings Trade of Sam Bradford »

Evaluating the Browns and Eagles Blockbuster Trade

In less than a week we have had our second major blockbuster trade, this time between the Eagles and Browns with the Eagles moving up to number 2 in the draft. The Eagles in return will send their 1st, 3rd, an 4th round picks this year and their 1st and 2nd round picks next year to the Browns. I had a chance to listen to GM Howie Roseman explaining some of the reasoning behind the trade today, which echoed many of my own thoughts when exploring the reasons for drafting a QB regardless of roster construction, but the cost of this was pretty big. I’ll use our OTC trade matrix to again grade the trade from both sides. Continue reading Evaluating the Browns and Eagles Blockbuster Trade »

Another Trademark Patriots Offseason

I’ve already explained how much sense the Chris Hogan move made from the Patriots perspective as he’s the perfect kind of undervalued player with potential that the Patriots have always been able to find under Bill Belichick. But yesterday, March 15th, was an absolutely quintessential Patriots day as they traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Cardinals for guard Jonathan Cooper and the Cardinals second round pick, then signed 31-year old veteran defensive end Chris Long to a one-year contract. Jones is not an easy player to trade away after the best season of his career in 2015 with 12 ½ sacks, but there are multiple important reasons why the Patriots made this deal.

Continue reading Another Trademark Patriots Offseason »

Patriots and Cardinals Make Big Trade

While there have been many trade rumors this offseason, today was our first one where the Patriots sent star defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2nd round pick and guard Jonathan Cooper.

While many are going to point to Jones’ off the field issues this past year, Jones’ fate with the Patriots was likely sealed when they saw the contracts come in for Malik Jackson and Olivier Vernon in free agency. Jackson landed a $14.25 million contract off a 5.5 sack season while Vernon, who was generally the second pass rusher in Miami, scored $17 million a year. If those players are worth that it means Jones is worth close to $20 million a year. Continue reading Patriots and Cardinals Make Big Trade »

Eagles to Trade for Sam Bradford

The NFL is rapidly becoming a trading league today as the Eagles intend to trade Nick Foles to the Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford. Bradford is a former number 1 overall draft pick, but has been consistently injured during most of his career. Foles was injured last season and has yet to start a full slate of games, though he was the catalyst for an Eagles playoff run in 2013.

The Eagles will take on the final remaining year of Bradford’s contract which is currently valued at $12.985 million. The Eagles could extend him or renegotiate that figure down to be more in line with his more recent production. Considering they just traded for him I would imagine a short term extension is more likely than a pay cut unless Bradford is just looking for a change of scenery and was willing to take a cut to make the deal happen.

The Rams will carry $3.595 million in cap charges for Bradford, but that will represent a savings of $12.985 million. Foles costs next to nothing this year, just $1.542 million. Foles is also in the final year of his contract and could be extended if the Rams view him as their long term solution. Extending Foles now, if they believe strongly in him, will result in a better contract for the Rams if he were to play out his deal and succeed.

The Eagles will now have two highly drafted, but largely considered “bust”, quarterbacks on their roster in Bradford Mark Sanchez. Both are considered somthing of reclamation projects and both have been considered poorly coached throughout much of their careers. Sanchez just signed a $4.5 million contract yesterday with the team with a few million in incentives tied to playing time. Given Bradford’s injury history he may have a better chance at earning them.

Saints and Seahawks Working on Blockbuster Trade for Jimmy Graham

With free agency about to begin word leaked that the Seattle Seahawks are going to trade for star tight end Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. In return the Saints will get back center Max Unger and a first round draft pick.

From the Saints perspective this is a shocking move. They just signed Graham last season to a $10 million a year contract in which they paid him $13 million, most of which came in the form of a large signing bonus. Graham was generally considered the second best tight end in the NFL, behind only Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots.

While the salary cap is always a concern for the Saints this is not a cap related move. Graham will now count for $9 million against the Saints cap due to that large bonus, a gain of just $2 million in space. Unger will bring back with him a salary of $4.5 million, a net loss on the move.

My feeling is that the trade is more about a fear on Graham’s future and his less than expected play than anything else. While cash flows can be an issue they will likely break even on the move. They avoid $8 million in salary for Graham this season but will pick up $4.5 million for Unger and another $3.8 million in payments to their first round draft pick. I believe the team felt it was best to strike now before there is limited value later. This will solve some future cap problems as Graham’s $12 million cap hit in 2016 will now vanish from the books.

For Seattle this is a good fit of a player for their offense. Graham is a big play guy and that is what the Seahawks will look for in their downfield passing attack. While he may not put up the big numbers he put up in New Orleans I would expect his contributions to be significant when they target him.

From their financial perspective they will take on an $8 million cap hit for Graham this season, $9 million in 2016, and $10 million in 2017. None of the money after this season is guaranteed so they can cut Graham at any time if things did not work out. They will carry a $2.2 million dead charge for Unger and gain $3.4 million by trading him. That works out to a net cap loss of $7.6 million, and about $6.4 million once you factor the draft pick in.

Seattle has seemingly moved away from the model that they constructued their team with as this is their second major trade in three years to try to improve their receiver spot. The move for Percy Harvin ended up being one of the worst trades in recent memory and he was traded just one and a half years into his tenure. Seattle will hope this one pays off much more.