The other side of 'future-pick' trades

May, 3, 2010
5/03/10
10:45
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Reading Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece on SI.com, the name Armanti Edwards jumped off the page.

As noted by King, Edwards is the player that the Carolina Panthers picked in the third round of the draft (89th overall). To select Edwards, the Panthers traded a 2011 second-round pick to the Patriots for that 89th spot.

In "Monday Morning Quarterback", King writes that Edwards made onlookers take notice at the Panthers' weekend minicamp with a few one-handed catches, before adding: "There's going to be pressure on Edwards to play a big role and to play it early after the Panthers dealt a 2011 second-round pick for the third-rounder they used to choose him."

At the time of the trade, my opinion was that it was good business by the Patriots.

Given that they had already selected four players, and had a fifth coming at the 90th pick, upgrading into the second round next year seemed like a smart thing to do, especially considering some of the growing pains the Panthers might have without a battle-tested-over-time quarterback.

But I also see the other side of the equation, as two teams that made similar deals with the Patriots last year -- the Jaguars and Titans -- have reason to feel good about those deals.

The Jaguars traded a 2010 second-round pick for a 2009 third-round pick and selected William & Mary cornerback Derek Cox, who stepped right into the starting lineup and looks like a promising player.

The Titans traded a 2010 second-round pick for a 2009 third-round pick and selected South Carolina tight end Jared Cook. While Cook didn't have the same impact as Cox, Titans coach Jeff Fisher believes that will come in 2010.

In the end, teams that "sacrifice" one round by dealing a future pick can benefit by getting the player one year early, as the Jaguars clearly did with Cox.

It costs them some flexibility in the following year's draft, but if their personnel evaluations are sound, that can also be a winning strategy.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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