Revisiting cost in Ojinnaka trade

October, 1, 2010
10/01/10
6:45
AM ET
When the Patriots acquired offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka from the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 23, the compensation announced by the team was "undisclosed future draft considerations." The Falcons had announced the compensation as an "undisclosed draft pick."

Ojinnaka was released on Thursday and one of the first questions was naturally: "Do the Patriots still have to give up draft considerations/undisclosed draft pick?"

The question was asked to both the Falcons and Patriots on Thursday, because sometimes draft picks in trades can be "conditional", meaning that the player has to be on the roster, or play in a certain amount of games, for the trade to go into effect.

Neither side would confirm the details.

It is my understanding that the draft considerations were a straight-up seventh-round pick, with no conditions.

In one respect, this is a deal that doesn't look good for the Patriots, trading a seventh-rounder for a player who never suited up in a regular-season game and who was on the 53-man roster for just three weeks. For a team that values every draft asset, and has found gems like Julian Edelman in the seventh round, it looks like a miscalculation.

On the other hand, it is easy to forget about the lack of depth the team had on its offensive line in mid-August. The contract standoff with Logan Mankins, coupled with Nick Kaczur's back injury and the slower development of some young linemen, left the team in a potentially compromising situation if there was another injury. In that sense, one could argue that Ojinnaka, a fifth-year veteran with starting experience, was worth the short-term insurance policy because he bought the team more time to evaluate younger players until the picture on the line became clearer.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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