Thursday, August 26, 2010
The other side of the Camarillo trade
By Kevin Seifert
You have to give something to get something. Who coined that phrase? Albert Einstein? Adam Smith? Leonardo Da Vinci? Leonardo DiCaprio?
We know it didn't take a genius, that's for sure. Because everyone knew that if the Vikings wanted to address their personnel emergency at receiver, they would have to weaken another part of the team -- through the loss of a draft pick or a player. They chose the latter route by alleviating a logjam at cornerback, shipping nickel back Benny Sapp to the Miami Dolphins for receiver Greg Camarillo.
The move made sense on a relative scale, but now for the other side: The Vikings are one injury or performance slip away from a crisis at cornerback. I'm guessing that's what defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier had in mind when he spoke Wednesday about the trade, which left him with two experienced starters -- Antoine Winfield and Lito Sheppard -- and two backups with almost no NFL experience in Asher Allen and rookie Chris Cook. (See accompanying chart.)
Asked if the trade was a signal of his confidence in Allen and Cook, the normally optimistic Frazier said: "I wouldn't say that. The decision was made with different things going into it. But [Sapp] was a good player while he was here. He did a good job."
Nor was the trade an indication that injured starter Cedric Griffin is close to returning, Frazier said. Griffin remains on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"I wouldn't go that far," Frazier said. "He is still in the rehab stage and he hasn't done any drills with our football team. Everything is on the side, and it is hard to project what it is going to be like when he puts pads on and has to cover the wide receivers. I don't know how much that factored into the decision."
Few NFL teams have the luxury the Vikings enjoyed before the trade -- reliable depth at both cornerback positions -- but ultimately the Vikings decided they could live without it if it meant restocking their receiver position. I don't disagree with the move, even though you can make a reasonable argument about the importance of cornerbacks over receivers in roster composition.
As some other genius said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cornerback depth is what the Vikings sacrificed to fill their more glaring hole at receiver.