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Monday, March 9, 2009
Mailbag: Those draft-day trade scenarios

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jacob from Denmark writes: Hello and thank you for taking my question. Some believe the Eagles could be interested in trading up to get one of the highest rated OT's in the draft.

The Eagles have two first round picks, the Rams need young talent and with the Eagles' picks, they would have a chance of getting just that.

Even though I really would like to see Aaron Curry in a Rams jersey, I think they should try to get a deal done with the Eagles. Especially if they keep Orlando Pace, draft Eben Britton with pick number 21 (if Oher is gone) and give him a little time to develop into a better pass blocker.

Maybe they could give Pace some more rest and only use him on obvious passing downs, I think Britton will be an excellent run blocker immediately. And with the 28th pick, you never know, Rey Maualuga might still be there!!!

1.Do you think a trade is realistic?

2.How much can the Rams require for the number two pick overall?

3.Would it, in your view, make good sense for the Rams to trade down with the Eagles?

Mike Sando: Probably not realistic. Moving from 21st to second would, in theory, require massive draft capital. Using the Jimmy Johnson-style draft trading chart, the Eagles would have to part with more than the 21st, 28th, 53rd and 85th choices to make the trade. The trade chart is arguably outdated, but still, you get the idea.

In theory, yes, I think the Rams fit the profile of a team that could benefit from additional selections. It's just tough to drop 19 spots in the round.


Dave from Phoenix writes: I'm curiously watching the Eagles stockpile draft picks and attempt to bolster the O-line. Given the o-line depth in the draft, I keep wondering if they either have a window to get Anquan Boldin or are just going to make a play. Especially given that Q's agent was in town [or on the phone] with [Cardinals GM Rod] Graves close to when the [Greg Lewis] trade went down with the Pats. If Boldin truly wants a $10M-a-year deal, then the Cards can't keep him IMO. Eagles without Boldin are just good in a good division. Eagles with Boldin might be Super Bowl favorites for the NFC. What to you think?

Mike Sando: The Cardinals have shown no indication they would consider trading Boldin. They might be able to get a bidding war going if they would show signs of interest in a trade. The Eagles are in position to make that call, but I've seen no indication the Cardinals will deal Boldin.


Kraig from Seattle writes: Based on the impact of DeSean Jackson and Eddie Royal as rookie WRs, I was wondering if the speed factor they bring compensates for the rough edges that otherwise limit a rookie WR. If so, do you think the Seahawks might look more carefully at Jeremy Maclin? He could be a good return guy, in addition. Using Burleson that way proved costly last year, and Josh Wilson is becoming less expendable, too. Might these factors make a burner-returner attractive in the draft?

Mike Sando: I generally haven't seen Maclin valued as a top-five selection, but that type of move has precedent in Seattle. Joey Galloway was the eighth overall choice of the 1995 draft and a dynamic return specialist during his early seasons with the Seahawks.

Of course, if risking Nate Burleson to injury on returns isn't worth the gamble, why would the Seahawks consider using the fourth overall choice in that capacity? I generally think players chosen that early should be quick starters on offense or defense.


Charlie from Lexington writes: Hey Mike, any news on [Marvin] Harrison? Seems like he would have been signed by now. Also what do you think the 49ers are going to do about the right tackle position? Are they depending more on the draft? I would hate for them to think they could get a starting caliber tackle at the 10th spot but one isn't available. Then miss out on one in free agency.

Mike Sando: Marvin Harrison is probably realizing what all great players realize if they hang around long enough. Eventually, teams will no longer pay superstar money. Once that reality sets in, the player then must decide if he wants to play through age-related injuries, some of them chronic, for far less salary than he's accustomed to earning. I won't be surprised if Harrison walks away from the game before the game walks away from him.

The 49ers do appear focused on finding their next right tackle in the draft. They made no apparent attempt to find one in free agency.

The 10th pick is higher than teams generally consider taking career right tackles. The 49ers could probably find a likely starter in the second round.


Robb from Marin County writes: Mike, Thank you for the hard work you do. Love reading your blog. Regarding San Francisco's courtship of Warner, after reading Trotter's piece that you posted, I couldn't help but think the 49ers' talks with Warner seemed so fake and scripted. It seemed the only purpose was to help Arizona in negotiations. So does Arizona return the favor? And if so, how? Can you remember any other FA negotiations that happened like this?

Mike Sando: Players use these visits for their own purposes somewhat regularly. I don't think they necessarily do it as part of a conspiracy with the other team, in this case the 49ers. San Francisco figured it had nothing to lose in making its pitch. The 49ers might have had a 1 percent chance of signing Warner. That would have been zero percent without the visit.

We regularly see players make trips even though they hope to re-sign with their previous teams. That is nothing new.


Thomas from Antigonish writes: Given that the Rams will release Torry Holt, do you see any team stepping up and trading for him rather than risk him signing with another team? I can't imagine the asking price for the Rams to be overly high given we'll lose him for nothing otherwise.

Mike Sando: Unlikely. The acquiring team would absorb a fat contract complete with a $1.25 million bonus due March 17.


Zach from Great Falls writes: Hey Mike, I am so bothered right now, I really need your thoughts and perspective. I'm trying to figure out why niners go in so "soft" in trying to pick up a desent/sub-par player at QB. They couldn't get Warner so they signed Huard. He is trash! And old! With no good resume. And I am a little tired of McCloughan and co. Do the 49ers love scrub QBs? One after another; It's a disgrace to the Franchise legacy. They need to man
up and be aggressive, and get a good quality QB or 49ers will never reign supreme again.

Mike Sando: Damon Huard is a veteran backup. The 49ers didn't sign him as a franchise quarterback. We should not analyze that signing for something it was never intended to be.

Teams generally do not find franchise quarterbacks in free agency. They draft them and then keep them. The 49ers had their chance with Alex Smith. They didn't handle it well and they had some bad luck in losing Mike McCarthy and Norv Turner.


Michael from Lake Stevens writes: Mike, I love following your blog about the NFC West daily. You are one of the best and I am glad that I am able to get my Seahawks updates from you. With that said though, what do you think the odds would be of the Seahawks possibly picking up newly released free safety Roy Williams? Brian Russell was our big pick up a little bit ago but he has flopped from our expectations.

With many other teams signing safeties to larger contracts, does that mean the Seahawks are not going to find the talent we want at free safety from the draft? I know Roy Williams has had a troubled past at times, and isn't the best cover safety by any means, but couldn't he give us a safety we could be proud of? We could have Grant at strong safety and then Roy at free safety, throw in Trufant, Wilson, and that seems like a pretty solid secondary. Do we have the cap room?

And also, why haven't we locked up Leonard Weaver yet? He is not the prototype fullback, but he has gotten the job done, and is one of our more underrated players. It's amazing to me that he is still sitting there, and I have yet to see any articles about them going after him, or signing another full back. I like Owen Schmitt but he is not Leonard Weaver.

Mike Sando: Thanks, Michael. Likely you meant Deon Grant could play free safety, with Roy Williams at strong safety. We have not seen big-money deals for strong safeties this offseason. Jermaine Phillips went back to Tampa on a modest deal. Sean Jones went to Philadelphia on a one-year deal. I don't see the Seahawks or anyone else making a strong play for Williams under these circumstances.

I would expect something on Weaver sooner rather than later. The Eagles could be in play on that one. The Seahawks appear to be monitoring from afar.


Tim from Seattle writes: Sando, love the blog, I check it several times a day. Do you have any insight into the Cards' thoughts on resigning Bert Berry? He was great for us last season and would love to see him back. I know he is getting older, but he's a great team guy. Any word?

Mike Sando: Berry took a pay cut to $1 million last season. I could see him re-signing later in the process, although I haven't asked the Cardinals about him specifically. Sometimes teams will wait to see what they get in the draft before moving on an older free agent. Berry has shown he has value as part of a rotation.


Jim from Watertown writes: Always great info Mike, you just need more Rams!!!! Who would be the better FB for the Rams, Weaver from Seattle or the recently released Mike Karney from New Orleans?

Mike Sando: Thanks for helping with a Rams-related topic. Karney would be better as a traditional blocking fullback. Weaver would be better as a part-time fullback who gets some carries and helps Steven Jackson stay fresh.

Some of this will hinge on what the Rams want to do offensively. If Pat Shurmur keeps things the way Andy Reid had them in Philadelphia, Weaver might be the better fit as a back with receiving potential. If the Rams follow more along the lines of what the Giants did when Steve Spagnuolo was there, Karney might make more sense as a straight-ahead blocker.


Ryan from Hollywood writes: Hey Mike, love what you do for all of us NFC West fans. I was wondering what you think the likelihood of teams within the NFC West acquiring more draft picks before D-Day, so to speak. Obviously the situation in St. Louis with Mr. Holt could lead to the Rams acquisition of more picks but what do you think the likelihood of the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals gathering picks is?

I would love to see the 49ers, as a fan, grab more mid-late round picks and take some chances on guys that would help with a little development. How do you feel about all that? Thanks again.

Mike Sando: You're welcome. I think the Rams would be in position to justify that approach as a team coming off a 2-14 record with a new staff in place. The 49ers might have a harder time taking chances. I know Mike Singletary is in his first season as head coach, but this isn't really a new regime starting fresh. This is a 7-9 team hoping to take the next step, I think.


Tim from San Jose writes: There's a lot of excitement over Seattle signing Housh, but when people talk about Torry Holt, they talk about one-year deal, stopgap player (your words). Those two are only 1 year apart in age. Production-wise, Holt was a stud until last year, and even then he was very productive on a very bad Rams team. Help me understand this. What do you see Holt going for in this market?

Mike Sando: T.J Houshmandzadeh has shown he can be a 90-catch receiver no matter what happens to the offense. Perhaps Holt could have done that last season if given more of a chance. However, I think Holt's game would be more susceptible to age issues. He was a dynamic threat down the field. Houshmandzadeh has always been more apt to move the chains. His game would seem less susceptible to tailing off dramatically, even though I have taken note of his declining yards per catch numbers.

I also think Holt would be more of a stopgap player in San Francisco, where the team does not have an established quarterback, than he might be for another team. The phrasing reflects where the 49ers are at offensively, not just where Holt is at during his career.


Straightballer from Sacramento writes: Sando great blog. love the insight. But as you know the cowboys released pro bowl safety Roy Williams and it just do happens that that is one of the biggest needs for the 49ers. Do you think the niners will go after him? he's only 28. its a great up grade from mark roman. but do you think they will go after him? i think its a no brainer we need him!

Mike Sando: Thanks, SB. Jason from Australia, Josh from Delaware and others have asked the same thing. The problem as I see it would be that Williams doesn't play free safety, and that's where the 49ers had the need. I don't see the team necessarily replacing Michael Lewis just yet. Looks like Goldson gets the call at free. As noted previously, teams aren't lining up for these in-the-box safeties.


Josh from Fontana writes: Hey mike the seahawks signed TJ Houshmandzadeh and from your recent post most likley will pick up crabtree and the cardinals have one of he best receiving cores in the league. Does that mean my rams secondary is doomed. That's 4 games a year facing that. I think we will be the best running team

Mike Sando: 'Doomed' might be too strong a word, but 'imperiled' is a possibility. We just need to see how the players will respond to the new staff. The vibe in St. Louis is going to be a more positive one. They'll get more from the existing talent. I would like to see who emerges as the corner opposite Ron Bartell, and I'd like to see what the Rams do to help their pass rush. That running game you alluded to could be the Rams' best friend in terms of keeping that defense off the field a little more.