Draft gorge (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday April 3, 2007 4:24PM; Updated: Tuesday April 3, 2007 4:24PM
SHOULD THE REDSKINS SCREW UP ANOTHER DRAFT TO DEAL FOR LANCE BRIGGS? From Jeff, of King of Prussia, Pa.: "Can you come up with a theory as to why in the world it would make sense for the Redskins to trade for Lance Briggs? All of the throngs of diehard Redskins fans have become accustomed to our front office doing some wacky stuff, but the flirtation with trading for Lance Briggs takes the cake. It's indefensable. The Redskins are in good shape at linebacker and are desperate for help along the D-Line. So their answer is to trade the sixth pick in the draft for a disgruntled Pro Bowl linebacker looking for a big payday? To get Briggs and give up on Rocky MacIntosh, for whom they traded UP in last years draft to get? To sink outlandish amounts of money in our linebacking corps with Chris Cooley to sign to an extension next year? You'd figure losing Derrick Dockery in a similar manner would open their eyes. To completely ignore the identical failures of signing [Jeremiah] Trotter, [Jessie] Armstead, [Adam] Archuleta, etc.? How does the saying go? 'The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.' The Redskins were able to put away the wallet up to this point this offseason, bring in only a few new players, not overhaul the roster or coaching staff. Then this Briggs thing comes out of nowhere. Redskins Nation is collectively holding its breath that this trade DOES NOT happen!''
Wow. That's an intelligent, passionate fan right there. Here's my view of the deal: You're right -- the Redskins don't have a crying need at linebacker, and I don't expect them to make a trade, swapping the sixth pick in the first round and either MacIntosh or Lemar Marshall for Briggs and the 31st pick in the draft. But I think you need to realize why the Redskins would ponder this move. The one thing you must remember is that Lance Briggs is an excellent football player, one of the five or six best linebackers in football. Last fall, watching the Bears, I saw how they used Briggs and Urlacher interchangeably at both middle and outside linebacker, and Briggs was every bit the factor in many of their big games that Urlacher was. He can take on guards in the hole and he can play side to side as well as almost any linebacker playing today. I think he's worth the big money. If I were the Redskins, I would certainly trade my sixth pick for Briggs and the 31st, but throwing in the good linebacker would kill the deal for me. I hope for your sake the deal in its current permutation doesn't get done.
HOW HIGH A DRAFT CHOICE WOULD YOU TAKE FOR MICHAEL TURNER? From Dave Stein, of San Diego: "I'm hoping you'll address the new "buzz" surrounding the Chargers' Michael Turner. Specifically, if you were San Diego G.M. A.J. Smith, what would you want in exchange for moving Turner? Do you think Smith will get that offer?''
He's not going to get a good enough first-round pick to make the deal. If I were him, I'd take a second- and a third-rounder for him and laugh all the way to the bank. If I didn't get a pick in the top 40 of the draft, alone, I wouldn't consider moving Turner, who, obviously, is excellent Tomlinson insurance for at least one more year.
THE NFL SHOULD FORGET THESE INTERNATIONAL GAMES. From Jason Johnson, of Columbia, S.C.: "Why does the NFL need to play in Canada or China or England or Mexico or Pitcairn Island? All this can lead to is an international team, and not some watered down NFL Europe crap, but the Jerusalem Hedgehogs ... why do we need that? I realize the answer is money and exposure to a larger audience (i.e. foreign money), but why? The league is not publicly owned, and neither are the teams (except for Green Bay, whose shareholders, I am guessing, are not filling the Commissioner's inbox with letters requesting globalization of the League), so why the press for ever-expansive growth? I just hate to see my league go global. I know if it were my favorite team, losing a regular season home game to go play 4,000 miles from home, I would be pretty hacked off.''
That's one of the things that stunned me. The Dolphins' most attractive home game this year out of division just got tossed overseas. What does that say to your fans? On the subject of international play, I like it. I think it's a good idea to test the waters overseas. I know a lot of coaches who hate the thought of it, but there may come a day, 20 years from now, when international leagues are the norms in other sports, and to not even experiment with the idea of playing regular-season games elsewhere, in my opinion, is small-minded.
I LOVE CLIFF CHRISTL. From Zach, of Madison, Wisc.: "Peter, glad you enjoyed your stay here in Madison. A lot of us here are bemoaning the retirement of Cliff Christ, the veteran beat writer who covered the Packers. Since he mentioned you in his last column, I'm sure a lot of us would love to see his name dropped by a national writer such as yourself.''
I trust Cliff's judgment and his writing tremendously. In fact, his voice was annually one of the most respected of all the voices I heard in the Hall of Fame meeting every year. He did his research meticulously and took his role as one of the gatekeepers for the Hall of Fame as seriously as anyone I've seen in my 15 years in the room. I will miss Cliff a lot, and I'm very sad to see him retire. Among all the beat guys I read around the county, he is easily in the top 10 of those I've respected the most over the years.
STICK TO FOOTBALL, KING. YOUR BASEBALL PICKS STINK. From Dan W., of Queens, N.Y.: "Where do you get the cojones to pick Daisuke Matsuzaka and Adam Wainwright as 2007 Cy Young Winners? How you pick a rookie who has never pitched in the league before over Johan Santana, Chien-Ming Wang or Roy Halladay in the AL is beyond me. Not to mention Adam Wainwright over his well-deserving teammate (Chris Carpenter) in the NL. Please see over-hyped phenom Hideki Irabu, who was compared to [Roger] Clemens. We all know what happened there. Sorry, but it ain't going to happen.''
Opinions make the world go 'round. I guess I'm a victim of not liking to pick the chalk, and having seen Wainwright in spring training this year and getting wowed by him. And Dan, wouldn't it be easy to pick Johan Santana and Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter and the Yankees to win their respective awards and playoffs?