Daily Archives: February 27, 2009

Trade: Winslow to Buccaneers, Vrabel to Chiefs

Free agency is open, and the moves are flying in. Later this weekend, we’ll do a football relativity list comparing these moves to each other. But the trade market is also moving in the NFL. On Friday, the Sage Rosenfels trade to the Vikings was finalized, and Rosenfels got a new 2-year, $9 million deal. But that wasn’t the only significant trade of the day. The Browns traded TE Kellen Winslow II to the Buccaneers for what was at first called “undisclosed draft picks.” (My guess was that they’re similiar to the 2nd- and 5th-rounders the Giants got for TE Jeremy Shockey, and that’s exactly what it is; reports are that that’s the case – a 2nd in ’09 and a 5th in ’10.) And the Patriots traded LB Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for an undisclosed pick.

So I thought we’d put together some thoughts on these trades. This may turn into part of a trades football relativity comparison if there are enough deals between now and draft day.

Kellen Winslow never quite lived up to his potential as a top-10 pick, but the second-generation tight end has certainly shown flashes of it in his five-year career – most notably during his 2007 Pro Bowl season. In Tampa, he’ll be at least the second receiving target (behind WR Antonio Bryant). Cleveland obviously wanted to turn the page and start over under a new coach and GM, and I’m not surprised they dealt Winslow. (I was expecting the trade to be WR Braylon Edwards to Philly, but this move is quite similar.) But the Browns will have to upgrade their offensive weapons if QB Brady Quinn (or Derek Anderson, if he starts) is going to have a chance of success. This move makes Tampa better, and it gives the Browns a chance to push the reset button harder and more effectively than they could have with Winslow still in the locker room.

Mike Vrabel went from an underrated performer to an impact player to a grizzled vet in New England – and the last category is why the Chiefs want him to be part of their team. Ex-Patriots official Scott Pioli is now running the show in Kansas City, and he knows Vrabel can be a great influence in the locker room and in the defensive huddle. Vrabel’s value is as the veteran influence who can help the Chiefs learn a new defensive system as well as develop a personality of a winning team. When Romeo Crennel was in Cleveland, he brought in Willie McGinest to do a similar thing. This is a move that won’t win a ton of games in Kansas City, but it should help the Chiefs’ young players learn how to win. That’s certainly worth a mid-round pick to Kansas City.

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Re-signings update: Jeff Saturday, DeAngelo Hall

The last-ditch efforts of teams to re-sign players before the free agent market opened resulted in two important deals. The Colts locked up C Jeff Saturday for three more years, while the Redskins gave a huge contract to CB DeAngelo Hall. So before we begin comparing the new free agent additions like Albert Haynesworth via free agency, we wanted to wrap up these re-signings. See how they compare to other such moves in the now full circle re-signings post.

C Jeff Saturday, Colts – It looked as thought Saturday was out of Indy, but a last-minute bump in the salary cap gave the Colts room to keep him. It was stunning last season the difference in the Colts’ offense when Saturday was in the lineup and when he was absent. That was the first prolonged injury of Saturday’s career. He’s dependable, he’s a line leader, and he can keep the line calls up with Peyton Manning’s extensive audibiling. The Colts needed to keep him, and the last second Hail Mary that kept him a Colt will end up being the team’s key move of the offseason.

CB DeAngelo Hall, Redskins – For the second straight offseason, Hall got a huge contract. In ‘08, he got $24 million in guaranteed money from Oakland, but the Raiders cut him after eight games because he was such a bad fit for their system. Hall landed in Washington and ended up being a huge upgrade over aging and injured corners Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot. Hall has worlds of talent, and in the right system he is a good fit, but he’s not a No. 1 corner – no matter what his new 6-year, $54 million contract tries to tell you. But it’s not a bad gig to lock down a total of $46.5 million in guaranteed money in less than 12 months.

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