I was hoping to avoid this blog entry during a very busy time of year, but NFL teams have given me little choice. Marshall, McNabb, Holmes, and now Ginn. We can even leave the Free Agents like Julius Peppers, Aaron Kampman, and LaDanian Tomlinson aside for now with the stuff these trades give us.
Donovan McNabb to the Redskins
First off, I love it for the Redskins. You have a genius of a coach in Mike Shanahan and now he has something proven to work with. Normally I would be concerned about his receiving corps, but with Shanahan at the controls and a pack of experienced running backs (Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker), this offense went from a C+ to a B+. That is huge when you take into account that their defense is stacked with talent, though I am not sure if they have the personnel to be a 3-4 like they are trying. Albert Haynesworth is not a nose tackle, he is a defensive tackle who can rush the passer, not just a guy who clogs teh middle. That is a completely different story, however. I love this trade for the Redskins a million times over. Did not even give up that top 5 pick that they need to solidify that offensive line.
The Eagles have left me indifferent about this trade. I do not know if McNabb’s window had closed but just looking at the roster ir isn’t too hard to believe that the Eagles are trying to reload with the exit of Westbrook. I think I like Kolb, but the jury is still out on if he can step into Donovan McNabb’s enormous shoes. Keep in mind Donovan McNabb is the career leader in wins, passing yards, and games started so this is one of the faces of the franchise’s history, not just a quality QB. I think the Eagles could have gotten more for him, but when the trade is out in the open so long you tend to lose leverage. I think that absolutely happened, so the deal they got was not so bad. Look for the Eagles to once again be good but for Donovan McNabb to haunt them at least once next season.
That is a very brief breakdown of it all, but until we see the draft it will be harder to see what the teams are really going to look like.
Brandon Marshall to Miami
So you’re telling me a guy who is still haunted by the slaying of his teammate in Denver, has off the field issues, but is extremely talented gets to move to Miami? Sounds like a disaster to me, but sometimes it just takes a change of scenery for a guy. I love Brandon Marshall on the field, but I would be more surprised if he did not have any issues than if he had some. I think it makes the Dolphins better on the field, but that all that potential may not be realized in such a party-centric environment. Jury still out here, but expect mixed results out of Marshall.
Denver did not get enough for this guy. He was really their only target through the air that was consistent and was by far Kyle Orton’s favorite. Trading him says they are a) trusting Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal, b) would like to get their hands on Dez Bryant, and c) may only have a shot in the AFC West due to the general weakness of the division. Brandon Marshall will be sorely missed in Denver, because for all his off the field issues, he was a monster between the lines.
Again, brief, but let’s wait until after the draft to start looking at teams as a whole.
Santonio Holmes to the Jets
Steal. Not much else to say about it. Rex Ryan handles egos and “non-character” guys better than anyone and the Jets are officially scary if Sanchez can be efficient. Even the 4 game suspension shouldn’t be a big deal. Moving on.
The Steelers had better cover their…… backside. They have the Big Ben hailstorm, and this comparative blip gets Holmes the door? They must REALLY like Mike Wallace or someone in the draft they have a shot at because they are a spread offense (contrary to popular belief) and are now lacking Big Ben’s top target (since Hines Ward is getting up there in years). It is official for me. The Steelers are not winning the division this year and are going to miss the Playoffs again. A big forecast, but convince me they are better than the Ravens/Bengals (non-division winner) and Jets/Pats (non-division winner). You cannot. Don’t forget about the Titans either. Do not expect good vibes in Steel City.
Ted Ginn to the 49ers
I am not sure if love is the right word for the 9ers, but to me it clearly states that they are taking Jimmy Clausen with their first pick. Alex Smith does not have the arm to throw Ginn’s longball, but Clausen does, and I am happy for Clausen because this is a system he can thrive in. I like the added dimension Ginn gives San Francisco and his ability to hopefully keep safeties out of the box for FrankenGore. The special teams impact is generally underrated as well, but Ginn helps the 49ers quite a bit in many areas.
The Dolphins must like Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo because I think everyone thought they were going to go twin studs out wide with Ginn and Marshall, but evidently it is not the case. Ok, calling Ginn a stud is sort of a stretch, but he was quality and I thought could partner decently with Marshall. However, I do not doubt Parcells when it comes to stuff like that. I fully expect the Dolphins to make a good pick with the added pick as they have consistently recently (Jake Long, Bess, Vontae Davis). I will give Parcells the benefit of the doubt, but I really would have liked to see the Ginn-Marshall combo.
Expect more during and after the draft, but OTC is turning off the NFL machine for a little bit to focus on the NBA Playoffs and MLB season. Enjoy.
Very good point, we did leave Boldin out. With so many recent trades it is easy to forget that Anquan Boldin is a Baltimore Raven (unless you are a Cards or Ravens fan).
Anquan Boldin to the Ravens
I love it for the Ravens. They only had Derrick Mason and Ray Rice last year that were reliable receivers and with Joe Flacco’s emergence the last few years, Boldin looks to be a great piece for the Ravens. I have always liked Boldin as a player, with his toughness and running back abilities once he has the ball and adding him to an already very good Ravens team will do nothing but help them. Great move Ozzie Newsome.
The Cardinals sort of had to make this move, so I cannot hate on it too much, but they are really losing a hell of a player in Boldin. We all know he is really good, but he becomes even more valuable when you consider that he was really good at underneath routes, and with Matt Leinart at QB, there will be far more underneath routes than deep routes for Fitzgerald in the offense. I still think the Cardinals can win the West without him IF they become a run first team seemingly overnight. They do not have the personnel to throw it all over, and they do have the pieces to run the ball 30 times a game. I believe Whisenhunt will get it done, but they are really losing a hell of a player in Boldin. Again, I realize it was a long time in the making with Boldin’s contract demands, but Boldin will be missed.
A side note: I would not touch Larry Fitzgerald with a HazMat Suit this year for fantasy football. Boldin kept plenty of coverage from shifting toward Fitz, but with him gone, expect zero really clean looks for Fitzgerald more than 10 yards down the field.