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  1. #1
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    St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks
    BY Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Apr. 14 2009
    It's not unusual for NFL teams to fall in love with a player on draft day. But
    New Orleans took such infatuation to new heights in 1999. That's when Mike
    Ditka and the Saints traded their entire '99 draft and more to move up
    seven spots in the first round for running back Ricky Williams.

    Washington received the Saints' first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and
    seventh-round picks in the '99 draft. (The Saints had traded their second-round
    pick that February to the Rams for wide receiver Eddie Kennison.) The Redskins
    also received the Saints' first- and third-round picks in the 2000 draft. All
    to move up to Washington's No. 5 overall pick for Williams.

    Ditka spent the rest of the draft wearing a Hawaiian shirt as if to indicate
    he was on vacation. Then, as if consummating the Ditka-Williams marriage, there
    was the magazine cover of Ditka in a tuxedo and Williams in a wedding gown.

    Those were the days, eh?

    Ten years later, the landscape has changed. There hasn't been a trade involving
    a top-five draft pick since 2004, and early indications are that this will be
    the fifth consecutive draft with no such trade.

    "If you were a betting person, you would think that's probably going to be the
    case this year," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said.

    The reasons for trading down from a top pick haven't changed over the years:
    You're trying to pick up quantity for a little quality.

    "Teams picking at the top the first two, three picks of the draft as a rule
    aren't very good," Devaney said. "There's a reason why they're picking there.
    And one player's not going to make an immediate difference. Those teams would
    love to trade back, get more players. They need better players on their roster."

    But in recent years, the economics of the game have made it riskier for teams
    to move up. The Rams, with the No. 2 overall pick, are looking at a potential
    overall contract of $50 million with guaranteed money in excess of $20 million
    if they keep the pick.

    "That's a big part of it committing that much money to one person," Devaney
    said.

    As a result, you better have a Ditka-sized crush on a player to move into the
    high-rent district of the first round. Maybe it's a situation where there's
    just two marquee quarterbacks in a draft, or two marquee pass rushers, and you
    want to make sure you get one.

    "That doesn't present itself very often," Devaney said. "Teams usually aren't
    in that position where they feel, 'OK, there's just one guy that we have to
    have. There's one guy who's absolutely worth the first or second pick in the
    draft.'

    "There's usually better options that are lower in the first round. Where the
    price tag is significantly lower, and talent-wise, it's not that big of a
    drop-off."

    That appears to be especially true in this year's draft, according to the
    experts.

    "It's a horrible year to have a pick way up there," said a veteran NFC scout,
    speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Now I wouldn't say that if there was a
    set wage scale, where you pay a guy maybe a maximum of $6 million or something.
    But this $30 million guaranteed. ..."

    According to the NFC scout, the players at No. 7 through No. 15 overall in this
    draft are every bit as good as those that might be taken Nos. 1 through 6.

    "It's a good draft to have second- and third-rounders, not a good draft to have
    real high picks where you've got to pay 'em," the scout said.

    That's actually been the case the past couple of years in the draft. What
    Devaney calls the "wow factor" hasn't been there at the top of the first round.

    "There hasn't been that marquee guy, those one or two or three guys, where you
    say, 'This guy's flawless. He's a first-year impact guy. He can put us over the
    top,'" Devaney said. "That's been lacking. So all those reasons make it really
    tough to trade out of there."

    Like the rest of the league, the Rams use the draft value chart as a measuring
    stick in deciding what is a good value in any trade-down or trade-up scenario.

    "Four or five years ago, people really stuck to it," Devaney said. "I think the
    past couple of years it's become more of just kind of a gauge. Because it's so
    difficult now to find trading partners, you don't want to be locked into
    saying, 'Here's what the chart says we have to get.'"

    In the trade chart, each pick in the draft is assigned a point value that
    decreases as the pick falls in the draft. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft
    is worth 2,600 points.

    So, let's make a trade. For example, say Denver absolutely, positively has to
    have Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, and is willing to trade up
    to the No. 2 spot for him.

    The Broncos have two first-round picks the No. 12 and No. 18 overall picks.
    According to the draft chart, the No. 12 pick is worth 1,200 points; the No. 18
    pick is worth 900. Together, that's 2,100 points, which at least puts the
    Broncos and Rams in the same neighborhood. Throw in a second- or third-round
    pick by Denver and that probably makes a deal.
    ________________________________________
    What's a draft pick worth?
    Tuesday, Apr. 14 2009
    NFL teams use a "value chart" to assign points to draft positions. Charts may
    vary from team to team, but most are similar. They help teams measure trades.
    For example, the No. 2 pick (2,600 points) would be worth a No. 6 and No. 10.
    Here are the values assigned to picks in the first two rounds:

    Round 1 Round 2

    1. 3,000 33. 580

    2. 2,600 34. 560

    3. 2,200 35. 550

    4. 1,800 36. 540

    5. 1,700 37. 530

    6. 1,600 38. 520

    7. 1,500 39. 510

    8. 1,400 40. 500

    9. 1,350 41. 490

    10. 1,300 42. 480

    11. 1,250 43. 470

    12. 1,200 44. 460

    13. 1,150 45. 450

    14. 1,100 46. 440

    15. 1,050 47. 430

    16. 1,000 48. 420

    17. 950 49. 410

    18. 900 50. 400

    19. 875 51. 390

    20. 850 52. 380

    21. 800 53. 370

    22. 780 54. 360

    23. 760 55. 350

    24. 740 56. 340

    25. 720 57. 330

    26. 700 58. 320

    27. 680 59. 310

    28. 660 60. 300

    29. 640 61. 292

    30. 620 62. 284

    31. 600 63. 276

    32. 590 64. 270



  2. #2
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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    I agree with Billy. We should trade down for more picks. We need a lot more than one player to make us contenders again.

    Just my opinion...

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    It's hard to fathom that having the number 2 pick in the draft is a bad thing.
    After reading this article that's exactly how I feel. It all comes back to money. There aren't any players worth the type of contracts they would be requesting in the top tier? Because of that, trading the pick is very difficult unless there's a team out there that has an individual graded much higher than say the RAMS do?

    Now my head is really spinning....

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    You can only blame the teams themselves for allowing rookie contracts to get this out of hand. They are also the only ones with the power to stop it or bring it back

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    You can only blame the teams themselves for allowing rookie contracts to get this out of hand. They are also the only ones with the power to stop it or bring it back
    Very true, the NFL needs a rookie salary cap!

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    2009 NFL Draft, here we go! I kind of hope we don't get matters too complicated by making deals with other teams this year. 2009 seems to offer a safe, sound 2nd overall pick and I'm eyeing either...

    a. Aaron Curry, LB (not by need but by value), or,

    b. Eugene Monroe, OT, or,

    c. Ay Douhn Noyet. Okay, who else do we have to choose?

    This is from the little I've read on '09 prospects as compared to the eye-popping 2nd selection we have.
    Last edited by RealRam; -04-15-2009 at 04:19 AM. Reason: Tyop

  7. #7
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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    Very true, the NFL needs a rookie salary cap!
    More than it needs a Collective Bargaining Agreement? I think a rookie cap is necessary, but there are other more pressing needs for the NFL and its Player's Association to be concerned with for at least the next twelve months.

  8. #8
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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    More than it needs a Collective Bargaining Agreement? I think a rookie cap is necessary, but there are other more pressing needs for the NFL and its Player's Association to be concerned with for at least the next twelve months.
    Exactly. Rookie contracts are out of control at the top of the first round, but let's think for a minute what could happen to veteran contracts if the CBA expires and there is no overall salary cap in place.

    I guess we could hope that teams take it upon themselves to start curbing their contract offers to try and keep things under control, but we know that won't happen. Someone will fall in love with a player and throw boatloads of money at him (ie. Albert Haynesworth).

    A rookie wage scale will be an important step, but only after a league salary cap is secured for the future.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Exactly. Rookie contracts are out of control at the top of the first round, but let's think for a minute what could happen to veteran contracts if the CBA expires and there is no overall salary cap in place.

    I guess we could hope that teams take it upon themselves to start curbing their contract offers to try and keep things under control, but we know that won't happen. Someone will fall in love with a player and throw boatloads of money at him (ie. Albert Haynesworth).

    A rookie wage scale will be an important step, but only after a league salary cap is secured for the future.
    I understand from your prior posts that getting a new CBA in place is the owners' priority for the obvious reason$ but I'm not sure why the rookie salary cap might be a sticking point for the NFLPA.

    Surely it benefits the majority of players. Since their share of the NFL money pie is so unfairly distributed because of these monster rookie contracts, why would they fight the idea?

    The only guys I could see being unhappy would be the top college players but it's not as if anyone's suggesting one year minimum wage deals here.

    I could see the NFLPA niggling over the new deal to get the benefit of that one year of hog wild spending but it's a shortsighted view that won't help the rank and file at all short or long term ,imo.

  10. #10
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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    I understand from your prior posts that getting a new CBA in place is the owners' priority for the obvious reason$ but I'm not sure why the rookie salary cap might be a sticking point for the NFLPA.

    Surely it benefits the majority of players. Since their share of the NFL money pie is so unfairly distributed because of these monster rookie contracts, why would they fight the idea?

    The only guys I could see being unhappy would be the top college players but it's not as if anyone's suggesting one year minimum wage deals here.

    I could see the NFLPA niggling over the new deal to get the benefit of that one year of hog wild spending but it's a shortsighted view that won't help the rank and file at all short or long term ,imo.
    I'm not sure it's a matter of a rookie wage scale being a sticking point, but rather focusing on what's necessary to ensure a CBA extension and then worrying about other priorities later. The more things you try to add in there, the more complicated things can get.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I'm not sure it's a matter of a rookie wage scale being a sticking point, but rather focusing on what's necessary to ensure a CBA extension and then worrying about other priorities later. The more things you try to add in there, the more complicated things can get.
    I don't mean to be either stubborn or naive but I still don't get why something doesn't really seem to have a downside for the majority of either party to the CBA would not be considered almost as central to the continued success of the league for owners, players, and fans as the agreement to a cap at all.

    That's really what I was asking for; a "con" argument other than gumming up the negotiations.

    Maybe the more successful teams might resist; they seldom have to worry about picking in the top 5,after all!

  12. #12
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    Re: St. Louis Rams consider options of trading draft picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    I don't mean to be either stubborn or naive but I still don't get why something doesn't really seem to have a downside for the majority of either party to the CBA would not be considered almost as central to the continued success of the league for owners, players, and fans as the agreement to a cap at all.

    That's really what I was asking for; a "con" argument other than gumming up the negotiations.

    Maybe the more successful teams might resist; they seldom have to worry about picking in the top 5,after all!
    I think one argument is that top pick rookie contracts impact veteran negotiations. For instance, Jake Long was signed to a six-year $57 million contract as a rookie; Jordan Gross turns around the next season and signs a $60 million contract. It gives veterans leverage in negotiations, being able to say, "Look, that rookie hasn't done what I have and he's making X amount of money."

    Another would be, as you said, there's probably a portion of teams in the NFL who are consistently good and rarely pick in the top ten, and thus don't have to worry about these kinds of contracts. Because really, the problem only exists at the very top of the first round. The rest of the first round and rest of the draft is pretty reasonable in terms of contracts.

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