Burwell: Of course the Rams want to deal ..
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
So it turns out the dramatic news flash coming out of the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last weekend was that your St. Louis Rams are willing to trade the second overall pick in the NFL draft.
Well, gasp and swoon. Who knew?
This is news like the sun coming up this morning is news. Of course the Rams are going to try to trade the pick. It would be news if they weren't trying. It would be something bordering on football malpractice if team vice president Kevin Demoff, new general manager Les Snead and new head coach Jeff Fisher weren't hanging out in the corridors of Lucas Oil Stadium or lurking in every hotel lobby in Indy acting like big flirts, showing their best come-hither looks to make sure everyone knows the No.2 pick is for sale to the highest bidder.
Several teams have already begun their initial flirtations with the Rams, but let's be clear, that's exactly where it is right now, strictly at the flirtation stage. No firm commitments, no concrete offers made. It's far too early in the process for it to be much more than that. The conversations have basically gone something like this:
"So I hear you guys are interested in trading the pick."
"What do you want for it?"
"A lot. A whole lot."
"Cool. That's what we thought."
"My people will call your people. We'll do lunch soon."
Remember what the scouting combine is: It's window shopping. Everyone there is just seeing what the merchandise looks like and making up their minds what they'll do next. It's all exploring and browsing. We're at least a month away from serious purchases. The only thing that we know for sure is that the market we thought might exist for the Rams' first-round pick is suddenly a robust one in large measure because Baylor's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III, went to Indy and dazzled folks. RG3 drove up value as the other true franchise quarterback in the draft behind Andrew Luck and increased the likelihood that no fewer than three teams — Cleveland, Washington and Miami — will seriously consider working a deal with the Rams.
But again, a lot has to happen before the Rams know what the marketplace will bring for RG3. Teams looking for quarterbacks must figure out where Peyton Manning is going first, and some will surely be interested in the intriguing Green Bay backup Matt Flynn, too.
So here's what all Rams fans ought to be doing right now: Root for Manning to make up his mind quickly and stop playing this silly game like he's actually going to stay with the Colts, because he's not. The sooner he makes up his mind that he's going to the New York Jets or Miami or Arizona or San Francisco or some other surprising destination, the better it will be for the Rams.
Once Manning is off the market, it simply becomes elementary that RG3 is the hottest QB on the market (assuming the Colts take Luck at No. 1), more enticing than Flynn because his arm, athletic ability and personality are all rising to off-the-chart levels. Just go back and look at the tapes and you'll understand why RG3 has the potential to be one of those remarkable star-quality NFL quarterbacks.
According to the NFL gossip, the Rams already have had trade discussions with the Browns (who have the No. 4 and No. 22 picks), the Redskins (No. 6) and Dolphins (No. 8). They have also had inquiries from teams just outside the top 10, but it's not likely the Rams will entertain those because, depending on their yet-to-be-set draft board, they are looking for a sure-fire impact player with that first pick and may not believe they can get one beyond the top eight picks.
In reality, if the Rams can get something similar to what the San Diego Chargers got for the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, they would be insane not to deal their pick. The Chargers took Eli Manning No. 1, then dealt him to the New York Giants for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fifth-round choice. Three of those four picks turned out to be Pro Bowl-caliber players — quarterback Philip Rivers, linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding.
The most likely suitors are the Browns, because they have those two first-round picks, and Washington because Fisher and Demoff have good professional and personal relationships with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen, which could cut through a lot of the unnecessary negotiating nonsense.
I can already hear the doom-and-gloom crowd who are afraid that if the Rams trade out of the No. 2 slot they'll lose out on Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Stop it. Please consult your 2011 NFL standings, a friendly reminder of how bad the Rams were last year. The Rams are not exactly in a position to be concerning themselves too much about being player-specific in this draft, because they need really good players at just about every position on their roster.
Do they need a game-breaking wide receiver? Absolutely. But they also need impact offensive linemen, whippet-quick defensive backs, run-stuffing interior defensive tackles, punt returners, kick returners and depth, speed and size at linebacker.
The priority right now shouldn't be so much who they should pick, but how many high picks they can accumulate, which is why there should be two words written in big block letters on the board in the Rams' draft war room.
And if there is another word that goes in between those two words it should be Quality AND Quantity, not Quality OR Quantity.
That's why it's not exactly news that the Rams are ready to trade their pick.
Re: Burwell: Of course the Rams want to deal ..
While I agree that the Chargers got a good deal for Eli, at least in the short term(before Merriman destroyed his playing ability), I think that their deal is actually under that which we should settle for.
Firstly, they couldn't have stuck with Eli, because he didn't want to play there. We don't need a QB, but it's not like we couldn't keep RG3 and trade Bradford at our leisure either. And as I said, RG3 is taller and faster than Blackmon...
Second, we have multiple suitors. Three top 8 teams confirmed so far as well other mystery teams outside of the top 10.
Third, with the rookie wage scale, trading up is cheap on the money investment, so the draft currency needs to increase. Some sort of law of balances or something like that. Basically, because of point three, point two becomes more valid. See Jones, Julio trade.