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Thread: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

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    PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick
    BY JIM THOMAS • Posted: Sunday, March 4, 2012 12:35 am

    In a perfect world at Rams Park, this is the week the team finalizes a trade-down from the No. 2 spot in the draft.

    Granted, the actual trade can’t be executed until March 13, the start of the free agency and training period. But you always can agree to terms before that — or at least get close to that — which is what the Rams would like to do before free agents hit the market. Or before teams have much of a chance to kick the tires on Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.

    Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus March 8, a bonus the Colts almost certainly aren’t going to pay given Manning’s neck problems. Unless there’s a restructured contract between now and then, which also appears highly unlikely, Manning will be released and become a free agent.

    He could be joined on March 13 by prospective free agents Jason Campbell of Oakland, Matt Flynn of Green Bay, Kyle Orton of Kansas City and Alex Smith of San Francisco. The Packers (Flynn) still can use a franchise tag to keep their quarterback. The ***** can’t, because they used the tag on safety Dashon Goldson. The Saints’ Drew Brees was taken off that market Saturday when he received the ‘‘franchise’’ tag.

    So there could be more options for quarterback-needy teams over the next 10 days, meaning it won’t be as much of a seller’s market for Baylor’s Robert Griffin III (and the Rams’ No. 2 pick).

    Working in the Rams’ favor, however, is the rookie wage scale instituted for the 2011 draft class. The No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, linebacker Von Miller, signed a four-year, $21 million deal with Denver, a huge savings over the last No. 2 pick under the old system, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He signed a five-year, $68 million deal with Detroit.

    If the Rams are successful in trading out, and Griffin indeed is the No. 2 pick this year, he will get a contract similar to Miller. And that figures to be a lot cheaper than any contract signed by Manning, if he reaches the market, and maybe even be cheaper than any deal Flynn gets in free agency.

    So far, however, the quarterback-needy teams don’t seem to be in a hurry to get Griffin. They might be waiting to see what happens with Manning, Flynn and the others. They might be waiting to do their due diligence and watch Griffin throw at his pro day March 21.

    In the meantime, the Rams are talking and will continue to talk with potential trade partners. According to league sources, this was the trade landscape entering the weekend:

    • Cleveland (No. 4 pick): The Browns are unwilling at this point to include their second first-round pick, No. 22, as part of any trade package with the Rams.

    • Washington (No. 6): The Redskins appear willing to trade their first-round pick next year, as well as their No. 6 overall pick this year. But they aren’t willing to include their second-rounder this year, which isn’t acceptable to the Rams.

    • Miami (No. 8): This one appears to be dead in the water, somewhere off Florida’s Gold Coast. After losing the tug-of-war for coach Jeff Fisher, the Dolphins aren’t eager to do business with the Rams — or do the Rams any favors.

    • Seattle (No. 12): No chance. The last thing the Rams want to do is send RG3 to a division rival and face him twice a year. The same applies for Arizona, which picks 13th.

    The Rams don’t deny there are a few “mystery” teams they’re talking to, but the two serious contenders remain Cleveland and Washington. And Washington continues to rate as the frontrunner, in part because it’s an organization that hasn’t been shy about making the big move under owner Dan Snyder. The same can’t be said about Cleveland, although the Browns do have the “tie-breaker” edge. If offers from the Browns and the Redskins end up being close, the Browns have the edge because they pick a couple spots higher.

    The Rams seem to be using as their model the 2004 draft day trade between San Diego, which had the No. 1 pick, and the New York Giants, at No. 4.

    In essence, the teams swapped first-round picks, with the Giants also sending San Diego a third-round pick in ’04, and first- and fifth-round picks in the ’05 draft.

    (Before the trade, the Chargers had drafted Eli Manning at No. 1 even though Manning had stated he didn’t want to play for San Diego. The Giants had selected Philip Rivers at No. 4. So those players were actually swapped and not the blank draft picks.)

    Under that model, if the Redskins were to offer that second-rounder in this year’s draft, plus their first-rounders this year and next, the Rams just might call it a deal. Media reports about the Rams reaping three or four first-rounders for Griffin are very optimistic. Griffin might be charming and talented ... .but not that charming and talented.

    The danger in moving down to the sixth spot with Washington is that it might move the Rams out of range of Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne. It’s generally considered a “six-player” draft — meaning there are six elite players at the top: quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Stanford and Griffin; offensive tackle Matt Kalil of Southern California; Blackmon; Claiborne; and running back Trent Richardson of Alabama.

    That could result in a situation where the quarterbacks go 1-2, the Minnesota Vikings taking Kalil at No. 3, Cleveland — after missing out on Griffin — settling for Blackmon at No. 4 and Tampa Bay taking Claiborne at No. 5.

    That would leave the Rams at No. 6 and only Richardson remaining among the “elite six.” With Steven Jackson still productive at running back, and Richardson coming off knee surgery, would taking Richardson really be the way to go for the Rams?

    Of course, they always could attempt to trade down again out of the six-hole. Perhaps to a team that just has to have Richardson. Perhaps to a team that wants Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, who’s generally regarded as the third-best QB in the draft.

    If that’s the case, the Rams would be trading out of elite-prospect territory into the realm of the “very good,” which can be a dangerous place to go. Then again, in any given draft, about half of the elite prospects never turn into elite NFL players.

    It’s a lot for the Rams to think about between now and the draft, and even between now and March 13.


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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    While I hate to question the supreme authority of unnamed "league sources," I have a hard time believing that the media actually knows what has been offered by each team.
    md8 likes this.

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Cleveland not offering there second one, Washington not offering there second round pick?

    And these "sources" said we could get up to three ones. Please JT. These offers wouldnt leak.

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    I do actually believe in this. Perhaps the Browns organization is trying to send a message..

    Anyways, if we somehow land the Browns 1.4, 1.22, and 1st next year I'll actually cry. That'd be the start to a dominant team if we can draft.
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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Like I've said before, an exceptional Pro-day from Griffin will turn all of these rumors on their heads. He will leapfrog Peyton Manning if only because of how cheap he'll be by comparison. Not to mention being 15 years younger.

    And I'd have a hard time believing that he is not already preferred over all of the other Free Agents.

    So heres to an exceptional pro-day, and let the chips fall where they may.

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    PFT: In St. Louis, Redskins viewed as favorites to trade up with Rams

    By Michael David Smith on March 4, 2012, 10:22 AM EST
    Griffin III of Baylor University looks for a receiver during NCAA football game against Huskies in San Antonio Reuters

    With the Rams almost certain to trade the second overall pick in the NFL draft to some team that wants Robert Griffin III, the big question in St. Louis is which team that will be.

    The Rams have already begun talking to other teams about a potential trade, and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Redskins are viewed as the frontrunners to be the Rams’ trading partners.

    However, there appears to be a fairly large sticking point: According to the report, the Redskins don’t want to include their second-round pick this year in moving up from No. 6 to No. 2, and the Rams want that pick to be a part of it. The Redskins are willing to include their 2013 first-round pick in the trade, but the Rams apparently want more than that.

    The old draft trade chart suggests that the Redskins would need to trade more than just their first-round pick and their second-round pick to move up to the No. 2 overall pick. But you can probably throw the draft trade chart out the window on this one. The Rams are going to trade the pick not for what is considered a fair price according to the chart, but for whatever is the best deal they can get. And assuming there’s more than one team enamored with Griffin, the Rams can likely get at least one team to overpay.

    At the moment that team doesn’t appear likely to be the Browns, however: They’re reportedly unwilling to give up both of their first-round picks (No. 4 and No. 22) to move up two spots and grab Griffin.

    The Rams are likely looking for something along the lines of what the Giants gave the Chargers in the Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade in 2004. That year the Giants got Manning (the No. 1 overall pick) in exchange for Rivers (the No. 4 overall pick), plus the Giants’ third-round pick that year and their first- and fifth-round picks the following year.

    So if the Redskins are the team moving up, they might be able to keep this year’s second overall pick. But they’d probably have to give up this year’s first and third, and next year’s first and fifth.

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Truthfully, the only thing that keeps our offers from going up is the fact that everyone knows that Manning is not going back to the Colts. Once he's released this week, we'll find out if we have lost a serious suitor or not. Personally, I don't think we do. The chances of Manning going to Cleveland or Washington are very small in my opinion. KC, Seattle, Arizona and Miami are all better fits, specifically the first three. They're in a winnable division where he can be the difference to get them into the playoffs. Miami gives a solid team that just needs a pro-bowl QB to do some damage. He has to fight Brady for the division title, however, which may persuade him towards the west.

    In my mind, Flynn then becomes the only hinderance, but I don't foresee Holmgren going after him, even if the last time he got a GB backup worked so well for him. Flynn doesn't seem like a WCO guy to me. The Skins could go after him, but with Miami calling if Peyton doesn't go, why wouldn't he follow his former QB coach? Of course, if Miami loses both, maybe suddenly they swallow their pride and look to do a deal, while they have a solid team to try making a run.

    Unless Miami and Washington get both top QB's, we'll have a pair of teams that will need to outbid each other. I think Washington will win eventually, giving up their 1st, 2nd and 5th this year(replaces our Lloyd pick), and their 1st and a conditional 5th-3rd next year. If they win 8 games, it's a 4th, get into the playoffs, 3rd.
    I believe!

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Truthfully, the only thing that keeps our offers from going up is the fact that everyone knows that Manning is not going back to the Colts. Once he's released this week, we'll find out if we have lost a serious suitor or not. Personally, I don't think we do. The chances of Manning going to Cleveland or Washington are very small in my opinion. KC, Seattle, Arizona and Miami are all better fits, specifically the first three. They're in a winnable division where he can be the difference to get them into the playoffs. Miami gives a solid team that just needs a pro-bowl QB to do some damage. He has to fight Brady for the division title, however, which may persuade him towards the west.
    I tend to agree with you that Miami makes the most sense for Peyton, though I'd never rule the Redskins out of a free agent bidding war.


    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    In my mind, Flynn then becomes the only hinderance, but I don't foresee Holmgren going after him, even if the last time he got a GB backup worked so well for him. Flynn doesn't seem like a WCO guy to me. The Skins could go after him, but with Miami calling if Peyton doesn't go, why wouldn't he follow his former QB coach? Of course, if Miami loses both, maybe suddenly they swallow their pride and look to do a deal, while they have a solid team to try making a run.
    Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is running a version of the West Coast offense in Green Bay. So it wouldn't be a big transition for Flynn; if anything, it's part of his appeal for a team like Cleveland. If you're Holmgren, and you don't think you can get a deal done with the Rams that doesn't include both of your first round picks, then maybe you go after Flynn and use those two first-rounders to surround him with weapons, something Cleveland is sorely lacking at the moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Unless Miami and Washington get both top QB's, we'll have a pair of teams that will need to outbid each other.
    I think this is what we have to watch out for. There are so many possibilities here. You don't think Manning's chances of ending up in Washington are good, but I'm not sure I agree. For me, it's not hard to envision a scenario where Washington signs Manning and Miami signs Flynn. Then, we're left to deal with the Browns and no one else in the Top 10 to negotiate against them, which could leave the Rams in a rough spot in terms of leverage.

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    I know that McCarthy comes from a WCO background and he is generally known as a WCO offense guy, but the GB offense is much more akin to a spread offense these days than a pure WCO that Holmgren and Shurmur run in Cleveland. I mean, I've heard on the radio that by giving former WCO guys only the down, distance and place on the field, they can predict the Browns' play about 75% of the time. It's like they play straight from the 1980's Whiners playbook. GB now runs a mismatch game and has a lot of downfield passing that the Browns just don't employ.

    While every team does use the WCO these days, Flynn just does't look to me like a timing passer. I haven't seen much of him, I admit, but he has seemed to be more of a wait to find the open guy than a three step and throw to a spot guy.
    I believe!

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    Re: PD: Intrigue looms as Rams dangle No. 2 pick (trade rumor updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    While I hate to question the supreme authority of unnamed "league sources," I have a hard time believing that the media actually knows what has been offered by each team.
    Yep, just like according to "league sources" Fisher was going to sign with Miami.

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