There have been three previous installments of “The Blueprint” and throughout the series there has been one constant–the Chiefs can’t trade. This seemed to cause considerable grumbling amongst the fanatical Jake-Long-or-trade-down crowd, but with Jared Allen now almost guaranteed to be shipped prior to the draft the only stipulation for “The Blueprint 4” is that I have to explore trades with plausible partners. I’ll do so using a little bit of common sense, realism, rumors and the draft trade chart. The beauty of this edition is that my main theory still applies here, especially since we will now likely have two first rounders to address major needs. That theory: never reach when drafting in the top ten. Ever. EVER!
Before I get started, when we whipped up this image we thought that the wheeling-and-dealing Jerry Jones and his Cowboys would be the ones to shake up the draft with the team’s two first-round picks. Now, with Allen all but guaranteed to be moved it looks like the Chiefs might shake up the draft more than any other NFL squad.
Here are nine teams I have tabbed as potential trade partners: the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Bucaneers. Bloggers from many of these ballclubs will be dropping in with their POV on the situation. From where I’m sitting all of the above-mentioned teams could and might pull off a trade, even after contemplating the considerable costs.
Prior to getting into the hypothetical trade scenarios, I want to rap about the Jared situation a little bit. Chiefs fans seem to be heartbroken over this, but I say screw Jared. That’s right–eff Jared Allen and the horse he rode in on.
Now, I’m not going to defend Carl Peterson‘s overall performance as GM–he should have been canned. But I will defend him when it comes to Jared Allen. No GM in his right mind would have given the One Man Gang a contract after he was racking up DUIs like sacks and driving as recklessly off the field as he plays on it. Not one. He had no reason to gripe last year at all, well, maybe about the taste of O’Douls, but not about his contract. When he said he wanted Dwight Freeney money after the DUIs, I honestly laughed out loud. But, he came in, cleaned up his act and had the best season of any defensive end in football.
That being said, it was one year and he was playing for a contract. Who knows if Jared will fly straight for good. After all, his track record of getting in trouble is pretty extensive, dating back to his wild college days at Idaho. What really chaps my ass is despite all his off-the-field issues, Chiefs fans have embraced him more than any other player. Yes, even more than Tony G. (I think J.A. is just more of a K.C. good ol’ boy-type guy). This is how he repays us? I mean, the Chiefs franchised him and gave him Dwight Freeney money even though he is being an absolute pain in the ass to negotiate with. The key to the city, NFL superstar dough, the adulation of the NFL’s best fans–what the hell more does this guy want? He scoffs at all of this and flies off to try and get something done with Zygi Wilf and the Vikes. To hell with you, No. 69. You should be honored by what Kansas City has given you, not disrespecting our gracious hospitality, brother.
The other thing that annoys me is Chiefs fans getting pissed at Carl for the Jared negotiations when they had Carl’s back during the Larry Johnson negotiations. That makes no sense at all, and it is evident you fans are Jared apologists/L.J. haters. Despite what one research-deficient Chiefs fans stated in the comments, L.J.started his career off with the most brilliant first two-and-a-half seasons a running back has ever enjoyed. You can count on one hand the RBs who have enjoyed back-to-back seasons of 2,000-plus all-purpose yards and 19-plus touchdowns, let alone those who started their careers in such prolific fashion. The guy didn’t have one great season, he had two outstanding seasons and two outstanding half-seasons. Plus, he only had one minor off the field incident and didn’t get in any legal or NFL trouble for it. He had all the leverage with Carl, and he deserved every cent he got. Jared’s been great, but not quite as good as L.J. so far in his career. Also, Jared got in major trouble off the field. Carl’s played it right, and Jared shouldn’t have ever had any leverage.
I think we have to move Jared. We’re rebuilding and he doesn’t want to be here, all of that’s obvious, so I say we move him now. His value will never be higher. I doubt he will ever win another sack title, he’s only 26 and who knows if he will ever fall of the wagon and start boozing like Lindsey Lohan on a bender again. He is our most valuable trading chip considering that L.J. is contractually unmovable. I honestly think we have to get a first this year and a second next and move on. If we could score a player like Bryant McKinnie or Lito Sheppard along with a first, then I’d probably let a third or fourth rounder substitute for that second.
Here we go after the jump…
The Jared Allen Teams:
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are possibly the most interested team when it comes to No. 69. However, this deal that Dan from The Viking Age has proposed just isn’t enough for the player who was without a doubt the best D-end in football one year ago. At worst, the Vikes will absolutely, positively have to cough up its No. 17 pick this year to get something done.
"Are a first and a second too much to give up for Allen? It depends on whether you believe he can really put the Vikes’ defense over-the-top. I’d be leery about going beyond a first and a third. Don’t know how the Chiefs would feel about taking a player in the deal too, maybe Ray Edwards."
Philadelphia Eagles – We’ve talked a lot about Lito Sheppard, a first and a third, and, personally, I would definitely take that and run all the way to the bank laughing. I would definitely want at least a fourth if not a third, though, even if it was a 2009 pick. Ian from Inside the Iggles breaks down a potential Chiefs-Iggles swap:
"There are two obstacles for this deal to get done. First the Eagles would have to work out a long term contract with Allen. Being that Allen is still at the young age of 26 I don’t see why there would be a problem here. The Eagles have enough cap space left to buy the Florida Marlins, and should use it on top flight player like Allen. Once they get a deal worked out, they would then have to give up enough compensation to satisfy the Chiefs. The reported asking price is a first and third round pick, but the Eagles can top that. They have something that the Vikings, Buccaneers, and Jaguars don’t have and that is Lito Sheppard.It’s no secret that Lito Sheppard is also being shopped around by the Eagles, and hos value is guessed to be worth as a 2nd round pick right now. So to get the Allen deal done you trade Kansas City the 19th pick overall in the draft and Lito Sheppard. This trade would really help out both teams in a big way. The Chiefs have a need for a CB and Lito is still one of the better ones in the NFL. Despite having an injury plagued 2007, he did manage to shut down Randy Moss and Terrell Owens last year. The Chiefs also have major offensive line issues, and they could draft one with the 19th pick. Branden Albert, Jeff Otah, or Chris Williams could be available there. KC would also now be able to draft the best defensive lineman available with the 5th pick(Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis), instead of reaching for OT Ryan Clady there. The Eagles would get rid of Sheppard who is unhappy here, and finally get the big time defensive end they have wanted for years forever.The time to act is now though, because Allen may be traded soon. Andy Reid, Tom Heckert, and Joe Banner need to get on the phone with Kansas City, and set up a date to visit Allen before the draft. If they pull this deal off it could send a shock wave throughout Philadelphia full of excitement. Let’s get this done! I am offcially on the Jared Allen bandwagon."
Tampa Bay Bucanneers – Another very likely Jared destination. Dustin from The Pewter Plank proposes a couple of deals. The Chris Simms one is straight garbage, but the other one is a decent offer. I really like Jovan Haye, the No. 20 pick also sounds good and a pick next year would help, given that it is at worst a third rounder. A Gaines Adams-Allen sandwich would be scary, wouldn’t it?
"The Vikings obviously have a better pick to offer up (17th) as opposed to our 20th pick, we might have some pieces that could fit in with the Chiefs. I have been saying for months, that we have too many guys on our roster, and we will have to make a move at some point, this might be that time.Would Greg White, Chris Simms, and a 2nd round pick do it?What about Jovan Haye, a 1st and a pick next year?"
The Matt Ryan Teams:
Baltimore Ravens – With Steve McNair retiring, B-More definitely needs to import a QB into the Charm City. Crane did an excellent job of pointing this and why the Ravens should trade up in the latest edition of Crane Damage. By the way, I think this is actually one of the more likely trade scenarios. I’m also recommending McNair for the HoF. I mean, how many QBs were as tough as he was? How many quarterbacks both led their team to a Super Bowl and won an MVP award? Dude was a great, GREAT football player. End of story.
Chicago Bears – How many years can the Bears really give Rex Grossman? I mean, my God. They have to be interested in Matty Ice, right? Right?
Minnesota Vikings -Are the Vikings really sold on Tavaris Jackson? If we sent Jared elsewhere, they could still potentially have interest in the No. 5 pick.
The Darren McFadden Teams:
Carolina Panthers – This looks like a longshot at best. As desperately as they need a running back, John from Cat Crave doesn’t even mention McFadden below. Puzzling–very. Here he is with the 411:
"Rumors. Shumors! So there is a whisper or two that Carolina might be interested in trading up in this year’s draft. From where? Mel Kiper? He’s no road map. Some reporter hack who thinks the Panthers need to trade up to get the best tackle available? Or is it some blogger who hasn’t studied the Panthers long enough and hard enough to understand that they aren’t interested in getting a quarterback in the first round?I’ll admit that Ryan Clady would be a tremendous addition to this football team. The team would like to move Wharton back inside to play guard so he doesn’t have to play left tackle again. But let’s be honest, this is a deep draft at tackle. It might be the deepest position in this draft and one of the best drafts in recent memory for tackles.If a trade up occurs all I can see the team doing is moving up a maximum of four spots if a player is falling that they feel they can use. That would include a deal for Carolina’s first and potentially a third (they have one extra thanks to the Kris Jenkins deal with the J-E-T-S SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!). That’s it. That’s simply not enough to move up. And there is little, if any, chance that the Panthers use a pick from next year’s draft to move up either.This is not a wheeling and dealing team. Fox and Hurney are conservative. In fact, if you look up the word “conservative” in the dictionary, you’ll find their pictures beside the definition.If I’m placing odds on a trade up involving Carolina, I’d say it’s 30 to 1. Bottom line – it’s not happening."
Chicago Bears – I don’t know how likely this deal really is, but I know the Bears aren’t exactly enthralled by Cedric Benson right now, and Lovie Smith and Co. did meet with McFadden recently. Keep an eye on Da Bears–there’s a slim chance they could move up and snag McFadden.
Dallas Cowboys – After reading up on the ‘Boys and considering the below scoop from Dan over at The Landry Hat, it doesn’t look like we will be dealing with them. While it would be unbelievable to make such a deal and pick up another first rounder for the One Man Gang–that name really makes sense now that he seems to be looking out only for number one, or No. 69 rather–giving us three firsts, we don’t need Bobby Carpenter and the ‘Boys seem intent on keeping those picks.
"There is evidence that Jerry Jones may look to trade up to acquire Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. Some of that evidence includes not signing a free agent running back to pair with Marion Barber, giving Arkansas a featured agreement to play the Texas A&M game in the new Cowboys stadium, allowing with out a fight a series of players and coaches to head over to Miami where former head coach Bill Parcells is now general manager, and allowing Julius Jones to leave through free agency, although that move was anticipated.However, the Cowboys would need to surrender likely both of its late first round picks, and several other picks or players combination, something that should be weighted very heavily against the value of an unproven rookie running back who may have some off-the-field problems.Cowboys fans are mixed over the McFadden rumors, but I would say a majority believe it may not be prudent to trade up that high if it means losing out on drafting secondary help, which is the Cowboys most-glaring weakness. If the Cowboys could pull off a trade where they sent former first round picks Marcus Spears, Bobby Carpenter and maybe one of the first round picks, I think some fans would be fine with trading up to draft McFadden. But that scenario is unlikely to occur.The Cowboys are better suited keeping the picks, continuing to acquire Pacman, and draft a corner and running back or wide receiver with those two first-round picks. In the second round, maybe draft a wide receiver, such as Andre Caldwell, from Florida, and use the remainder of the picks to solidify a future offensive line and secondary.The Cowboys also may move up slightly in the draft, maybe 5 slots, to acquire the cornerback the team wants."
New York Jets – I doubt the Jets move up one spot to grab Run DMC considering the cost, especially when they know we are highly unlikely to grab him. Then again, if we have an extra first-rounder in the fold and don’t have to pay Jared ,hell, we might be willing to bring in the highly touted ex-Razorback back.
The Chris Long/Vernon Gholsten Team:
New York Jets – I really do actually think the Jets could trade up, and Jason’s upcoming comments confirm that sentiment. It might not be the likeliest of all these scenarios, but it would be the cheapest for the other team involved. Additionally, Mike Tannenbaum has been aggressive of late, Herm does have ties to Dewayne Robertson and King Carl would love to save a few bucks and take the same player. I think this only happens if Ryan or one of the DTs is there and the Jets want McFadden (unlikely, I think) or one of the DEs (much more likely). Also, the Chiefs will have more interest in both DEs if they move Allen, but I also think we know we can get a good defensive end with the extra first rounder we’ll pick up in any such move. As noted below, the trade chart difference is 100 points. The other thing is that the Jets will want to keep the Patriots from trading up ahead of them.
From The J-E-T Press‘ Jason:
"While most Jets fans hate the idea of trading up for Arkansas RB Darren McFadden I don’t think any would complain if it were for Virginia DE Chris Long or Ohio State DE/OLB Vernon Gholston…depending on the price. All real NFL draftniks are aware of the value chart player personnel folks have attributed to slots in the draft, so the value to move up from the 1600 point 6th pick to the 1700 point 5th pick is only 100 points. Going by that formula all the Jets need to do is kick in a 4th round pick. I don’t subscribe as much to that value chart this year due to the rising cost to sign the players in those slots so to save a few million bucks maybe a 5th rounder would be enough to complete the swap…or maybe throwing in Dewayne Robertson gets it done. I don’t believe Jets love any player that much that they’d give up anything just to move up one spot and that is why I would say the odds are very low that if the Jets do trade up in this draft it will be with the Chiefs. But…if the last of the guys they want is available at 5 and rumors start swirling a team is going to leapfrog them into the Chiefs’ 5th pick I can see Mike Tannenbaum following his aggressive track record and pulling the trigger. The only way that happens is if one of these players is there in this order: Darren McFadden, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, or Jake Long."
The Wild Card:
New England Patriots – Simply put, the Pats can afford to make a luxury move like trading up, and have been known to make bold acquisitions and draft-day deals. I can see them moving up and taking Gholsten or McFadden; staying put and rolling with Keith Rivers or Leodis McKelvin; trading down and acquiring more picks; or making a shocker pick. The Pats’ brass is simply unpredictable. My point here is that if we are rebuilding and add DE to our laundry list of needs, wouldn’t picking up more picks be wise? Especially if Dorsey, Long and Ryan are off the board. And the Pats would absolutely frickin’ love to leapfrog the Jets and steal the guy the covet. Those two squads have a Chiefs-Broncos-type thing going on. Speaking of unpredictable…
The Silver and Black Monkey Wrench:
Oakland Raiders – Like it or not, they could hold the key to our situation, at least as far as trading the No. 5 pick goes. Why? Because Al Davis could sniff a trade and get one himself just to keep the Chiefs from getting one done. Also, a lot of people believe that he’s completely enamored with Run DMC. In fact, McFadden just visited the Raiders. The Raiders also like Gholsten and Long, so hypothetically they could keep us from getting one of the two premiere defensive ends at the five spot by selecting one. If Al is torn between the star RB and one of the two DEs, with only one of the two DEs left on the board, don’t assume he wouldn’t take one of the DEs just to keep us from filling Jared’s shoes. I can totally see Mr. Burns rolling with a rhymes-with-sock block like that.
The Atlanta Falcons are probably the only possible partner under this scenario. With the Falcons needing a new star worse than Jason Whitlock needs to slow down on the Gates’ ribs, they aren’t going to shop this pick. They need to get their base reengaged. Plus, the Cheaps aren’t going to cough up an extra pick and millions of dollars more to move up. This is just not going to happen.
The Blueprint 4:
Here’s what I’m thinking considering the onslaught of information I just laid out.
A.) We trade Jared Allen to the Vikings
Despite some potential snags, the Vikings need a DE and Zygi will be both willing and able to spend the money and give up the picks. The No. 17 pick and a 2009 second rounder gets this done. Our rebuilding project is well under way, and the Vikings get a new defensive star. He kind of looks like a Viking. Pair him up with the Williams boys, and that defense would be tough. Could Purple Jesus lead that team to the Super Bowl? Anyway, the Vikings need this deal, especially after Kenechi Udeze being diagnosed with Leukemia, and the team whiffing on free agent Justin Smith. They have the best pick to offer and possibly the deepest pockets, too. This makes too much sense not to happen. I also wouldn’t mind taking a flier on McKinnie, a troubled-but-talented tackle who we could get a bargain-basement prices. No. 17, McKinnie and a future third would be fine with me.
B.) Don’t overreact and draft a defensive end
We drafted Turk McBride in the second round for a reason, and it wasn’t to play DT. It was an insurance policy, much like the Larry Johnson pick that preceded it. I have a lot of confidence in Turk at the DE spot, especially the way Gunther Cunningham blitzes his backers. There will be a better player than either Chris Long or Vernon Gholsten available at No. 5, at least in my opinion.
C.) Draft 1. Matt Ryan, 2. Glenn Dorsey or 3. Darren McFadden.
Jake Long is going to be gone. Without having to pay Jared, we can afford to pay a star here. We need to get one of these potential superstars with that prime of a pick. Ellis is also an option, but he isn’t going to be quite as good as any of the above-mentioned players.
D.) Draft Branden Albert, Chris Williams, Jeff Otah or Sam Baker at No. 17.
We get a player almost as good as Jake Long and a superstar at another position at No. 5. Wouldn’t that basically please all Chiefs fans? All of this allows us to take the best player available in round two, a strategy that has worked wonders in the past (see both Johnsons). A wide receiver/return specialist like DeSean Jackson could be sitting there. If we don’t get Ryan, Joe Flacco could be sitting there. We could draft another tackle or a guard. We could even draft someone like RB Jonathan Stewart (going to be a star!) if he slipped because of his toe, i.e. a player who has no business slipping into the second round. There will be lots of good corners there, too.
After considering the Jared Allen situation, what is your new Blueprint? Let us know!