October 07, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) attempts a catch as Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Javier Arenas (21) defends in the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
As most of you know by now, today the Kansas City Chiefs traded away cornerback Javier Arenas to the Arizona Cardinals for fullback Anthony Sherman.
This news seems to have sent many in the Chiefs Kingdom into a frenzy.
I’m here to tell you why this trade is no big deal and certainly not something that anyone should be outraged over.
1. Javier Arenas was going to get cut.
This is the number one reason everyone needs to just take a deep breath and calm down. The fact that Arenas is a “more valuable” player than a fullback in most people’s eyes doesn’t really matter in this situation. KC has MILLIONS of dollars locked up in their top three CBs. They weren’t going to pay a guy over a million dollars to be the #4 CB when their cap space is tight right now. It wasn’t EVER going to happen. I understand that Arenas still has value, but so did Eric Winston and the Chiefs didn’t get “diddly poo” for him. The Chiefs have younger and cheaper options to fill the 4th/5th CB spots with. Guys like Jalil Brown and DeQuan Menzie are cheaper options and provide fine depth especially when you have three starting CBs already in Flowers, Smith, and Robinson.
2. The Chiefs will NOT be worse off on the field this season because of this trade.
Since Arenas was destined to be a cap casualty the Chiefs aren’t worse off for making this deal. It’s better to have a player that at least has a shot at making the roster in Sherman than a player that didn’t. Other teams know this, that’s why NO team was going to offer KC big returns for Arenas because they could all see the writing on the wall too. If Sherman ends up being the starting FB this season then the Chiefs actually improved their roster by making this deal. I understand that Arenas was an average nickel corner and return man, but he wasn’t going to see the field over the three corners that they are paying big money to. So KC isn’t losing out on his play at CB. There’s also the legit possibility that one of the young corners on the roster will play every bit as well as Arenas has (or better) if given the opportunity and Arenas had not lived up to his expectations as a return man.
3. This trade indicates that KC is likely keeping Branden Albert this season.
The easiest way KC could have cleared plenty of cap space was to deal Albert. Moving Albert would have cleared enough money to sign draft picks, pay your fourth CB over a million dollars, and have money left over to sign a few more free agents. The fact that they dealt Arenas this quickly after the draft tells me they may have already decided that they are keeping Albert for one more season. That means they will have two top caliber tackles to protect Alex Smith and open up holes for Jamaal Charles. Given the choice of having to deal Albert to afford guys like Arenas or dealing guys like Arenas to keep Albert, I think it’s clear that keeping Albert makes KC better this season.
So there you have it Addicts, I know the trade looks bad at first glance, but it’s really not a big deal. This is the business of football. You want to know how big of deal this trade is. It’s already been bumped off Pro Football Talk’s home page, it never made the ESPN home page, and even on the ESPN NFL page, it’s currently the 8th story down underneath stories about the Redskins name, a 49ers UFA, and the weather at EJ Manuel’s Bills workout, and this is just a few hours after the trade happened. We care because it’s our team and we tend to over value our players and in this case because we’re mad that the pick we got for Tony Gonzalez didn’t pan out. The rest of the league doesn’t see this as a big deal and neither should you.