Chances are the NFL will continue non-business as usual and there will be no trading of players for purposes of maneuvering in tonight’s first round of the NFL draft.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said teams will proceed as they have been until further notice.
But what if the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rules against the NFL at some point today and suddenly teams are free to deal?
The Raiders don’t pick until No. 48 this year, in the middle of the second round, as a reward for their rise to mediocrity and an 8-8 record. Picking that late will make it more difficult to trade back into the first round, as opposed to past years when their second-round pick was something approximating a selection in the late first.
We won’t know until tonight how conservative teams are going to in acquiring picks for drafts in future years when there is a even a slight chance they could be eliminated because of anti-trust concerns. No sense in trading for a future lottery ticket if it can’t be cashed.
(Honestly, with both the players and owners wanting to continue the draft, and being the attraction that it is, I have a hard time envisioning it going away. But you never know how a team will react to when it’s not set in stone).
If the Raiders (and everyone else) were free to trade to get into Round 1, who would be on the block?
First, eliminate anyone not under contract.
That list would include, most notably, Michael Bush, Zach Miller, Nnamdi Asomugha, Samson Satele and Robert Gallery.
Kamerion Wimbley has signed his franchise tender, but don’t expect teams to come calling with his mammoth $11 exclusive franchise figure. Other huge deals unlikely to draw interest would be defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly cornerback Stanford Routt, running back Darren McFadden, and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Unless Al Davis is truly peeved at Shane Lechler for his criticism of the Tom Cable firing, he’s sticking around as well. As is place kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
The players of real value in terms of reasonable contracts and potential future production are the core of the youth movement which has helped put the franchise back on its feet in terms of won-loss record.
The offers would likely come for the following players: wide receivers Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford, middle linebacker Rolando McClain, left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive linemen Matt Shaughnessy, Lemarr Houston and Trevor Scott (although he’s rehabbing an ACL) and safety Tyvon Branch.
All are relative bargains in terms of acquired salary in a future where the cap status is uncertain and have demonstrated promise.
Do you deal the players you already know to draft one that you don’t?
Again, the “trading players” scenario is unlikely at this point, but the thought of it is worth killing some time until 5 p.m.