Trade talks around the league are about to be taken up another notch. We’ve already seen a handful of NFL trades this offseason, but this Monday things are about to get even hotter. Monday represents the beginning of the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Yes, the NFL meetings will carry a serious overtone as money issues linger overhead. A look at changing the league’s overtime rules is on the agenda as well next week. But for NFL fans, the league meetings represent some of the juiciest and sexiest of all offseason talks: trade rumors.
Flashback one year ago to the meetings in Dana Point, California and potential trade talks involving Denver QB Jay Cutler carried the headlines. Arizona (now Baltimore) WR Anquan Boldin received some trade talk publicity as well. One of those players (Cutler) was dealt shortly after the conclusion of meetings (April 2nd), while the other (Boldin) didn’t change cities until nearly a year later (March 6th, 2010).
With an extremely thin free agent market courtesy the NFL labor climate, many football analysts believe that 2010 will be a year of increased trades. We’ve already seen a handful of significant trade activity across the league in the first month of free agency with Boldin heading to Baltimore, QB Brady Quinn landing in Denver and CB Antonio Cromartie switching coasts from San Diego to New York (Jets).
An uncapped year, along with a minimized free agent pool increases the incentive for teams to make trades. During a typical capped year, when a team trades a player, the dealing club would suffer a cap hit based on the years remaining from the player’s contract. That aspect alone worked as a barrier in league-wide trade talks.
For 2010, it’s obvious that be no cap hits will be taking place. Throw in the Final Eight Plan and you have yet another incentive for more teams to deal. Don’t sleep on increased offer sheets heading to tendered restricted free agents across the league either (see RB Mike Bell and Philadelphia).
If the Chiefs are looking to plant nuggets of trade interest around the league, then the NFL meetings offer a fertile ground for those talks to begin (or even end for that matter). Judging from Scott Pioli’s first full calendar year at the helm, it’s fair to say that Kansas City’s general manager isn’t afraid to wheel and deal. Let’s take a look.
Pioli’s trades in 2009
April 23rd – Traded TE Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta for 2010 second-round pick.
August 24th – Traded undisclosed 2010 draft pick to Miami for OL Andy Alleman and
April 27th – Traded 2010 seventh-round pick to Miami for 2009 seventh-round pick (used to select TE Jake O’Connell).
September 29th – Traded QB Tyler Thigpen to Miami for undisclosed 2010 draft pick.
October 30th – Traded DT Tank Tyler to Carolina for undisclosed 2010 draft pick.
The six trades above, involving 14 players or future players, represent the most active trade season for Kansas City in quite some time. In fact, 2009 represents the only Chiefs season in the past five years that has produced at least six individual trades.
Kansas City Chiefs Trade History (2004-08)
April 23rd – Traded DE Jared Allen and a 2008 sixth-round draft pick (used to select to select C Jon Sullivan) to Minnesota for a 2008 first-round draft pick (ultimately used to acquire T
April 26th – Traded a 2008 first-round pick (used to select T Goster Cherilus), a 2008 third-round pick (re-traded and used by Miami to select DE Kendall Langford) and a 2008 fifth-round pick (re-traded and used by Carolina to select WR Kenny Moore) to Detroit for a 2008 first-round pick (used to move up and select Albert) and a 2008 third-round pick (used to select TE
April 25th – Traded WR/KR Dante Hall and a 2008 third-round draft pick (used to select CB Jonathan Wade) to St. Louis for a 2008 third-round pick (used to select DT Tank Tyler) and a 2008 fifth-round pick (used to select RB
May 1st – Traded DT Ryan Sims to Tampa Bay for a 2007 undisclosed pick (later used as part of RB Michael Bennett trade).
May 22nd – Traded K Lawrence Tynes to the N.Y. Giants for a 2008 seventh-round draft pick (used to select TE Michael Merritt).
June 6th – Traded QB Trent Green to Miami for a 2008 fifth-round draft pick (sent to Detroit in 2008 to trade up and select Albert).
October 16th – Traded RB Michael Bennett to Tampa Bay for a 2008 sixth-round draft pick (sent to Minnesota in Allen trade).
August 2nd – Traded a 2007 fourth-round draft pick (re-traded and used by Cincinnati to select DT Domata Peko) to New Orleans for RB Michael Bennett.
April 6th – Traded a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (used to select T Daniel Loper) to Tennessee for DE Carlos Hall.
April 22nd – Traded a 2005 second-round draft pick (used to select DE Matt Roth) and a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (used to select T Anthony Alabi) to Miami for CB Patrick Surtain and a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (used to select LB Boomer Grigsby).
September 2nd – Traded LB Scott Fujita to Dallas for a 2006 sixth-round draft pick (used to select G Tre Stallings).
April 24th – Traded a 2004 first-round draft pick (used to select RB Kevin Jones) to Detroit for a 2004 second-round draft pick (used to select DT Junior Siavii), a 2004 fourth-round draft pick (used to select WR Samie Parker) and a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (used to select CB Alphonso Hodge).
April 25th – Traded a 2005 third-round draft pick (re-traded and used by San Francisco to select WR Derrick Hamilton) and a 2004 fifth-round draft pick (used to select RB Thomas Tapeh) to Philadelphia for T John Welbourn.
September 1st – Traded a “future considerations” to Houston for P Steve Cheek.
September 5th – Traded DE R-Kal Truluck to Green Bay for a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (sent to Miami in 2005 Surtain trade) and a 2005 sixth-round draft pick (used to select DE Khari Long).
Already linked to Boldin earlier this offseason, Pioli looks like he isn’t gun shy when it comes to negotiating 2010 trades either. Keep your eyes and ears open when meetings kick off in Florida early next week.
As for the other news (outside of trade and labor rumors) that you’re likely to hear out of Central Florida next week, turn your attention to overtime rules.
Overtime: A rule change will be debated that makes it possible for both teams to have a chance to score in overtime, altering the current sudden death format. Take a look at the college game for inspiration. At first, this change may only involve the NFL Playoffs.
Currently, the NFL’s overtime results are considerably skewed. Since kickoffs were moved back to the 30-yard line in 1994, the team that gets the ball first in overtime is winning at nearly a 60% clip.