Tag:NFL trades
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:41 am
Edited on: July 29, 2011 9:42 am

Chad "going to the right place"

Just got a scouting report on Chad Ochocinco, and this one isn't from someone in the Patriots' organization or someone who studied him on film. It's from someone who coached the guy, and his take on the Ochocinco-to-New England move dovetails with most everyone else.

"He's going to the perfect place," he said. "It's the best possible place for him because he will fear the people there, and they have the right guys to keep him in place."

Reports indicated the Bengals gained two "late-round picks" in return, but a source close to the team on Friday told me those picks are fifth and sixth-rounders -- a price that made the Bengals comfortable. So, let's see if I have this straight, the Patriots paid a fourth-rounder for Randy Moss and a fifth-and-sixth for Chad Ochocinco? That's a lot of talent, without a lot of loss.

We know what Tom Brady did for Moss after his short stint in Oakland. The question: Can he do the same for Ochocinco? I mean, the guy is 33 and failed to produce 1,000 yards in catches two of the past three years. So what, exactly, are the Patriots getting?

"He's still quick, and he can still separate," said the coach. "My question is how he plays without any courage, and, by that, I mean he won't run routes over the middle.  I just don't know how you flip on a switch and get that going again. But the atmosphere will be so important for him. He's going to want to succeed."

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Tags: NFL trades
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:28 pm

Redskins' moved because they had to

Earlier today I was asked if the Redskins' dumping of Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth was a signal the club was cutting its losses and getting smart, or something a 3-year-old could've predicted. Actually, it's both ... but a little more of the latter than the former.

Yes, it's a signal the Redskins are cutting their losses, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out they had to go. Pure and simple, McNabb and Haynesworth didn't work out because the Redskins screwed up -- and the longer they hung around the longer they became expensive and unnecessary distractions.

So in the interests of common sense and fiscal sanity the Redskins jettisoned both.

But let's look at how they got there: They signed Haynesworth to a huge deal, then changed coaching staffs and the coaching staff changed defenses. That left no room for Albert, who took on new coach Mike Shanahan and refused to play defensive tackle in a 3-4. It was a staredown contest, and Haynesworth eventually lost.

Or won. He's with New England now, and, guaranteed, the Patriots get something out of him that Washington could not.

McNabb was the quarterback the Redskins wanted a year ago. So they traded two draft picks for him, including a second-rounder, and thought they solidified the position. But it wasn't long after he arrived that I heard coaches complaining about his footwork and techniques and ... wouldn't you think that was something they would've seen before acquiring him?

Anyway, once they pulled him in Detroit it was over. He had no future in Washington. So the Redskins did what they had to do -- they got rid of him.

The Redskins make moves like this because they keep making mistakes. At some point, that must stop. Wake me when it does.

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Category: NFL
Tags: NFL trades
Posted on: July 28, 2011 7:13 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 8:39 am

Another reclamation project for Pats

Corey Dillon. Randy Moss. Albert Haynesworth.

Quick now, what do they all have in common? Uh-huh, they were "character concerns" that someone wanted to dump, and the New England Patriots were only too willing to take on. Dillon was part of a Super Bowl team. So was Moss. Now Haynesworth, who was one of the top defensive players in the NFL three years ago, moves to the Patriots in a move that has a lot more upside than it does risk.

First of all, Haynesworth was in the wrong defense. One year after the Redskins signed the defensive tackle the club switched to a 3-4, moved him to defensive end and the fireworks began. He never fit in, and Washington was determined to straighten him out or move him out.

It really wasn't much of a choice.

Second, the Patriots have nothing to lose here. If Haynesworth is a jerk here, the club just cuts him and moves on, sacrificing ... what? A fifth-rounder for 2013? Big deal. People wonder if Haynesworth will be motivated -- especially since he's pulling down the big bucks -- and my response is simple: If he isn't, Bill Belichick gets rid of him, no questions asked. Simple as that.

Last, let's look at the upside: The Patriots could have a lot to gain. Look what happened with Dillon. He gave them a running game. Moss was the deep threat that Tom Brady didn't have. And Haynesworth? He can be a premier player in the right situation. All I know is that Dillon and Moss knuckled under when they had a second chance, and I have a feeling Haynesworth will, too. Like Donovan McNabb, whom Washington also dumped, he has a lot to prove.

Now he's in the right spot -- more importantly, the right defense -- to do it. The Patriots flex in and out of four-man fronts, and they'll make sure to put Haynesworth in a position where he can make plays.

"I don't know," said an NFC exec Thursday. "They play the 3-4, so they (Redskins) still were able to give him the middle finger. But New England will know how to get the best from him."

Exactly. Haynsworth made a lot of plays in Tennessee when he was happy, and just a hunch, but New England makes him happy here. The Pats have every reason: Their pass defense stunk last season, and Haynesworth -- if productive -- helps a young secondary with a big push up the middle.

When I addressed the Haynesworth situation a couple of days ago, a former GM told me not only would Washington dump him but would give him away "for a ham sandwich." Reason: The Redskins wanted to keep from cutting him and having him sign with Philadelphia, where former defensive line coach JimWashburn works.

So the Redskins accomplished something here. They cut their losses and moved on, and good for them. Only it's hard not to see this as just another example of what's wrong with Washington. They paid a fortune for someone who didn't produce, and now they give him away. And they give him to the club that was the league's best during the 2010 regular season.

Yes, Washington is better without the Haynesworth distraction, but New England is better with his addition. My feeling: He does for the Pats what Dillon and Moss did ... namely, fall into line, be productive and make the club stronger. Sorry, Rex. 

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:55 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:57 am

McNabb move made too much sense

From the very beginning, the Donovan McNabb deal made too much sense not to happen. And now that it's happened ... McNabb and the Minnesota Vikings are better for it. In fact, I think McNabb bounces back in a big way this season, and for one very important reason: Because he has something to prove.

OK, so he did last season, too, and he proved he could beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. Then the season went south, McNabb was flushed with it and Washington had to make a move.

The problem is that the Redskins -- with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in particular -- didn't know how to handle the guy. You don't pull McNabb in the middle of a game he can win without repercussions, yet the Redskins tried. Worse, they couldn't get their stories straight why he was removed.

So it backfired in Detroit, and it backfired the rest of the season. McNabb stunk, and the Redskins stunk with him.

Now he goes to a club that not only needs someone to school Christian Ponder but could use a veteran who can get it through part, most or all of this season while Ponder learns from the sidelines. The problem with the lockout is that it penalized rookie quarterbacks who couldn't huddle with coaches or get on the practice fields, and it exacerbated the need for their clubs to acquire veterans.

McNabb is that veteran. Only he's more than that. He's a guy with a chip on his shoulder, and he is someone with a couple of good years still left in him. He goes to a club that has a premier running back, a decent offensive line and a decent defense. He goes to a club that was a heartbeat away from the Super Bowl only two seasons ago. More than that, he goes to a head coach (Leslie Frazier) who knows him, understands him and respects him, which means he will be treated differently than he was last season.

"Look," said someone close to negotiations, "every quarterback has an ego and, for lack of a better word, must be babied. Leslie will know how to handle Donovan, and it will make a difference."

I think it will, too. I don't see the Vikings ... or anyone else, for that matter ... pressing Green Bay in the NFC North, but their chances just spiked. A team without direction just got one. Plus, they bought an insurance policy for their rookie quarterback.

The Vikings look smart with this move. The Eagles look smarter. They're the guys who last year peddled McNabb for seconnd-and-fourth-round draft picks in a deal that looks like genius now.

And Washington? Don't ask. When you wonder why your club doesn't improve, Redskins' fans, look how they fumbled the McNabb situation.

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