TSN: Chargers's GM Looks to parlay
Chargers' GM looks to parlay
April 23, 2004
The War Room
While most people are taking shots at Chargers general manager A.J. Smith's handling of the potential trade talks for the No. 1 pick, it appears he has a plan -- and it involves a double move. The Giants appear ready to give up their No. 4 pick and their No. 34 pick plus Ike Hilliard to move into the No. 1 spot to draft Eli Manning. So at that point the Chargers will own the Giants' fourth and 34th picks, plus their own No. 35 pick and a starting wide receiver.
If offensive tackle Robert Gallery is available at No. 4 and the Chargers are on the clock -- assuming the Raiders pass on Gallery and select Larry Fitzgerald or Roy Williams and the Cardinals select the other receiver or QB Ben Roethlisberger -- the Browns, who covet Gallery, will be on the phone, looking to swap positions from their No. 7 spot. Based on the widely accepted trade value chart, the Browns' No. 37 pick would be a little short on value to make the switch. But the Browns could throw in disgruntled receiver Dennis Northcutt and soon-to-be released QB Tim Couch. What about the necessary pre-trade contract talks with the veteran players? No need. Northcutt has three years left at bargain numbers, so the Chargers hold the cards. Couch is only a draft day insurance policy in case the Chargers can't get Rivers.
At this point the Chargers would own the Browns' No. 7 pick and three picks near the top of Round 2 -- plus two starting wide receivers in Hilliard and Northcutt and insurance at the quarterback position in Couch.
At No. 7, the Chargers pick QB Philip Rivers, the quarterback they like best anyway, at a better price. If Rivers is gone, Couch is on the roster to compete with Drew Brees. If Rivers is selected at No. 7, watch for Tim Couch to go up for sale immediately and cheap.
The end result: QB Philip Rivers, wide receivers Ike Hilliard and Dennis Northcutt, and two additional picks at the top of Round 2, instead of picking Eli Manning at No. 1. Nobody will remember A.J. Smith's media clumsiness if he pulls it off!
If Gallery is not available at No. 4, the Browns will not trade up to No. 4. The Chargers will then choose between Rivers and Roethlisberger, as no one else will be motivated enough to pay the price to get to No. 4. The end result in this scenario: Rivers, Hilliard and an additional pick at the top of Round 2, instead of picking Manning at No. 1. The first draft surprise of 2004? Rivers ahead of Roethlisberger, and in the top 5.
JETS LOOK TO GET VALUE FOR JORDAN
Word is that the Raiders are talking to the Jets regarding running back LaMont Jordan, but this is nothing new. In fact, they have spoken on multiple occasions regarding Jordan. The Jets know Jordan will be leaving at the end of 2004 when his contract is up, as he wants an opportunity to start. Curtis Martin still has five years remaining on his contract with little sign of slowing down. Two problems have hindered the deal -- the Jets want a second-round pick (to replace the one they gave up in the Justin McCareins deal), and Jordan only has one year left on his contract.
The Raiders were unwilling to give up a second-rounder for Corey Dillon, a proven starter who is only 28-years-old and had two years remaining on his contract at reasonable numbers. The ceiling for value appears to be the No. 56 pick New England gave Cincinnati for Dillon. The Raiders' next pick under that ceiling is a third-rounder at No. 67. The Jets want more.
As for the problem with Jordan's contract, unless a deal is worked out before the trade, the Raiders won't deal.
The Dolphins believe Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews will be gone when they pick at No. 20, so they will pick late-rising offensive guard Vernon Carey (Miami), who many are projecting as a right tackle. . . .
Tampa Bay is considering Oregon State running back Steven Jackson if he's there at No. 15. . . .
Dallas is hoping Kevin Jones is still there at No. 22. The Cowboys are concerned about Cincinnati or Philadelphia moving ahead of them to pick Jones.
USC defensive end Kenechi Udeze could be a big draft day slider as the concerns about his shoulder injury seem to have some merit.