Power of three: Why an owner, GM and prospect control the '09 draft
"I like the angle,'' former USC quarterback
Draft angles always blow up, and no one sells insurance for my draft week 2009 plotline. But here goes: The three most influential men atop the 2009 draft are
Pioli, the rookie Kansas City general manager, has the distinction in this decade of being part of the tradingest draft-day team in the league. Between 2000 and 2008, the Patriots draft room, run by coach
In the last 10 days, I've spent hours (only my cell phone company knows how many for sure) foraging for crumbs for my
It's true. He does want out. There's not a player Kansas City believes is worth third-pick-in-the-first-round money. Do you remember what the third pick got last year?
Snyder, the Washington owner, has one pick in the top 75, the 13th overall. He was willing to trade that pick plus next year's first-round pick and something else to get
I spoke to someone close to Snyder over the weekend, and this person said Snyder is not going to allow next year's first-rounder to be put in a trade. Maybe. Maybe not. This person also said he thought it was highly unlikely the Redskins could muster up the ammo to go get Sanchez. If Snyder wants to get up to No. 3 to assure himself the shot at Sanchez, he's going to have to bend and give up the to pick in 2010.
One other thing: At the scouting combine, Snyder had the not-so-secret dinner with the agent for
Last Friday, the last night teams could host, wine and dine players from out of town in their home market, Snyder and vice president
Sanchez, the in-demand quarterback, has visited nine teams between one (Detroit) and 19 (Tampa Bay) in the first round. The excitement level on him around the league is ratcheting up. I bet 40 percent of the teams like him better than they do
Good quarterbacks get the blood boiling in coaches and GMs, and in this case, owners. It also doesn't hurt that Sanchez is a pretty focused kid -- even though he's the kind of flip leader who should get along well with vets. Sanchez threw at his old high school in Mission Viejo on Sunday evening, then went to prepare for an important group project in his Communication 321/Argumentation and Advocacy class. He'll make a speech in the class this morning, and he's on course to graduate on time, May 15. "I'm throwing because in 10 days I'll be at some mini-camp having to show my best,'' he said. "I have to be ready.''
As do the teams at the top of the draft. One thing they have to do if and when the Redskins call with an offer is throw the old trade-value chart away. That's the chart
If the Redskins make calls to Kansas City and Seattle and maybe Cleveland to try to get the pick to take Sanchez, let's go over the trade chart value. It sounds like I'm waiving the Redskins' pompons when I write this, but I'm going to argue that Washington should get a better deal than the chart says, because of the bloated salaries in the top 10 of the first round.
The trade-value chart pegs an equal trade between Washington and Kansas City as the Chiefs' first-round pick this year for Washington's first- and third- and fifth-round picks this year and the 'Skins' first-round pick next year. A first-round pick in a following year is devalued by about 20 percent or more, depending on the organization's trade-chart variables. Let's do the math. The third pick this year is valued at 2,200 points. The 13th pick has a value of 1,150. The third-round pick is worth 190 points and the fifth-rounder 35 points. Next year's one -- the 16th overall pick, because you have to assume you're getting a middle-of-the-pack pick -- is worth 800 with the 20-percent discount. So the Redskins would be acquiring a pick with a value of 2,200 points and trading four picks with a combined value of 2,175.
But that formula doesn't take into account $34.8 million in guarantees and $12-million-a-year averages. What I think is fair for Washington, and for the team selling off Sanchez, is this: first- and third-round picks this year, and a second-rounder next year. Forget the points. It's just fair value.
Now it's up to Washington, or another Sanchez suitor, to make the call to try to get him.
"I think it's going to be an interesting week,'' Sanchez said. "I have no idea what's going to happen. I really don't. In other drafts, the top seemed pretty clear a few days before the draft. Not this year.''
Sanchez feels like the pivot point. After Stafford goes one to Detroit and a tackle (
Sanchez described his experience as "surreal, awesome. Every team seems like you're their guy. So in that way, the picture is really as clear as mud. It's an intense poker game, and no one's showing their hand.''
That's why this draft season is so much fun. It's going to be an interesting week.
What I want to do now is try to tell you a few things I've learned on the phone and via text messages in the last week or so, in no particular order:
• Detroit, as of midnight Sunday, wasn't tipping its hand or negotiating with anyone for the first pick.
• I don't believe Detroit
• St. Louis, at two, is divided on tackles Jason Smith and Monroe. Smith has an edge, but it's a little one.
• I think it's going to come down to tackle
• New England loves UConn cornerback
• San Francisco won't pick
• Denver won't pick Josh Freeman.
• New Orleans is going defense with its only pick, at 14, in the first three rounds.
• Some teams are scared off by a sesmoid bone problem in one of big back
• Two teams I spoke with failed Monroe on their physical exams because of his knee history; one said Monroe would likely be fine for three or four years, minimum, but the team would be worried about relying on Monroe for a 10-year career. I hear this, but I think it's overly cautious.
Enjoy the week. I'll be in St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday, then moving on to Kansas City on Thursday night through the draft. I'm hoping the needy Missouri franchises, picking at two and three, will give me enough news to write about over the weekend.
Not last year he wasn't.
"Players in this draft have sent up more red flares from players than Gilligan and Skipper ever did.''
Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe has a 60-year-old brother.
Including 2009, here are the regular-season dates of the meetings between New England and Indianapolis since 2005:
Nov. 7, 2005.
Nov. 5, 2006.
Nov. 4, 2007.
Nov. 2, 2008.
Nov. 15, 2009.
November is the autumn month that television ratings are most valued to the major networks. So as long as
This isn't gospel, but it may give you an idea if your team is going to be very active on the trade front this weekend. It's a chart of the number of draft-weekend trades the teams have made in the last five years, and the moral of the story is pretty simple: Don't expect Cincinnati and Arizona to be very fluid.
It's the new green me.
It's not like I'm going to be surrendering my car now than I'm a city guy, but being without it is increasingly enjoyable. Check out this 28-hour experience that began Thursday morning:
Walk 10 minutes to the Back Bay train station to catch a train to New York.
Take the train to New York.
Take a cab to visit buddy
Take a cab to SI in midtown Manhattan for an afternoon of meetings.
Take the subway to Queens for Mets-Padres.
Take the subway to Manhattan after the game.
Walk to Penn Station.
Take the train back to Boston.
Walk the 10 minutes home.
Not an unpleasant trip on any of the legs. You people in cities have been hiding how great it is to get along without a car.
Quite a week of news for the Z-man. We've got more teams on board with extremely charitable donations, and we've got an online auction site set up so you can start perusing and, hopefully, bidding on some interesting trips and experiences.
As most of you know, we'll be holding a benefit for SI pro football maven
This week, Buffalo owner
We also owe a big debt of gratitude to our friends at the online auction site cmarket, of Cambridge, Mass., for donating their services. Today, for the first time, you can begin the bidding process online. Here's how you access the site, and begin bidding:
Go to www.DrZ.cmarket.com. Click on the "register'' link near the top of the page. Fill in your information, including choosing a unique username (your e-mail works fine) and password. After you click "submit,'' you are registered for our auction. In order to place a bid, you must add a credit card to you account. When you go to place your first bid (or you can click on "my account'' in the upper right corner), follow the instructions to do so securely. Browse through the great items that have been donated for the auction and bid away. The bidding works like most online auction sites, and you can click on "help'' on any page to get answers to your questions.
Thank you, cmarket. It goes without saying we couldn't do this without you.
We'll be adding events and things in the next couple of weeks. So check back often. You can also buy tickets to the event online, if you'd rather purchase them that way instead of sending a check.
1. I think if I were Buffalo GM
2. I think if I were the Dolphins, I'd not only NOT trade
3. I think time's growing short if you want to make a deal before draft day, Detroit. Sounds to me like the Lions are going to try to force Matthew Stafford to take a slightly below-market deal by using
4. I think you made your bed, Chad Johnson. Now you've got to lay in it.
5. I think I'd like to apologize to you,
6. I think, as I examine the Jason Peters deal -- first-, fourth- and sixth-round picks, with the first-rounder the 28th pick in Saturday's draft -- I think the Eagles got the major edge. "Other than Anthony Munoz, this is the most devastating blocker and pass-protector I've ever coached,'' said the retired and well-respected former NFL line coach
7. I think -- no, I know -- Tennessee is not out of the
8. I think I'm all for maximizing my draft booty, but I think the Bills are going too far in trying to deal
9. I think the Cardinals have to get serious about trading
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I miss the
b. So here's my quickie review of Citi Field: Really, really beautiful, roomy ballpark, with comfortable seats and, at least in the lower bowl, good sightlines. (Though I do hear the upper decks have some restricted-view seats.) I did note that, from my seat down the left-field line in the lower bowl, that I could see 79 ads around the stadium. It's a living, breathing billboard. The other thing I found very weird was the rotunda as you enter -- a tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field and
c. These are the good ol' days for
d. I am a little melancholy that
e. Good luck,
f. How cool it was this morning dropping my brother-in-law,