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Draft King Analysis

March 4, 2008
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com

Reader feedback is always welcomed here at DraftKing.com. Send your thoughts to me at LouPickney@gmail.com.


The big NFL news of the day is the retirement of Packers QB Brett Favre. For Aaron Rodgers, it means an opportunity to finally being a starting quarterback in the NFL. For fans of Favre, it means the end of an exciting era that rarely failed to entertain.

The free agency moves continue to happen at a rapid pace, though Randy Moss signing a new three-year deal with New England marked the end of the top-flight free agents being on the market, save for those who have franchise tags which all but eliminate their capacity to sign with another team.


From: Josh Obergfell
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 4:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

Hey Lou I have a question for you on another site Jerry Jones Promised a suprise player. And it got me to thinking may be his suprise player is Larry Fitzgerald. hear me out We Trade Marion Barber (Idon't Want to But.... I'm Not Jerry) Because The Cards need a Change of pace back for The Edge since he has lost his. and we Need a Top Flight receiver since T.O is Only has a few more years in him. And Jerry likes to bring in Vet Receivers maybe this has something to do with the contract complications Larry is Haveing with his Club. With Two first rounders we could replace Marion With the Likes Of Stewart OR Mendenhall. Tell Me what you think

Lou: Plenty of teams would love to add Larry Fitzgerald, but Arizona doesn't appear inclined to deal him away. The same challenge that faces the Cardinals will be there for any team that adds Fitz: a contract that will pay him $14.6 million dollars in 2008 and $17.4 million in 2009.

If the Cowboys traded for Fitzgerald, it might take both 2008 first round picks to get him, and even then I don't think Arizona would do it. The Dallas Morning News discussed this issue in an article today, and the consensus seems to be that Arizona is not looking to deal him. Fitzgerald posted 1,400+ yards of receiving in two of the past three years, and he turns 25 in August. How many other NFL wide receivers have that going for them right now?

If the Cards won't trade Fitzgerald, they sure won't cut him, which makes the 2008 money as good as guaranteed. The only real risk for Fitzgerald is that his output would take a sudden nose-dive to the point where Arizona would give up on him for 2009, but the odds of that look slim given his quality track record both on and off the field up to this point.

Fitzgerald doesn't whine, doesn't showboat, and from all indications he is a team player. Leinart to Fitzgerald looks like a winning combo for years to come, and with Anquan Boldin as a teammate, the Cardinals have an offense that looks ready to explode, particularly if they can bring in one of the many solid rookie RB prospects.

A long-term contract (something to the tune of seven or eight years) might be the only way out of the salary cap crunch, but I can't stress enough that Fitzgerald has very little incentive to redo his deal. He lived up to his end of the bargain, and now Arizona has to bite the bullet and pay the man what he deserves. Certainly it's worth it for Arizona to keep him, even at those salary levels.


Darren McFadden
Will Dallas make a play to land Darren McFadden? (Icon SMI)

From: Dave Cox
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 1:43 PM
Subject: Chiefs fan here again

With the Turner signing in Atlanta – I agree that McFadden is dropping. What are the possibilities that he fall to the Chiefs and Dallas trades up in the 5 spot to get ahead of the Jets. I really don’t see the Raiders taking him after the Fargas signing and Rhoades last year, but hey this is Al Davis we are talking about – I never know what he is doing.

Lou: Dallas, from all indications, is very interested in acquiring Darren McFadden. Can you blame them? Jerry Jones has never been one to hide his interest in certain players; I remember him tipping off the team's plans to draft safety Roy Williams before the 2002 draft. When you own the team, you can do as you wish with such things.

The problem is that trading into or out of the top five is a most difficult thing to do because of rookie salary cap reasons, but it would be interesting to see Dallas float the two '08 first rounders and the rights to RFA Marion Barber (who would be a great addition for Kansas City) in an if-then agreement where the deal would go through if McFadden fell to the Chiefs at #5. The Chiefs could land a solid offensive tackle at #22 or #28, perhaps pick up another corner as well, and then have Marion Barber in there to create a one-two punch at RB, even if they only have him for one year.

This is all hypothetical, and Oakland could stick it to the rival Chiefs by snatching up McFadden at #4. But if that doesn't happen, a Dallas/Kansas City deal seems like the most plausible of the ideas that I've heard floated out there involving a trade into or out of the top five.


Malcolm Kelly
Malcolm Kelly could possibily be the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 Draft. (Icon SMI)
From: David Urbaniak
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 1:50 PM
Subject: Chicago's 1st pick

Lou - you have the Bears picking a LB with their first pick??? They resigned Lance Briggs and are working on a new contract for Urlacher. LB is possibly their strongest position now. With Bernard Berrian gone to Minnesota, here are their greatest needs - offensive tackle (they cut Fred Miller and the rest of the line is old) guard (they cut Reuben Brown), wide receiver (Berrian), Safety (Archeletta is soon to go), defensive tackle, and, of course, running back and QB.

Linebacker isn't even in the top 10 spots in terms of needs. Personally, I'd like to see them take an o tackle. The draft is heavy with them. Wide receiver with their round 2 pick, and guard and safety with their third round picks. Just my opinion, but linebacker is WAY outside of the things they need - and they need a lot.

Lou: I agree with you, Dave, and when you wrote me yesterday I was in the midst of a marathon draft board reshuffling. That is par for the course for this time of the year, but I urge readers of the site to keep an eye on the last updated date for the mock draft relative to free agent moves. I anticipated that Briggs would not be back with the Bears in 2008, particularly with the bad blood that came between the two sides with the Bears franchising him last year, but ultimately they reached an agreement that will keep him there.

Offensive line is a need for the Bears, but at #14 they are in a spot where it might be too high to take the third-best offensive tackle prospect (behind Jake Long and Ryan Clady, who I project will be off the board at that point.) Chicago trading down a few spots might be the best bet, allowing for the team to gain better value at either offensive line or wide receiver. Malcolm Kelly might be a bit of a stretch at #14 as well, though the Bears would have the pick of the litter of the 2008 WR class under the most recent Draft King mock.

When the free agency moves settle down a bit, it should be a bit easier for me to begin providing the type of analysis that careful thought and research provides. In the meantime, I'm just trying to keep up with everything and modify scenarios (such as the Bears drafting an OLB at #14) that no longer make sense.


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