The trade possibilities that swirled around the cyber sphere involving New England are quickly running out of time to become realities. After tracking rumors that mentioned the Patriots as possible trade partners for a wide receiver any potential deal seems like a longshot now.
RUMOR ONE: Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers
As I mentioned last week, the news on Smith was more speculation than anything else. It surfaced when FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer talked about Smith being a player he would have interest in if he were in the Patriots’ shoes. According to Michael Lombardo who covers the Panthers for Scout.com, the Smith move is an no-go for Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Here’s what Lombardo wrote to us last week, and he’s even more convinced a Smith deal is dead:
It seems unlikely the Panthers would deal Smith. His name gets mentioned in trade rumors because -- although he's still productive -- the Panthers are playing for the future. And the future does not include a battle-scarred receiver on the wrong side of 30.
However, the Panthers have NOTHING at receiver behind Smith. After releasing Dwayne Jarrett, the rest of Carolina's receiving corps includes three rookies and recent waiver-wire pickup David Clowney. It would be unfair to Jimmy Clausen to ask him to work with such a rag-tag bunch and it could greatly hinder his development.
If the Panthers decide to swallow hard, endure the growing pains and give their rookie receivers all the reps, the asking price would likely be a third-round pick in 2011 and perhaps a conditional pick in 2012. Of course, if the Patriots offered to give the Panthers back their 2011 second-round pick (part of Carolina's trade to move up for WR Armanti Edwards, who has yet to escape the inactive list), it may be enough to spark a dialogue.
Agreed, the Smith rumor is dead from other sources I’ve heard from. Which brings us to the Vincent Jackson deal (or no deal if you will).
RUMOR TWO: Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers
|Trading a first and second round pick for Jackson who is one strike away, seems very unpatriot-like.|
Well, Deion Branch managed to gain 98 yards in 9 catches with a touchdown, boosting Tom Brady’s output of 25/44 for 292 yards.
As I mentioned on the Radio show this weekend, and again on the Insider’s Lounge, the trade makes no sense (or very little sense) for San Diego, considering their biggest need isn’t on the offensive line. Though I haven’t heard back from my original source on the rumor, you can count on this one not happening. Chargers GM A.J. Smith isn’t about to send his top WR to an AFC rival, especially the week that his team faces the Patriots.
Smith is reportedly holding firm on his request for a first and a second round pick from an AFC contender, or a second and third round pick from an NFC team. The Vikings were the closest to making a deal, but after acquiring Randy Moss for a third round pick, Smith's demands are now completely out of touch with the value other teams have placed top wideouts.
RUMOR THREE: Logan Mankins Trade
Trade rumors surrounding Logan Mankins, continue to bubble to the surface, but they’re fewer and farther apart. Ruling out the Mankins to San Diego rumor, what about Mankins to someplace else? Dan Connolly is doing a solid job filling at the LG position, and Mankins’ camp has stated talks hadn’t progressed with the team.
Adam Schefter opined that a Mankins to Chicago for Tommie Harris and a fourth round pick (to replace the one they sent to Seattle for Branch) made sense.
The move does make sense if the Patriots just want to dump a solid first round pick -- who has outperformed his contract and is arguably one of the best linemen in the league -- for an average defensive lineman who’s been benched once already this season, and a Draft pick that might (or might not) pan out down the road.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that one NFC Personnel exec said talk on the trade front has been slow
''It's been real quiet,'' the executive said.
Even Bears GM Jerry Angelo mentioned that he didn’t see anything happening with the team.
But ESPN Chicago notes that the real obstacle to the Bears trading for Mankins – who they desperately need – is the money a new deal for Mankins would require.
Mankins' camp is looking for money close to what Saints pro bowl guard Jahari Evans received; $56 million over 7 years (roughly $8 million per season). No one wants to pay Mankins that money, certainly not Angelo who claims he’s used up all the money ownership allotted for the roster.
Even if Angelo wanted to trade for Mankins by the 4pm deadline today, he’ll need to get that deal done first.
“You’ve got to make a deal before you trade for him, otherwise he’s gone at the end of the year,” an NFC North executive told ESPN. “It doesn’t make sense to give up something for him and not have a deal. Then, you’re talking about paying tackle money to a guard. You can’t overpay a guard.”
Other possible destinations for Mankins include Dallas, where Tony Romo is under constant assault from the swinging door posing as the Cowboys offensive line and Washington where the Redskins could be willing to take any offer then can get to rid themselves of disgruntled free agent bust Albert Haynesworth.
|Haynesworth has done more watching from the sidelines than many expected. Being inactive could spell the end for #92 in DC. (AP Photo)|
As for the Washington deal, Haynesworth could have an immediate impact on the Patriots roster, but it’s unclear if Washington wants to pay the price required to sign Mankins long term. You wouldn't think that would be an issue for the free-spending Dan Snyder.
Washington may have found their starting unit on their offensive line after tweaking it a bit. Long time starter Derrick Dockery has been supplanted by Kory Lichtensteiger while Will Montgomery took over the top backup duties because he can play more than one position. Certainly Mankins can help the unit. And Washington may consider the move just to get Haynesworth’s salary off the books.
Final take on Mankins is not to expect him to go anywhere. He still hasn’t signed his restricted free agent tender, which he has to do to initiate a trade. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick mentioned that point on his weekly appearance on WEEI radio.
RUMOR FOUR: Lee Evans
This rumor was brought to my attention when I was asked to respond to the report that Evans was available. The paper (website) which reported the rumor, Sporting News, was merely hypothesizing that Evans could use a change in scenery. If he is going anywhere, don’t expect it to be to a division rival.
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