Do the Skins Bly in?

Should the Redskins continue to pursue Dre' Bly? Should they trade the 6th pick now or wait until draft day? Will Denver be willing to part with enough to warrant trading the 6th pick? Will the Skins get fleeced again in a trade? Or will they continue to show their new found fortitude and play hardball? Why trade for Bly at all now Smoot has signed?

All good questions.

Up until three days ago I was of the same opinion as many – stay at #6 until draft day, see who drops to #6, field offers and auction off the pick to the highest bidder. If the Skins get a good deal take it – especially if it means dropping down a few picks at a time and acquiring much needed additional draft choices. There was the possibility of Brady Quinn and/or Adrian Peterson dropping to #6. Minnesota (#7), Houston (#8), Miami (#9) and even Green Bay (#16) would be interested in QB Quinn. Houston, Buffalo (#12), Green Bay and Denver (#21) would be major suitors for Peterson. If a good deal doesn't eventuate, just select the best defensive lineman on the draft board.

There's no doubt that Quinn provides the Redskins with the ammunition for getting the best trade deal with three teams just below them inside the top #10 all looking for a franchise type QB. A bidding war between the Vikings, Texans (who are looking to offload David Carr) and the Dolphins would see the Skins being the big winner, in both compensation (extra picks) and where they would land for their first pick (#7, #8 or #9) still being able to take one of the top defensive linemen on the board.

What's happened since then has changed the landscape completely.

Firstly, Cleveland – thought by many as a lock to take RB Peterson at #3 – sign UFA RB Jamal Lewis. This will allow the Browns to focus on their other problem area – quarterback - and Quinn will be sitting there. There are rumours that Houston and Washington have a deal in place if Quinn drops to #6, but its now looking more unlikely. This will mean Petersen will most likely drop to #6 right?

Probably, but not so fast. Houston offered the best value slot for a Peterson trade by far. However, the Texans went out and signed ex-Packers RB Ahman Green as their starter and would not use an early first round pick on another RB. So what seemed almost a buffet situation for the Skins has quickly turned into "bread and dripping" with the team having to be prepared to drop to #12 or beyond to get a trade.

Also there's no guarantees that a deal would get on the table in this situation either (for example, Arizona could make "our" deal with the 5th pick). It's all speculation.

Now we are hearing that CB Dre Bly, whom Denver acquired from Detroit after outbidding the Skins, wants to come to Washington, There are reports that Denver have put a deal on the table that involves their first, second and third rounders plus LB Al Wilson for the #6. The Skins have declined the player in that trade – having acquired LB London Fletcher-Baker – however, they replaced Wilson with the name "Bly" in discussions. That's supposedly the state of play now.

The Skins past reputation of being impatient in free agency, outbidding themselves to sign players and squandering draft picks has been repaired somewhat in the 2007 offseason. The front office have shown restraint, played the market sensibly and agreed to two very reasonable contracts with their two main UFA signings. The negotiations with Denver over this possible trade are the next big test, so should the Skins be looking to make this trade?

It makes sense to do a trade in these circumstances as the Bronco's covet the 6th pick. However, given that Houston are also supposedly talking to Washington, I would hold out for a better deal and use that as leverage against the Bronco's. The Skins have no need to rush this. The Skins have what Denver wants so why not try to extract the last ounce of compensation out of the Bronco's? If this drags out to draft day, so be it. Washington holds the whip hand here, let's not forget that.

What would be my starting point in these negotiations? Bly, Denver's 1st (#21), 2nd (#56) and both 3rd round picks (#70 and #87) for the Skins 1st (#6) and 5th rounders.

"That's crazy, they won't do that as it means that Bly is valued at a low 3rd round pick." That's right. I think Bly is a solid cornerback but he's almost 30 years of age, is in the last year of his current contract and will be looking for a decent contract extension. Those three factors alone devalue the player's compensation as far as I'm concerned.

If Denver comes to the party with an acceptable deal, the Skins are then armed with picks to trade back up from #21 to the #9 - #16 range if they want to depending on what combination of other Denver picks they use. This would enable the Skins to position themselves to still acquire one of the best 4 DL on the board, add Bly and have an additional first day pick or two. If the team stays at #21, Jarvis Moss, Charles Johnson or Adam Carriker would be very good selections at DE, while the other picks could be used on a defensive tackle, a guard, a tight end and even a kicker.

So if an acceptable deal from the Bronco's is on the table do the Skins take it or still wait in hope for draft day? Given the uncertainty of who may drop to #6, I think the answer is obvious.

So why do the Skins need Bly when they have Springs, Rogers and Smoot? Does Springs get traded if Bly is acquired?

My answer is short and simple. Keep Springs and move him to free safety. You now have one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL – Bly and Smoot on the corners, Taylor and Springs at safety and Rogers in the nickel

…….and provides something that was sorely missed last year…………QUALITY DEPTH in the defensive backfield.

Lastly…… two value for money FA's that the Skins should still be looking to sign? Here's mine………

Ian Scott DT (Bears) and Edwin Mulitalo G (Ravens).

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