Spielman talks draft trade possibilities

Rick Spielman doesn't expect any serious trade offers anytime soon, but changes to the collective bargaining agreement could make dealing a top-five pick easier. Spielman talked about that and other topics surrounding his trading philosophy.

Rick Spielman has a good idea how his own draft board is shaping up, but the next five days in Indianapolis will start to give Minnesota Vikings general manager an idea of how much the team's No. 3 draft pick is valued around the league.

As NFL prospects continue to work on improving their draft stock, other NFL teams could have an increased interest in targeting the Vikings with a trade offer. Those offers aren't expected until the days before the draft, according to Spielman.

"There's so much work that needs to be done on these guys yet. There may be some stuff floating out there at the combine: ‘Hey, we might be looking to move up.' But you really don't get down to the nitty-gritty deals until right before the draft," Spielman said.

The uber-prepared Spielman said he doesn't know if other teams will look to move ahead of the Vikings at No. 3 or the Cleveland Browns, owners of the No. 4 selection, to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, but he said he will be prepared if those calls do come into the team's Winter Park headquarters in the days and hours before the draft begins on April 26.

With the No. 3 pick, the Vikings could find themselves in an ideal situation in just over two months. If quarterbacks are taken with the first two picks, Spielman will have his pick of the top player at any other position … or he could listen intently to potential trade offers.

"I think when you're up there in that top five, there are some pretty talented people. We'll have to make that determination that if we do stay at three, is that player too good to pass up or would we be able to get a player that could still come in and be a very good football player for us but also accumulate more draft picks as well?" Spielman said. "I think with the new CBA and the rookie pool, it makes it a lot easier to make trades when you're in the top three because before, no one wanted to come up there because of the financial commitment."

Last year, Cam Newton, the top pick in the draft, signed a four-year, $22 million contract that was fully guaranteed. In 2010, Sam Bradford was the St. Louis Rams' top overall selection, signing a six-year, $78 million contract before the new collective bargaining agreement significantly chopped into the salaries of first-round picks, especially those in the top half of the draft.

According to NFL.com, there were 12 trades of top-10 picks from 2000-04, but from 2005-10 there were just five trades involving top-10 picks. Last year, there were two – the Falcons traded their No. 27 overall pick, No. 59 and No. 124 in 2011, along with first- and fourth-rounders this year, to move up to No. 6 and select receiver Julio Jones; and the Jacksonville Jaguars traded Nos. 16 and 49 in 2011 to move up six spots and draft Blaine Gabbert at No. 10.

Besides the money involved, the price would also have to be right in draft currency. The third pick in the draft could yield two first-round picks in the middle of the first round, or a first-rounder and multiple other high-round picks, depending on how far the Vikings would be willing to drop in the first round.

"Everybody uses those trading charts, but again, I think if a team really wants someone and they think that they're potentially that one player away, that they may end up giving more. But everybody kind of follows the same value on that," Spielman said. "But if somebody's going to give you potentially a two and maybe a number one next year – those are the things you've got to weigh in, as well as how far you have to move back in the draft. To potentially move back and maybe have two number ones next year would be something that would be intriguing."

With eight picks already and expecting to be awarded two more when compensatory picks are handed out next month at the owners meetings, the Vikings will have no shortage of picks whether they accumulate more in a trade or not.

However, one thing is clear: There is a renewed focus on rebuilding the roster with youth.

"You always want – hope – you'll be able to fill most of your team needs through the draft and continue to develop the young guys. We feel very strongly last year, because we had a full slate of draft picks, a lot of those guys contributed last year and I think some of the guys that didn't get a chance will definitely be contributors this year," Spielman said. "We have another hopefully 10 picks or more in this draft, depending on what happens with the compensatory picks, and expect to have just as much success with those guys, bringing them in.

"And it ties hand in hand, we've got to do a good job as far as identifying those players, making sure they have enough ability to play in this league. The type of players who we want in here, we've always emphasized those guys have to have passion for the game to give our coaches a chance to develop those guys and then the coaches take it from there, develop those guys and try to get them on the field as quickly as we can."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Rick Spielman has a good idea how his own draft board is shaping up, but the next five days in Indianapolis will start to give Minnesota Vikings general manager an idea of how much the team's No. 3 draft pick is valued around the league.

As NFL prospects continue to work on improving their draft stock, other NFL teams could have an increased interest in targeting the Vikings with a trade offer. Those offers aren't expected until the days before the draft, according to Spielman.

\"There's so much work that needs to be done on these guys yet. There may be some stuff floating out there at the combine: ‘Hey, we might be looking to move up.' But you really don't get down to the nitty-gritty deals until right before the draft,\" Spielman said.

The uber-prepared Spielman said he doesn't know if other teams will look to move ahead of the Vikings at No. 3 or the Cleveland Browns, owners of the No. 4 selection, to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, but he said he will be prepared if those calls do come into the team's Winter Park headquarters in the days and hours before the draft begins on April 26.

With the No. 3 pick, the Vikings could find themselves in an ideal situation in just over two months. If quarterbacks are taken with the first two picks, Spielman will have his pick of the top player at any other position … or he could listen intently to potential trade offers.

\"I think when you're up there in that top five, there are some pretty talented people. We'll have to make that determination that if we do stay at three, is that player too good to pass up or would we be able to get a player that could still come in and be a very good football player for us but also accumulate more draft picks as well?\" Spielman said. \"I think with the new CBA and the rookie pool, it makes it a lot easier to make trades when you're in the top three because before, no one wanted to come up there because of the financial commitment.\"

Last year, Cam Newton, the top pick in the draft, signed a four-year, $22 million contract that was fully guaranteed. In 2010, Sam Bradford was the St. Louis Rams' top overall selection, signing a six-year, $78 million contract before the new collective bargaining agreement significantly chopped into the salaries of first-round picks, especially those in the top half of the draft.

According to NFL.com, there were 12 trades of top-10 picks from 2000-04, but from 2005-10 there were just five trades involving top-10 picks. Last year, there were two – the Falcons traded their No. 27 overall pick, No. 59 and No. 124 in 2011, along with first- and fourth-rounders this year, to move up to No. 6 and select receiver Julio Jones; and the Jacksonville Jaguars traded Nos. 16 and 49 in 2011 to move up six spots and draft Blaine Gabbert at No. 10.

Besides the money involved, the price would also have to be right in draft currency. The third pick in the draft could yield two first-round picks in the middle of the first round, or a first-rounder and multiple other high-round picks, depending on how far the Vikings would be willing to drop in the first round.

\"Everybody uses those trading charts, but again, I think if a team really wants someone and they think that they're potentially that one player away, that they may end up giving more. But everybody kind of follows the same value on that,\" Spielman said. \"But if somebody's going to give you potentially a two and maybe a number one next year – those are the things you've got to weigh in, as well as how far you have to move back in the draft. To potentially move back and maybe have two number ones next year would be something that would be intriguing.\"

With eight picks already and expecting to be awarded two more when compensatory picks are handed out next month at the owners meetings, the Vikings will have no shortage of picks whether they accumulate more in a trade or not.

However, one thing is clear: There is a renewed focus on rebuilding the roster with youth.

\"You always want – hope – you'll be able to fill most of your team needs through the draft and continue to develop the young guys. We feel very strongly last year, because we had a full slate of draft picks, a lot of those guys contributed last year and I think some of the guys that didn't get a chance will definitely be contributors this year,\" Spielman said. \"We have another hopefully 10 picks or more in this draft, depending on what happens with the compensatory picks, and expect to have just as much success with those guys, bringing them in.

\"And it ties hand in hand, we've got to do a good job as far as identifying those players, making sure they have enough ability to play in this league. The type of players who we want in here, we've always emphasized those guys have to have passion for the game to give our coaches a chance to develop those guys and then the coaches take it from there, develop those guys and try to get them on the field as quickly as we can.\"


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.


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