Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Steaks or Milk?

[Note: I started this blog last night, but didn't post it until I could check cap facts with Netrat]

I grew up on a Dairy Farm, and there was this old saying that when it comes to a cow you can have steaks or milk, but you can't have 'em both. Essentially, it meant you could milk the cow, or slaughter it for the steaks. But you couldn't do both at the same time.

With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Lions IFO (at this point I refuse to entertain the notion it will become permanent, and thus will now refer to Lions current management as IFO - Interim Front Office. I wanted it to be IFONLY but the only acronym I could come up with was too insulting. Maybe I'll use it anyways...) needs to decide how much milk they can get out of the current roster, or if they should cut it up into steak and sell off the best cuts to the highest bidder. Right now, a handful of teams are readying to make playoff noise, but still feel they are missing a piece or two. That pass rusher. That receiving threat. That run stopper. That extra guy in the secondary...

With that in mind already, I ran across this story from Jason Cole on Yahoo that I found interesting regarding players who should be traded. Mind you, not WILL be traded, but SHOULD.

Not surprisingly, 4 of the ten players were Lions. This was mainly because St. Louis, Detroit and Cincinatti were the teams that -- with coaching and/or front office changes coming, are going to be cleaning house soon anyways.

The 4 players listed were: Cory Redding, Dwayne White, Roy Williams and Brian Kelly.

I admit, I was surprised to see all 4 of those guys, and maybe not others, on the list. But seriously, lets look at them from a point of view I would consider more knowledgeable regarding Detroit that Mr. Cole.

The first thing columnists forget to look at in these trade scenarios is cap impact. Can a team afford to trade a guy right now? The SB are accelerated, and come due now. Since bad teams (like the Lions) usually are thin on cap space (like the Lions) this makes trading mid-season somewhat problematic. The other thing is market for the player, likelihood to trade, and what Detroit would get in return for the next GM to use. IE - draft picks, not players. The Lions are -- without a GM and IFONLY running the show -- in an official build-from-scratch mode. Rebuilding would imply there was something there. I'm going with building mode.

the Lions have only approximately $700,000 in cap space right now. (remember, they signed Rudi Johnson to a one year deal)

I emailed NetRat, resident cap guru, and was informed that since it is 2008, we are still in the world where cap hits occur. Essentially, the Lions would take a hit for unallocated signing bonuses and 1/4 (4 games played) of the player salary. So a trade of the aforementioned players would net the following for/against the cap:

Cory Redding: $5.1 million cap hit (not enough space)
Roy Williams: $700,000 savings (Net cap would equal 1.4 million in space)
Brian Kelly: $1.2 Million Cap Hit (not enough space unless Roy is traded first)
Dwayne White: $6.5 Million cap hit (not enough space)

First of all, Redding and White CANNOT be traded in reality. So to list them as players who should be traded is inane -- there is no reasonable way Detroit can do it. None.

As for Kelly, he could only be traded IF Williams were traded first, AND the Lions wanted to eat up their entire cap. Not likely. Less likely is a team that would be willing, at this point in the season, to give up more than a snow cone for him.

Despite the rumors of his impending trade, and the positive cap ramifications, I still don't see Roy going before the deadline. Why?

1. His value is not as high now as it will be at the end of the season. With so many new HC next year, a lot of teams are going to be churning rosters. In other words, a good time for an offensive skill player to be the flashy "centerpiece of the offense" to be a FA.

2. The Lions can franchise him, allow him to negotiate with teams on contract terms that are willing to give up what the Lions want. The Lions don't have the cap space to engineer such a trade right now, and it is not as likely to garner the type of compensation it will after the season when the draft slots are known.

3. I'd rather have the new GM/HC decide on keeping him/not AND brokering the deal. After seeing what types of deals IFONLY has managed, I'll take my chances on the negotiating skills of the Lions.

4. I don't think IFONLY is going to rock the boat right now. They are all basically putting out resumes for next season, and don't want to be known as the guys who got screwed over on that dumb trade. They have enough baggage as it is.

Of course, while I don't think the Lions will or should trade anyone right now (I don't think the value would be worth it) -- I did browse the cap listing to see who the Lions COULD trade -- cap wise. Some of the names were surprising. The Lions could trade/cut the following players under the current cap numbers:

  1. Jon Kitna (BIG savings)
  2. Drew Stanton
  3. Jerome Felton
  4. Marcus Thomas
  5. Rudi Johnson
  6. Kevin Smith
  7. Roy Williams
  8. Shaun McDonald
  9. Mike Furrey
  10. Brandon Middleton
  11. John Owens
  12. Casey Fitzsimmons
  13. Dominic Raiola
  14. Andy McCollum
  15. Stephen Peterman
  16. Manuel Ramierez
  17. Edwin Mulitalo
  18. George Foster
  19. Damian Cook
  20. Shaun Cody
  21. Langston Moore
  22. Chuck Darby
  23. Landon Cohen
  24. Andre Fluellen
  25. Jared Devries
  26. Cory Smith
  27. IAF
  28. Cliff Avril
  29. Alex Lewis
  30. Paris Lenon
  31. Ryan Nece
  32. Gilbert Gardner
  33. Gerald Alexander
  34. Daniel Bullocks
  35. Dwight Smith
  36. Kalvin Pearson
  37. Keith Smith
  38. Travis Fisher
  39. Ramzee Robinson
  40. Jason Hanson
  41. Nick Harris
  42. Don Mulbach

FORTY TWO of the Lions 53 man roster -- 4/5 -- can be traded while sticking to the cap -- yet Jason Cole, a full-time sports writer, picks 3 of the 11 players who cannot be traded -- over 25%!!! to use in an article about players that SHOULD be traded!!

How absurd can you get? Is he related to Matt Millen? You could literally throw darts at the Lions Roster blindfolded and do better than that.

Of the tradeable players, who would you deal and for what? Or would you suggest - as I do - that the Lions hold pat and let the next front office decide for themselves?

Also keep in mind that the Lions would/should be going solely for draft picks, not players. Maybe the next coaching staff won't be so afraid to play them.


DetroitSims said...

I read that article actually. I found it rather stupid IMO. I didnt even think about what you said how those 4 really cant be traded and the rest can!! Thats just F'ing crazy, definetly must be related to Millen!

rhvery said...

Typical of most writers and radio talk show hosts here and everywhere. Make statements that create buzz regardless of the sensibility of their statements. Unfortunately with the population being 85% sheep they follow along and repeat the comments to the rest of the sheep.

Thanks for the fact checking and throwing a dose of reality in yet another stupid article.

This trade article is just as dumb as the fire Marinelli chants/radio pleas, and articles. There is NO WAY marinelli gets fired mid season whether he plays Stanton or they are on track for 0-16. There isn't anyone to replace him with. Do you think they would move Barry or Colletto into the role? No. Stan Kwan - no. Kippy Brown probably would have the best chance, but that isn't going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see them trade Shaun Cody for anything they can get. That would give them a spot to bring in Cohen or Fluellen, and there are a few teams that are a bit this a DL that might like to have Cody as a backup. I would also like to see (although I'm almost certain that it wont happen) Kitna get traded. I would think that SF and NE would both consider brining in Kitna, and that would give us the rest of the season to see what we have in Drew and Dan. It drives me crazy that the Lions stick to playing mostly aging veterans that will be on the team for a couple more years at most. The Lions need to accept that they are not a superbowl contender and that they need to use this time to develop young talent so they will have a headstart going into next year. Playing the young talent is helpful for the player, and it also gives the front office a chance to see what they've got, and where the major needs are for the draft. I'm tired of the coaches trying to put out the best team right now, they need to be thinking about next year and the year after or the Lions will continue to be a below average (at best) team.


rhvery said...

Listen.....there is no one thinking of the future right no. The front office is interim as is the coach. The only way any of them have a way to make a name for themselves is to win some games this year.

What good is it for Martin Mayhew to analyze Stanton if he won't even be here next year? What good is Stanton to marinelli if he won't be here to see him play. Marinelli is going to play the guys best suited for him to win now so he can keep the job.

Both you and I know he won't be here, but he doesn't (and can't) have that same mindset. He is working to try and keep the job or at least audition for others. Thus, the current front office isn't going to tell him to play other guys - not in week 5 anyways.

Come on - get a clue.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of trading Jon Kitna myself. A) it will get the rest of the team to stop following him and frankly I don't see him as much of a leader this season. B) I think you can still get something for him (maybe a 3rd or 4th rounder). This would open the door for Stanton to take over. If this team can put Stanton in and win a few games they can make the statement "Hey, we won some games with a rookie QB. Think about what we can do next year." Since after all, I don't see Kitna starting next year anyway. Also I think you can get some interest from several teams like SF, NE, and one team no one has talked about, Green Bay. They freaked out last week with Aaron Rodgers not being able to start and everyone knows that Brian Brohm is not ready so why not see what kind of interest they may have. Any given Sunday could turn a whole season around with one injury at QB. Donovan McNabb is reported to be banged up, Kitna could be an emergency answer for them as well. The possibilities are endless I just wish they would come out and say publicly, JON KITNA IS ON BLOCK! Let other GMs make a mistake.


Anonymous said...

And I know Aaron Rodgers did start that game... the idea he wouldn't really worried the coaching staff

rhvery said...

And they aren't going to trade Kitna ether. You guys have to stop thinking like this.....the team is not going to change until after the season is over. There is no reason to trade Kitna. The personnel people that will be in place next year that would like to see Stanton and what they have aren't even hired yet.

Good grief - let's discuss what we have not what will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Trade Kitna, Start Stanton.

Anonymous said...

from the Detroit Free Press on what Kitna said to them when asked if he was starting sunday.."I really shouldn't be talkin to you guys right now, I cant tell you the truth"

Wonder what the hell is goin on in D-TOWN

Anonymous said...

What about the just HORRIBLE pass interference call... I'm calling conspiracy on the NFL. They want to showcase the Bears v. Vikings game and at the Lions exspense. The way the Lions D played today it is a travesdy for them to not be victorious. That call was just downright horrible and the ball wasn't catchable anyways. The contact was was at the same time as the ball being touched and it wasn't even really contact. Another call that was blown was not overturning the CJ fumble. If we are going to have instant replay and STILL not get the call right what the hell is the point? Are you serious!?! Boy I feel better now.


StatBeast said...

Lions lost...Damn it
Check out the stat widgets at They're an
awesome way to illustrate your point.

Anonymous said...

-I thought the defense looked a lot better they have all year. The man to man and blitzing looked a lot better then the Cover 2 that never seems to work with our personnel.
-I thought Danny O looked a lot better then Kitna would have and has all year. It's just a shame our offline couldn't block a Division II college team.
-The special teams played really well today and I would love to see them play that way every game.

Maybe we won't go undefeated this season after all. IMO, today they looked a whole lot better then they have in any of the games this year.

Okay let all the haters bash on Danny O now and tell us how much better Kitna would have been... God I wish our fans had a clue. Danny O looked pretty damn good for getting shown the turf most of the game. All in all I thought he looked good for his first NFL start ever.
Heck even Drew Stanton might have looked pretty good today as well but with this coaching staff we may never get an opportunity to find out.