Saturday, 14 March 2009

The draft, Cory Redding and Julian Peterson

The big news from Seahawks HQ today is that the team have traded Julian Peterson to Detroit in exchange for Cory Redding (DT) and a fifth round pick. Peterson had refused to take a pay cut and at 30 years of age, was approaching the expensive end of the contract he signed in 2006. How does his departure and Redding's arrival affect the 2009 NFL draft?

For starters, scratch any ideas that the team will draft B.J. Raji. Adding Redding and Colin Cole to a rotation already including Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant and Craig Terrill almost certainly means the team will look elsewhere with the fourth overall pick. Last year, Glenn Dorsey (5th overall, Kansas City) earned a $51m contract with $23m in guarantees. Spending a similar amount on Raji to share snaps with Redding, Cole and Mebane appears unrealistic.

One prospect people will speculate is a more logical option now is Wake Forest's Aaron Curry. I have mixed feelings on this. Seattle clearly felt uncomfortable having so much money invested at linebacker and wanted Julian Peterson to take a pay cut. By trading a proven pro-bowl player who stood to earn $6.5m in 2009 and replacing him with an unproven rookie who could earn approximately $10m this year is debatable. Of course, Peterson was entering the twilight of his career and Curry would be coming to the team 7 years his junior. But Peterson's quality was in his pass rush. Curry registered just 2 sacks in 2008 and only 9 total sacks in his four years at Wake Forest. Whether they intend to move Hill into a more pass rushing role remains to be seen.

Of course, this all depends on whether Curry would even be available. Many experts, including NFL Draft Scout's Rob Rang have Curry going third overall to the Chiefs. Perhaps a more likely option could be to find a replacement for Peterson in round two where there could be some value. Frank Cooney ranks the draft's linebackers for CBS Sportsline. It's unlikely, but you have to believe the team would love someone like Clay Matthews Jr. (USC) to fall to them in round two. Seattle re-signed Lance Laury and D.D. Lewis today and both will challenge for a starting role along with 2007 draftee Will Herring.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rob- What do you think the odds of Tampa's Brooks coming to the Hawks? Could he make a contribution?

I think Ruskell has this team in a great spot for the draft. He could go O-line which is my bet. But QB and RB could happen. The more I think on it I say the odds of QB are still slim but increasing.

Anonymous said...

I think this leaves Crab or one of the OL or......... trade down with someone like Denver who really wants BJ and take a LB like Cushing for #12 money instead of #4 and pick up a couple of high round picks

Anonymous said...

I think Curry, although a great player, is a long shot to become a Hawk. We already have 2 of the best young LBs in Hill and Tatupu and now we can get serious young talent somewhere else on the roster.

My money is on an offensive player and I really think that LT and QB are the frontrunners with Crabtree being the wild card albeit very feasible option. Obviously Crabtree could have the most immediate impact but I think Ruskell realizes this is a very unique opportunity to secure the future at one of the two most important positions (LT and QB) and is optimizing success by allowing such a player to progress slowly but surely without the pressure of the being "the guy" right off the bat.

A QB could sit and learn behind Hass, while an LT could play another spot on the line while learning from Walt. This has nothing to do with having no faith in Hass or Walt, but they are getting long in the tooth and have been injured. Ruskell is a calculating guy and probably doesn't want to assume that either of them is going to be playing at a pro bowl caliber for 3 years. The last thing the Hawks want to do is become like so many other teams who go by the adage of "wait 'til next year." That can kill a franchise and Ruskell has set us up to be able to avoid that by his moves this off season.

Rob Staton said...

Hi annonymous, if Ruskell wants to add some veteran experience then I'm sure Brooks could come in on a moderate deal. If the price is right - who knows? Seattle has a hole to fill that they didn't have yesterday, so one way or another I think they'll be looking to add another linebacker at some point.

Louis said...

OMG i just bought a Julian Peterson jersey yesterday :( Was that bad timing or WHAT? lol

Louis said...

In my opinion, this is a TERRIBLE move. According to Newerascouting.com, Peterson was ranked #4 in the NFL Linebackers, while REdding is ranked #14 in the NFL Defensive Tackles. However, money may have been the deciding factor. Still, it sucks since he is my fav player...I'll miss u Julian...go dominate in Detriot.

BTW doesnt this seem like a "punishment" for Julian Peterson? he refuses to take a pay cut, and is then traded to the worst team in the NFL...there seems to be a connection.

Louis said...

But my question is...couldnt we get a better return value for one of the best LB in the NFL? Julian Peterson has been in 7 Pro-Bowls, and is more worthy than just an slightly above average DT and a 5th round pick. In my opinion, I think we could have gotten a top 10 DT for Julian Peterson.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Louis,

Seattle were clearly hoping Peterson would take a pay cut, probably because they've spent a lot of money in free agency. They may need the room to sign the rookies drafted, or they may wish to re-sign another free agent (perhaps Leonard Weaver?). If they were going to have to cut him anyway, to get a player in return and a 5th round pick is at least some compensation.

However, I have my doubts about this deal. Peterson's production was down last year, but the whole team under performed. Personally, I thought Peterson was a close second to Brandon Mebane as our best defensive player in 2008. Yes he was going to be 31 this year, but Peterson offered a much needed pass rush.

Whether Redding can do the same remains to be seen. The Seahawks now have an extra hole to fill, whether it's in the draft or with someone such as DD Lewis, Lance Laury or Will Herring. You have to believe the defense is going to be a lot different under Jim Mora's leadership, with more focus on pressure from the front and less on the linebackers.

Big Joe said...

I liked JP alot, but this was a great trade for the Seahawks. If Timmay has proven anything, it is his ability to pick high quality LB's in the mid rounds. JP has gas left in the tank, but this is a team sport and going younger with lower cost to allow for other players paydays makes perfect sense to me. We lost a real good player, but we gained in terms of the overall position of the team in players and value. Well Played Timmay!

I would still prefer to trade down if we have a partner to play with, but if not, we are in great position to take the BPA at 4. And we get to pick in the 5th round...the first pick in the 5th so it is almost a 4th round pick!

Happy Happy Happy!

Anonymous said...

If the threat to cut JP was real, it would affect his market value. Nobody's going to bid up the price on an asset you're ready to discard anyway.

IF the Seahawks had showed no intention of dumping JP and IF the Lions had been the ones who broached the idea of a trade THEN they might have had to give us the equivalent of a top ten DT. As it is, we were lucky to get as much as we got.

germpod said...

We had a huge overload at LB, we just balanced things out a little bit. Overloading on some positions to create a mismatch makes sense to me, LB is not one of those positions.

We have better balance now, got a little younger, and saved cap space in one move.