Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winslow Trade Thoughts

From my recent trip across the internet message boards it looks like Browns fans are split on the Kellen Winslow trade. Now that the previously undisclosed draft picks have been disclosed to be a 2009 second rounder and a 2010 5th rounder, I'll give my take on the first big move of the new era. And that take is overwhelming support of the move.

Honestly, I think anyone who is against this trade is letting there emotions get in the way of reason. There are two main concerns about this trade. One is that people feel Winslow is our best player and trading him is a sure sign of rebuilding. Two is that Brady Quinn is a young "dink and dunk" passer who needs a great tight end like Winslow to be effective. Let me explain why both of these opinions are incorrect.

First, trading Winslow does NOT mean we are rebuilding. Sure he is the best receiving tight end on the planet. Yet he still managed to drop Quinn's 4th down, game ending pass versus Denver just as if he was any other Browns receiver. Come to think of it, he also dropped a touchdown pass from Quinn against San Francisco in 2007. Winslow's one great ability, to catch passes, is therefore not perfect. And for every drive that Winslow does extend with a great grab, he repeatedly stalls another one with mental errors. I can't count the number of times I lost my voice screaming at the television following a personal foul or false start on Winslow. Not to mention his little problems blocking and staying healthy.

Then there is the depth at tight end on this roster. Steve Heiden could be starting almost anywhere in the league. He seemed more than adequate against the New York Football Giants last season when Winslow was in the hospital. Also, last season we drafted arguably the top receiving tight end in college, Martin Rucker. The drop in talent at tight end will not be noticed in the win-loss column next year.

And for those who think Quinn can only dink and dunk, I say to you that you only think that because you watch DA play, and the only thing he could do was heave it long. If the deep ball is there, Quinn will throw it up and give our guy a chance to make the play. But a qb has to be able to move the chains with long drives to give a defense the chance to rest. Just because Quinn can do something DA couldn't, throw with touch and accuracy to a receiver, doesn't mean it's a bad thing. But I digress. The point of this paragraph was supposed to be that Quinn doesn't need Winslow. As stated above, Heiden is a very gifted tight end and I am fully confident that he will be more than able to fill Winslow's shoes.

This team has too many holes. To trade from a position of strength to acquire assets to fill the weaknesses is exactly what a good GM should do. Winslow's trade value is higher than it will ever be. Obviously ManKok learned from the mistake of the Savage regime when it failed to get value for DA when it had the chance.  On the Tampa Bay message boards, many posts indicated there would be hell to pay if the Bucs gave up more than a 3rd or a 4th rounder.  To get a second and a fifth rounder for this injury prone, penalty prone, malcontent is a steal. The move does not represent a complete rebuild. It is a way to fill the holes on this roster by getting rid of a guy who is injured half his career and is replaceable on the roster.

Now the daunting task of convincing Mr. Rogers to shut up and play ball lies ahead...

PS: I am stunned by the results of the current CMCR poll. The results should have been 100% for trading LeBron for Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. These are two legit all-star centers and the man LeBron refers to as the best player on the planet. Please, loyal readers, explain to me how you could vote for anything else.

Until next time this is Barry Lakin sayin all the world is schlach.


Biff said...

I'm glad to see that we agree on Winslow. Here are a few facts about the man we just traded:

1. He has the body of a 35 year-old.

2. Although he loves to play the game, he's a hothead who tends to be a distraction off the field (even though the incident this past season was 99% Savage's fault).

3. He hasn't been anywhere near the player that he was in college since the day he underwent his first knee surgery.

4. Even when healthy, he's a complete liability as a blocker, and as the presence of Heiden has shown, is a negative for the ground game.

5. Even though the Browns gave him a gift after his accident, he's about to start bitching about getting a new contract.

6. Even a good tight end is still just a tight end.

Now, consider all of those things and then take into account the fact that a) the Browns cap situation isn't great, and b) they aren't going to be challenging for any titles anytime soon.

Given how difficult it is to get other teams to part with high draft picks for expensive players, I think this was an exceptional trade.

Barry Lakin said...

After seeing the Chiefs give up only a 2nd rounder to get both Cassel and Vrabel, getting a 2 and a 5 for Winslow seems like an even better deal.

In reality I think someone needs to call shenanigans on the Patriots/Chiefs deal. The Winslow trade is probably more accurate on market value of the player and you and I consider that a steal.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Barry... Matt Schaub fetches two second rounders with one NFL start under his belt... Cassel puts up pro-bowl level numbers and only brings back a single 2nd rounder, and had to have Vrabel thrown in to seal the deal? And today it comes out that Denver would have given up their 1st rounder (#12) and Tampa was willing to give up their 1st and 3rd? This was Belichik offering Pioli a going-away present. Wrapped up all nice with a pretty bow.

And thanks for a well-reasoned article on the Winslow trade. I'm amazed how many other Browns fan sites are all up in arms about it--and I mean the staff, not the Joe Schmoes posting in the comments. For all his talent, the guy had some serious attitude probs, was 25 going on 39 health-wise, and having hired Rosenhaus there was no way he was going to set foot on the field without a renegotiated contract this year. And I'm sorry but I don't see good value in paying a slow, self-aggrandizing, broken-down slot receiver Dallas Clark dollars. I'm no fan of the Mangini/Kokinis regime, but I give them their due on this one... they deserve credit for getting good value for K2. If Tampa's fortunate, hopefully they'll get 2, maybe 3 good years of production out of him before he breaks down.

In the meantime, I'm going to pray my ass off that Kokinis doesn't end up being the 2nd coming of Phil Savage and wasting that valuable draft pick.

Next up... let's get that rumored Braylon for Kiwanuka deal done!