The CBA, free agency and trading up

A couple of people have asked about Nnamdi Asomugha comments section and via email. It was announced today that he’ll become a free agent after his contract with Oakland was voided due to incentives that were not matched.

I mention this because it raises an interesting point. The prospect of Asomugha being available is enticing not just for the Seahawks, but every other NFL franchise. He’s undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the league at any position – a true shutdown corner. 

However, unless a new collective bargaining agreement can be signed nobody will have the chance to sign him this year.

No trades or signings can be made until the new CBA is agreed. Everyone hopes that it will happen very soon – mostly to avoid a lockout and no football next season. With regard to Asomugha, I wonder if the Raiders structured the deal as such understanding that football was possibly going to be unlikely in 2011?

The draft is slightly different in that it’s secure as part of the existing CBA and will take place under any circumstance. Let’s consider a not-unlikely scenario where free agency does not occur and the draft is set to take place.

I just wonder how teams would approach it? If there’s no prospect of football in 2011 and if you’ve not been able to add any players during free agency – it changes things surely?

The Seahawks will have a pick in the #25-32 range in rounds one and two. They don’t have a third round pick. So let me put this question to you…

If we get to a point where football is unlikely 2011 – would you be more prepared to trade a substantial amount of your draft to move up from that late first round position? Consider that the team would likely have a free agency period and another draft in 2012 before football eventually returned. Would you treat it like ‘business as usual’ or would you consider the big, bold move to get one prospect knowing that depth isn’t really an issue in a year without any games?

I’m not suggesting the Seahawks or anyone else would actually do this – it’s merely a discussion starter to see what kind of opinions are out there. A one-year football sabbatical will change things in the NFL, we just have no idea how.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this one. If there’s a top quarterback, cornerback, defensive lineman, receiver – or any other position for that matter – would you be more willing to ‘go get them’ than in a year where you’re planning for a full schedule?

Consider that the eventual free agency period could be doubly strong with 2011 and 2012 free agents available and with potential trades on offer due to teams hoping to make considerable moves ahead of football’s return. Could the 2011 draft be used – in essence – to bank the guy you want at a greater cost and wait out the CBA? Or do you just treat it like any other draft?


  1. Matt

    Great talking point Rob, and all I have to say is that if there is a QB you love in this draft, then you do everything it takes to get him. I would only domthis for a QB as I would see this as only beneficial in regards to the QB position. Otherwise, I’d proceed accordingly like any other draft.

  2. ChavaC

    Wouldn’t be a bad idea with a QB. It’d give him a year to pick up the concepts of the system on his own, work on footwork and mechanics, etc. Most other positions would essentially just be delaying their rookie season a year, which would probably make other teams more eager to trade for future picks.

    What would the 2012 draft order be if there’s no 2011 football?

    • Matt

      Amen. My thoughts exactly. I certainly wouldn’t tradenup for a D lineman who has a year of money and free time. Just bad news. But like you said, you’d get a redshift year with the QB to let him learn. Cough Jake Locker cough. Would be the perfect situation for Locker.

    • Rob

      It’s unknown what draft order would look like for 2012 if there’s no football this year. I presume they’d do a lottery of some kind, perhaps seperating the playoff qualifiers and the rest.

  3. Alex

    Interesting point about a “redshirt” year for most QBs. In that sense, I think it’s worthy of trading up if he is within trade up range. Locker in particular could use that extra year to fully heal himself (his play was definitely affected) and learn the system.


  4. Patrick

    I would be ok with the idea of trading up, but I’m just not sure one of the QBs will be within reach. Are we talking like, from #25 to let’s say #9? That seems like such a huge leap. I can’t say I’d really be behind that. I’m not sure if it’s been brought up anywhere, but do you think Matt Flynn could be on our radar? I’m not even sure if he could be available, but he’s certainly intriguing. And I’m sure Schnieder knows that.

    Now, at the beginning you mentioned Nnamdi Asomugha. I am ALL FOR that signing. 100%. Empty your pockets Paul Allen, and watch our defense become better immediately!

    • Matt

      I would actually focus on Jonathan Joseph at the beginning of FA and make him feel like he’s more important than Nnamdi. Joseph is still very good and a few years younger as well. While everyone is fighting over Asomuha, lock up Joseph. Just a thought…although Asomugha would be a god send (of course).

  5. AKSeaHawk

    No way would I waste picks trying to trade up. Not from mid 20’s to top ten witch is where you would have to be to get one of the top 3 QB’s. Also, there is NO WAY that there will not be football next year. The NFL has saw what happened to MLB and the NHL. Football would be played on the Outdoor Channel instead of Fox and the stadiums would look like MLS crowds for years to come. To many smart guys on both sides to let that happen. Draft what you need for 2011. If there’s not a QB I am hoping for corner or BIG DL. Either would help.

  6. Another Matt

    With a year off from football and getting two drafts before needing to put a product on the field, I think trading up looks like a less attractive option, not a more attractive one. Without the pressure of needing to win now, the focus can be much more on amassing the very best talent at whatever positions it’s at rather than on filling any necessary holes. Especially if there’s a shakeup in the draft order or some sort of lottery, I’d be much, much less inclined to trade up now and would instead roll the dice on the next draft class to obtain a QB, unless a fantastic offer to trade up presented itself. It’s not like this team is short on positions where it could use a talent upgrade: WR, OG, RT, and CB all need immediate help to the point where a first or second round draft pick has a very good chance of starting right away, and positions like SS, Leo, and MLB are rapidly aging and will need some help very soon. Free safety is about the only position we’ve got locked up for the foreseeable future where the team would pass up a good talent at that position, as a second stud LT that fell our way could easily be a starting RT. Anybody else worth a first or second round pick has a good chance of being an immediate upgrade. With that in mind, I would hate to forgo the chance at upgrades across the board for one higher pick. Maybe in the next draft I’d have a little more urgency about looking for a QB if one didn’t present himself in this draft.

    • The Other Matt

      I have 2 concerns about your thoughts (although you have very valid points)…

      1) This is not a good year to be picking in the 20s. Thanks to Luck, Jenkins, and Blackmon staying in school. That within itself is huge. Those guys make huge hits on the general depth of their position.

      2) I’d be really worried about spending high picks on DL and OL, giving them a ton of money and time away from the game. I’d worry that some guys would blow up (weight) and subsequently underperform.

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