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The Falcons made a move yesterday which will shake up their draft strategy on Saturday.
By giving up a 2nd round pick in 2010, they acquired 10-time Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez from the Chiefs.
It’s no secret that Gonzo’s been lobbying for a trade to a contender since the last season. But former GM, Carl Peterson, were never able to get the value they demanded in return.
Falcons GM, Thomas Dimitroff, took care of that though.
By surrendering a 2nd round pick next year, which should be higher than this year’s because the Falcons schedule is much more difficult than in 2008, the Chiefs will continue to stock pile picks and build their football team through the draft.
And in two or three year’s time, they’ll be a force once again in the AFC West - and perhaps the entire AFC.
As to the Falcons, they made themselves a lot better on offense now.
Gonzalez is still only 33, and showed no signs of slowing down in ‘08 when he put up monster numbers: 96 catches for 10 TD. And it was mostly Tyler Thigpen delivering the football his way; now he gets Matt Ryan.
The move is extremely smart and does three things for the Falcons: first, it allows them to attack the middle of the field; second, it’ll open up new holes for Turner to run through as the safety must follow Gonzalez; and third, and again dealing with the safety, by forcing that safety to shadow Gonzalez, it’ll create a lot of one on one match-ups for star receiver Roddy White. He should be able to exploit them and get deep consistently.
As for how this changes their draft strategy, look for them to target their defense now - either a linebacker or defensive lineman.
In other news, the Braylon Edwards to NY Giants trade talks have cooled to a Tony Romo start in December.
And with good reason.
Reports are coming out that not only did the Browns covet the Giants top pick, No. 29, but they also wanted promising defensive end, Mathias Kiwanuka as a part of the deal.
Is it amateur hour at the negotiation table?
If this were the off season after 2007, it’d make more sense. Braylon was coming off an 80-catch, 16 TD season and his stock was through the roof.
But certainly not now. Not after a 50-plus catch season with 3 TDs.
No matter how much the Browns try and pump value into Edwards - and there’s still a lot of value, there’s just not as much as the Browns seem to think they’ll get for him.
Let’s just say it’s similar to companies trying to raise VC funding right now… valuations are down across the board.
But don’t completely rule out a deal just yet. If the Browns don’t play their hand right in this situation, they’ll probably get a whole lot more than they bargain for.
Edwards, who’s made it known that he desires to leave, has no intention of signing a long term extension.
So he’ll most likely force the Browns to franchise him after the 2009 campaign, out of fear of receiving nothing in return.
And then in their attempts to deal him, if the price is too high and no one comes calling, it never turns out well with No. 1 receivers.
Can you say Randy Moss in Oakland? Ocho Cinco in Cincy?