by Mario Granata
While many of the Buffalo faithful in the 716 experienced a roller coaster of emotions when it came to this past week, reaching as high as gaining the 12th overall pick (in a trade with the Bengals) to the lowest of the low (being jumped by a division rival for a franchise guy), hopefully I can give you some solace as you go about your day. Instead of getting upset for what the Jets did, think of it as them doing us a favor. Still confused? Allow me to elaborate.
Yes, the Jets are in front of the Bills. Yes, they are a division rival. Yes, they will probably still take a quarterback. No, they didn't make the path to the Top-5 tougher, just more creative. Here are a few points to ponder while you worry about what just happened this weekend
Bills Don’t Have to Sell the Farm:
While most of you are looking at the trade that the Jets made with the Colts as the Jets “setting the market value” for trading into the Top-5, I believe that they are mutually exclusive. That coupled with the fact that this trade happened a month before the actual draft, there are many moves that could be made from now until the draft. The first Thank You to the Jets is because it is going to be easier for the Bills to trade to the 6th overall pick than it would be to trade into the Top-5. This means, they don’t exactly have to clear their cabinets out in order to move up. If the ultimate goal is to ‘Jump the Jets’ and get into the #2 spot, offering the 6th pick to the Giants is sexier than offering the 12th pick, and it will be a lot easier to talk to the Colts to trade for the 6th overall pick than it would have been to get the 3rd overall pick.
Running the Numbers:
Looking at the Colts before the trade, they were roughly 72 million under the cap and projected to be big players in the free agent market. Well, that was not to be, and with the Colts only holding 7 picks, they weren’t going to have enough bodies to even fill a full 51-man roster, much less challenge for the AFC Title. So, with things not going their way, they decide to make a trade with the Jets to acquire more picks. Smart on their part, however, we (and the Colts) don’t know who those players are.
On the flipside, the Giants are projected to spend about 9 million just on their rookie picks. This poses a problem since they only have 5.2 million in cap space. This works out to the Bills advantage. The Giants NEED to get out of that 2nd overall pick to avoid any penalties. 6th pick
Currently, if the Giants stay at #2, their cap hit will be 5.7 million for that player. If they trade back to the 6th pick, they only pay 4.4 million saving 1.3 million in the process. If they trade back to the 12th spot, they will pay only 2.7 million for that rookie pick, saving 3 million dollars. While it is unlikely that the Bills can take a direct path from 12 to 2 (because they can't package a player to give to the Giants due to their limited cap space) they can still float the idea without having to contact the Colts.
In my estimation there are two avenues that the Bills can take in order to get the 6th overall pick from the Colts. They can trade the 12th (1200), 56th (340), and the 96th (116) and that would put their value at 1656 for those picks to Indianapolis for the 6th (1600), and 104th (67), which totals 1667. The Bills part with their 12th pick, a second and a third for the 6th overall and the Colts 4th round pick. Doing this leaves the Bills with their second 1st round pick, and a pick in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds. Negotiating with the Giants (who would probably want to stay in the Top-10) would be easier if you are offering the 6th overall rather than the 12th even though the Giants need to clear some space.
The second scenario the Bills could consider is to part with a player. We have seen Brandon Beane trade Cordy Glenn to the Bengals and move up 9 spots in the first round. If Glenn carried that value, what type of value do you think that Jerry Hughes carries? With the Colts projected to take Bradley Chubb (when they were sitting at the 3rd overall pick) they obviously need edge rushers and defensive help, and with their aforementioned 72-million-dollar cap space, they have more than enough to take and even extend Jerry Hughes if they chose to do so. If you are including Hughes in the deal, than the only change you would the first round selection from 12th overall to 22nd overall. You have to think that if Glenn was worth 9 spots to the Bengals, why wouldn’t Hughes be worth 16 spots to the Colts? I mean, it is worth exploring.
Now, obviously this is all contingent upon the fact that that you are in support of the Buffalo Bills trading with the Giants in order to get “their” guy in this upcoming draft. With the worry coming from the Buffalo faithful, I just don’t see the need to hit the panic button just yet. If this trade were to happen at the draft or a day before, I can see the angst that would accompany it, however a lot can happen between now and the draft. In the words of Mr. Discount Double-check. R-E-L-A-X.