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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Trading the first pick to the Cowboys? Not so fast

On November 30th I told you of the practical certainty that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would contact the Dolphins about trading for the first overall pick because, well, he already knew which player he would select.

Darren McFadden.

Here is the post from nearly two months ago:

Well, now ESPN in recent days has reported that Jones would love McFadden. And there are Internet reports stating Jones has already contacted the Dolphins about that first overall pick.

The truth: Jones would love McFadden. More truth: There have been no substantive talks between the teams about trading picks as far as I have been able to confirm.


Now is simply not the time for such talk. It's too early and Jones would have to be a fool to approach the Dolphins this early because he would tip his hand as to exactly how desperate he is to have his fellow Arkansas Razorback on his roster.

And Jerry Jones is many things but a fool is not one of them.

Jones knows the Dolphins will be trying desperately to get out of that No. 1 overall pick. He knows they're going to hold that pick as long as they think they can continue to drive up the price of the compensation for that pick. And he knows no one other than him is really all fired eager to trade with the Dolphins right now.

So this is going to take a while, people.

If it happens at all, and that is a big if, it will likely not happen until well after the Indianapolis Scouting Combine in February and probably not until after the NFL league meetings in March. By then, Jones will have seen McFadden run and jump and pump and shuttle with all the other draft eligible players at the combine. And the Dolphins will have gotten a better idea of what might be available to them further down the draft board.

Another reason this might take a while is because it's going to take some massaging. The Dolphins would be dumb to give up the first pick for Dallas's two first round picks which are 22nd and 28th. That two-for-one is simply not equitable for Miami. So negotiations are going to be required.

The Cowboys would have to throw in another pick and perhaps a player also. Otherwise the Dolphins will be getting the extreme short end of the trade.

One more thing: You'll be hearing a lot about the draft value chart in the coming weeks and months as it relates to any Dolphins trade-down scenario. Please forget about the stupid chart for the time being.

The chart only measures the value of the first player taken in the draft in comparison with players in other slots throughout the draft board. It was fabricated in large part by Jimmy Johnson way back in the 1990s when the salary cap was not in play and bonuses had not grown to today's gargantuan sizes.

With those two newer factors in play, the value of the first overall pick is somewhat mitigated because of the grand risk the first pick poses along with the obvious potential for reward. Said another way, the first overall pick gives the Dolphins the chance to pick the draft's best player. But is also gives the Dolphins a chance to blow it in unprecedented fashion.

If they pick the wrong player they can cost themselves in excess of $31-$35 million in guaranteed money and years of damage to their salary cap.

That risk must be weighed against the grand possibilities of picking first. Put those on a scale and the value of that pick decreases -- particularly in a year like this one when there is no undisputed, clear-cut stud can't-miss player available at No. 1.


Anonymous John123 said...

First beyond the picks the Cowboys are rumored to be dangling Marion Barber along with picks which makes sense. Barber is a RFA and there is no need to give him a payday and trade up for McFadden. Barber is a Parcells guy, younger than brown, and better. It would probably mean Brown is traded next season.

Second, it appears this draft is very deep. McFadden is probably the only talent worth the #1 pick but the rest of the draft is loaded with everyone and their brother declaring early.

Obviously this will probably be a trickier trade for Dallas if it does involve Barber because he is a RFA and I believe Julius Jones is a FA. I don't believe a team will offer Barber but the longer they hold off on swinging a deal the bigger the chance some team comes along and makes an offer to Barber and blows up any trade possibility.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous CC said...

Will all due respect, the following statement must be noted: "as far as I have been able to confirm."

It's certainly peculiar, a transaction this early. And I can't comprehend why Jones would consider trading one of the top ten backs in the league along with his 2008 draft for an unproven commodity.

But I don't agree with you, Armando, when it comes to this waiting game you mention. It doesn't benefit Jones or Parcells at all.

McFadden, far and away, is closest to a sure thing as there is in this draft. If McFadden grabs the attention of a superstar whore in owner Al Davis or a desperate for a superstar replacement team in Atlanta, then Jones may swift out of luck.

I would think Parcells is smart enough to sell cheap (a 2nd and 5th rounder?) within the top five beause he still ends up with one of the top prospects (Dorsey, DE Long, and/or OT Long)- all of need- AND moves out of the ridiculous paycheck that comes with the #1 overall.

If Jones wants to come up cheap, now may be the only time, before McFadden blows the NFL world away in the workouts preceding the draft.

If McFadden fails to impress or gets into more off-field trouble before April, his stock will cool and that won't help Parcells. Not to mention the fact that McFadden is not on Parcells' radar as a selection and free agency will divulge more clues as to the player Parcells/Ireland are eyeing.

We'll have to sit back and watch. If anything, our offseason has already been more exciting than the regular season.

4:45 AM  
Anonymous PJK said...

Felix Jones,like Marion Barber before him,is a very good RB that doesnt get enough attention because of who he plays with.
Barber was better than Maroney at Minnesota but Maroney was the 1st rounder. Jones isnt better than McFadden,but he's good enough to go in the 1st round. If Jones wants to replace Barber with an Arkansas RB,he can do it with Felix Jones and keep his picks.

I agree with Armando that Jones is anything but a fool,and he knows he can get Jones without trading up.

Also,Miami would only be the trading partner if Dallas believes Miami is taking McFadden. Jones knows Miami and St Louis don't need a RB,so if he looses his senses and goes after McFadden,he can trade with Atlanta and get him at #3.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Cameron said...

Miami may end up having to call Jones' bluff and draft McFadden even if they don't really want him at #1. Then they would be in a position to immediately trade his rights to Dallas (or whoever) a few minutes later. The end result is the same as trading down. I think that would be better for us than taking Dorsey or someone else at #1.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous phins fan in ne said...

Let's get on with free agency already. I'm tired of the specualation. Is april here yet?

Imagine those two first rounders and a second rounder.....5 picks in the top 60.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DHICKS00 here - John123 said - If the dolphins were to get Barber they would trade Brown next year and also Barber is the better back....I highly doubt I highly doubt Ronnie would be traded, in case you forgot, before he got hurt last year he was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage for a 1-15 team and he would have scored 5 more TD's than Barber this year, Ronnie is a bit quicker, as big and have MUCH better hands....AND in case you have not noticed, the 2 back system is the only way to go in the NFL now a days!!!!

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only reason they would include barber is to trade him. I like brown much more than barber

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Cam Cameron said...

The Cowboys and the Dolphins are not making this trade. Even if the Cowboys trade up to get McFadden, it won't have to be with the Dolphins. McFadden could easily be had with a lower pick.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

As John123 noted, Barber is an RFA. So if he is to be part of the deal (that's not being discussed, as far as Armando knows), time is of the essence for Dallas. It must re-sign him to a new Dolphin-friendly contract before free agency kicks in, so the Cowboys have the player to trade before another team swoops in and makes him a better offer.

Or the Cowboys are deliberately spreading these rumors to boost interest in Barber, hoping another team signs him and gives the Cowboys a RFA-compensatory pick that they can use to move up in the draft.

10:09 AM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

We're all gonna have to wait until free agency before we see how this will play out. There are still way too many unknowns right now. If Atlanta gets a decent QB in FA then they will be eyeing Mcfadden. Not to mention the numerous teams who see what AP did for the Vikings this year. So if Mcfadden does well at the combine there will be alot more teams eyeing this guy. Also look at the Browns they have NO 1st round pick this year what do you think they'll be willing to give up to get back in to the first round???? I think its gonna take a three way deal to pry that first pick away from Bill, Jeff , and Tony!!!

10:13 AM  
Anonymous John123 said...

First, Felix Jones. I don't doubt that Felix Jones is going to be a solid RB but he is smaller than Cadillac. Unless he bulks up you will have to have a 2nd back for him.

2back system is the way to go... yeah it is but Ronnie Brown is being paid a ton of money. Marion Barber is a RFA and a pro-bowl RB so he should get a nice payday. Too much money in two players. If the phins want a 2 back system they can draft one later. There are 12 RBs in this draft that have some talent.

As for Barber vs. Brown I think they are close but i'll take Barber because he is a red zone machine. Brown also hasn't been able to stay healthy. Barber does play on a better team but the guy runs like a freight train. Barber is listed at 24 and Brown at 26. Don't forget that Ronnie Brown will be 28 and in the final year of his contract when he is back to 100% (the 2009 season).

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:44 AM  
Anonymous John123 said...

Also consider this. The Current draft order will be something like this:


Yes, Dallas probably knows that the phins are not going to draft McFadden but the phins are the only team that Dallas can deal with if they want to deal Barber.

St. Louis will not take Barber they have Jackson. KC won't do it because of LJ. Atlanta is desperate for a QB and if Matt Ryan is their guy they are not going to trade that far down and miss out on their QB. Oakland probably wants McFadden.

Yes the Phins have brown but I think to some Brown is still an unknown. He had a good season going but he only played 7 games.

10:48 AM  
Blogger hemidemon said...

"Jerry Jones is anything but a fool." Totally incorrect. Jerry is a fool and not a very good GM. How foolish was if for Jerry to let his ego chase Jimmy Johnson away? How foolish was it for Jerry to bring in T.O. and lose Parcells...Very foolish. If afther the combine Jerry is still in love with McFadden, he will go after him. He will trade with Miami to make sure nobody else does. Miami will get Barbwer and 2 first round picks. Why, b/c Jerry Jones is a fool.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Marion Barber is a good player, but not better than Ronnie Brown, he has just been on a better team. Mcfadden is a game breaker, pure and simple. The team must pick the player that they believe will make them better, period.

10:59 AM  
Blogger hemidemon said...

"Jerry Jones is is anything but a fool." Totally incorrect. How foolish was it for Jerry to chase Jimmy Johnson away? How foolish was it for Jerry to bring in T.O. and chase Parcells away? Answer: Very foolish. Jerry Jones is not a very good GM. If after the combine Jerry is still in love with McFadden he will go after him. He will trade with Miami to prevent another team from moving ahead of him. Don't be to surprised if Miami has Barber and two first round picks next April.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous NCFINFAN said...

All this talk about Marion Barber is rediculous. We have Brown, Chatman, Williams, L. Booker, why would we trade for Barber. Watch out for the Bears sneaking into this with a Rex Grossman trade for Williams or Chatman. Lovie is not happy with Grossman, or Benson. Lovie may even want McFadden. Ronnie Brown is a GOOD RB, we need to keep him. He palyed with enthusiasim and heart this year. I also hope that Y. Bell can get back to 100% and not get hurt again.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous John123 said...

The Dolphins don't have Chatman because he is a FA. The Bears cannot trade Grossman because he is also a FA.

I can guarantee that Parcells wants nothing to do with Rex Grossman after his I played bad because I was worried about my new years party quote.

The Dolphins don't have Ricky Williams until he goes an offseason without failing a test.

Ronnie Brown has a bum wheel. Booker is good but he can't carry the load. Right now the Phins don't have a starting RB on the team until Brown gets back healthy. Again most players take about a year to get back to normal after a knee injury.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

You know who I can see trading up for #1?

The Bengals. They would take Glenn Dorsey at the top, and give the Fins their #9. To even out the trade, Ocho Cinco can be included...if the Fins give up another pick (one of their 2nds?)

Speculation...but a thought.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE keep the pick and take Sedrick Ellis. That guy is a freakin' beast!

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people think that getting Barber means getting rid of Ronnie Brown? They would be a great one-two punch. The best running back tandum in the NFL.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow a three way between Miami Dallas and Cleveland makes sense. Miami gets the quarterback Anderson and a first from Dallas, Cleveland get Barber and a first from Dallas and the Cowboys get Mc Fadden. Everyone is a winner.
The important thing for the Dolphins is that McFadden is used as an asset to rebuild.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:22 PM  
Anonymous MikeintheWVpartofNY said...

What the fins need i an O-Line that can pass and run block. They need work in the secondary on defense as well. When those two problems are FINALLY addressed we can worry about RB's and QB's, until then your just going to be dissapointed with the passing/running game and wonder how our defense went sour so fast.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way this makes sense is if the cowboys sign Barber to a long term 5-6 year deal then offer him in trade.

Fins would need to get

Marion Barber
1 st round pick 20
1 st round rick 22
2nd round pick 59

2nd round pick in 2009

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

They can free up salary cap money for future draft picks by dumping Joey "Throw him out with the Trash" Porter. He is a lost cause who should not have been signed guarantee money in the first place and they should take all the salary cap hit next year when they will not be competitive anyway.

The sooner the better!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

barber will be signed to a tender for a 1st and a 3rd. Then JJ will give us their 2 first rounder plus anything they get for barber to move to our spot

3:52 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Some anonymous guy says the Fins should get two firsts, two seconds, and Barber for the #1.

Guy, you're nuts. That's way too much. We'll be lucky to get a second along with Barber.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

I don't think I see a trade with Dallas happening for Darren McFadden... Unless a guy is the second coming of Bo Jackson it seems unlikely that a team will give up so much for a RB especially if they already have Marion Barber.

Adrian Peterson has proven to be a game changer but look a little further back at the 2005 draft and you see some similarities to Darren McFadden. In 2005 there were 3 RBs picked in the top 5. Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson and Carnell Williams. These guys have been okay, but none has paid back the investment.

Arkansas had McFadden but also Felix Jones who is fairly high rated on many draft boards. This reminds me of Auburn when Cadillac and Brown played for them. Neither of the two Auburn backs have made a great splash in the NFL and the same thing may happen with Darren McFadden.

There are also many GMs around the league who believe that RBs can be found later in the draft. I am of the belief that the running game starts in the trenches and RBs are a product of great line play and not the other way around.

With these things in mind I would be surprised if Jerry Jones makes this move. But we ARE taking about Jerry Jones here...

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't the Dolphs just let their picking time expire until they feel someone worthy at a particular spot?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



4:58 PM  
Anonymous NCFINFAN said...

To John123, I wasnt trying to get your panties in a wad, I obviously have other things to do, instead of following up on EVERY other team in the NFL. I DO NOT keep up with free agents, cos they're not free. I just had an observation of whatI Thought could transpire. I am by no means trying to challenge your intellect on all that is NFL. For this I apologize, I just try to look at different scenerios that involve the DOLPHINS, Oh, and by the way, didnt Parcells resign Ricky? Doesnt that make him a Dolphin 'unless' he fails another drug test?

5:11 PM  
Anonymous John123 said...

Ricky Williams was re-signed but well that doesn't mean a whole lot... Teams will look at Williams as a cheap luxury item. He can be your backup but only if you have a 3rd backup thats capable because nobody knows if he can keep it on the straight and narrow. I don't see the Phins keeping him anyways. A contender (like a Seattle type team) will trade a low round pick and pair him with a rookie.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous finheavenblows! said...

hey semidemon, so Jerry jones is a fool? The man owns the Dallas Cowboys, has a billion dollars, owns a team worth another billion and makes pepsi commercials.

I would say Armando's statement was absolutely correct. Wish he was the Dolphins owner instead of pineapple face.

6:58 PM  
Blogger hemidemon said...

Sounds like Finsheaven has anger issues. I think you need to take your meds...FOOL!

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey finheaven why dont you grow up and stop calling people names. You can get your point across without pointing out other peoples physical flaws. It just shows how incredibly insecure you must be. NYScott

8:35 PM  
Anonymous PJK said...

46 Arkansas players have been drafted since Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys.
Dallas hasn't drafted any of them. Ken Hamlin,signed as a free agent,is the only Arkansas player on the Cowboys.

Now Jones will give up his best RB,his 2 1st round picks,and help Parcells all at the same time....just to shell out 30 million guaranteed to McFadden? Rather than re sign Barber for a fraction of that and use his picks to fill holes? In a draft that is deep at RB? Just because of an Arkansas link that hes ignored since buying the team?

What if McFadden slips to Atlanta? They'll have him,Chris Houston(Dallas needs a CB) and Jamaal Anderson. 3 Arkansas guys!!They can trade them for Barber,2 1st rounders, Ware and Romo. Jones would probably even throw in Jessica Simpson.

Tuna better take advantage of the non existent Arkansas factor before Atlanta blocks.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous 66andBeyond said...

First off, Jerry Gabor(way too many facelifts for 1 man) needs to sell seating licenses that start @ $25,000 in his new state of the art cannot do that with the same players that have emploded the last 2yrs in their 1st playoff game..some will buy, but he's so freaking egotistical, that he probably thinks he NEEDS to make a move to acquire that nmbr 1 pick...that's how that nut thinks..believe me, JJ will make a move on, or before, draft day..Just hope were involved..Would dig getting ATL's #1, and their 2 second rounders if they could fall in love with McFadden..

10:16 PM  
Anonymous MartinK said...

It's great to have Armando back - and in usual form, patting himself on his back!
I like the speculation about dealing w/ the Bengals at #9 and getting Chad Johnson but I don't see that happening.
I would be okay w/ getting Barber, the Boys first 1st round pick and their 2nd round pick. I would then dangle Barber for a late 1st or early 2nd round pick (same w/ JT). Marion Barber was running behind a NICE line, Ronnie was running behind... well, you know. A good line makes any back look good. Barber & Brown don't make a 1-2 punch - they're the same back, only Brown can catch better. L Booker is the ideal change of pace back.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous PK of PA said...

The only back Miami really needs is a QB. Lets face it if Ronnie is OK he can carry most of the load and is equal or better than any back in the NFL. Ricky as long as he does not drink some funky tea or something is still a better tahan average back. Booker is on his way up. So work on the line both Off and Def some DB's and someone to replace Chambers and Welker.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous PJK said...

Atlanta will take a QB. Instead of announcing the pick is up for grabs,Ireland should act like Miami is in love with Matt Ryan and will take him. Getting Atlanta to jump up from 3 to 1 to take Ryan is much more realistic than Dallas moving up to 1 and leaves Miami either 1 of the Longs,who they really want anyway.
Adrian Peterson was a better prospect than McFadden and nobody traded up for him. I know the Parcells/Jones and Jones/Arkansas connections make for a good theory,but lets be realistic.

A RB hasnt gone #1 since 1995 and before that the last RB to go #1 was 1981.Think of all the great RBs in that time frame.Emmitt,Faulk,Dickerson,Sanders,Tomlinson
etc. Teams dont take RB at 1 and certainly dont trade away picks to get to #1 and take 1.

8 of the last 10 #1 picks were QBs.The other 2 were DE's. This isn't your fantasy league. Nobody is breaking the bank to get to #1 and take a RB.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous BuytheFins said...

Depends on what they get. i am not a fan of first rounders. Picking the wrong player can damage the team's cap for many years. They need volume. They also need to make good choices.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Jaison said...

i woould say pick mcfadden if no onw makes a predraft deal, then trade him. call all the bluffs. he's a player that IF you get stuck with him, at least he's worth the money you'll have to spend to keep him. #1 money for a oft-hurt DT??

also, i'm tired of hearing the dump porter crap. yes we over paid but in the second half of the season it could be easily argued that he was the 2nd best player on D. remember he was injured and missed camp and a bit of preseason, and he was misused.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Rick @ the Blue said...

What Miami needs to do is talk up QB Ryan to lure Atlanta to trade up. They get their #3 pick plus a
2nd rd pick. Then they trade with Dallas for their 2 #1 picks plus a player not being Barber. They would end up with 3 1st rd picks and 3 2nd rd picks and a starter. THATS A DEAL!!!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marion Barber and Dallas two number ones are not even enough to move up to number #1. Dallas would have to add next years #1 and #2 on top of that. Give me a break, Barber is not even a full time starter, who says he can carrie the load...

2:21 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Last anonymous: the fact that he's a powerful back who's shown durability over the last two years. He's not Brandon Jacobs, whose running style lends itself to injury.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Louis said...

The only thing REALLY worth trading Dallas for is the picks -- not Barber, who, by the way, is NOT better than Ronnie Brown. A healthy Ronnie Brown is by far a more complete back than Barber. Brown was going to be the league's leading rusher (and probably the leader in yards from scrimmage) behind a less than average line and his pass catching skills are the best of a running back since Marshall Faulk. Plus our back ups are darn-near starting caliber backs. Forget Barber. But if we can get the picks, take them!

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

trade with atlanta get their 1st & 2nd then make the trade with dallas for the 2 first & a second stockpile picks from round 1-3 get some starting caliber players in this draft so we can return to being contenders

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a question for someone at the Herald....when will someone begin to REGULARLY provide feedback on the Dolphins Q&A. there have been no responses in that forum since before the Cinncinati game.....that sucks!

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rumor is that Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones has already made a draft day deal with the Miami Dolphin's Bill Parcells for Darren McFadden.

But it is not the deal that is being talked about now on the internet and TV and radio talk shows. Instead it is a private trade between Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones.

The story is that Jerry Jones allowed Bill Parcells to raid his Cowboy coaching staff in return for Bill Parcell's promise that the Miami Dolphins would not draft Darren McFadden with the first pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

This would make a possible trade up for the Dallas Cowboys much easier since the price of the draft picks drop from 3,000 for #1 to 2,600 for #2 to 2,200 for #3.

The Cowboys are supposed to be considering tendering Marion Barber as a Restricted Free Agent. And then taking the picks received for him and packaging them in a draft day move up to take University of Arkansas's running back Darren McFadden.

The owner of the NFL's Dallas Cowboy's Jerry Jones, also went to the University of Arkansas and he is excited about having Darren McFadden as a Cowboy. Jerry Jones feels that Darren McFadden is the one player he is missing to take the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and Formost Jones is no idiot... Nor is Parcells Now Jones would covet a Mcfad and the phins are in a position of need having a sub par offence and having to convert to a 3-4 so trading down sounds smart but to think your getting a pro bowler and 2 picks for a hope on a 13-3 team...Big Bill will trade down and take unexpected players that fit his size-speed requierments. and alot of good 2nd n 3rd round pics see
cowboys past few drafts with parcells.. if we pick at one we will take the de Long

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dolphins should make the trade with the Cowboys because they get so much in return from giving up the 1st pick. They can the 22nd and 28th pick in the 1st round. Also they would get pro bowler Marion Barber. The Dolphins would be stupid if they didn't make this trade work.

11:52 AM  

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