Inside The Bills

Why trading up to top 10 rare

Posted by Chris Brown on March 19, 2010 – 2:01 pm

We saw an NFL team trade up into the top 10 last year in the New York Jets, who landed Mark Sanchez, but such bold moves to get to the top of the draft are becoming more infrequent each year, and there’s a simple reason why.

Money. The size of the salaries for players drafted in the top 10 is so exhorbitant that very often its cost prohibitive as teams see it, with or without a salary cap. Investing so much in one player has become such a deterrent that a team looking to move back or trade down is finding it harder than ever.

“I’ll be interested to see what adjustments are made looking forward in the draft with respect to a rookie salary cap,” said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay. “There should be a big adjustment in my opinion for the top 7-10 picks. Bring down those salary numbers. As  much as I value the draft, it doesn’t make any sense in the world that Matt Ryan two years ago coming out makes more money than Tom Brady. And I like Ryan I thought he was going to be a great player, but that makes absolutely no sense to me.”

And if you miss on a player up that high a team is suddenly upside down on a contract for a player that doesn’t deserve it and it keeps them from investing in other players to make up for that miss. Sure you could cut that player, but with all the guaranteed money teams would still be on the hook. Even if the player turned out to be an average starter it would not be a good value.

And for the teams drafting later in round one, the risk rarely matches the reward.

“Other teams are looking at it and saying, ‘Why are we going to move up and package picks when we can stay where we are in the middle of the round, and yeah we might not get as great a player at 15 as we would if we traded up to five, but we’ll have to pay our guy so much less money that if it doesn’t work out we don’t get stuck and if it does work out we’ll take our good player and have a lot of other money to use to find other good players,’” said McShay.

Now with the Bills being on the fringe of the top 10, if they chose to move down, they might be able to find a trade partner. The money isn’t quite as bad from picks 8-10, plus with no salary cap this year it will be interesting to see if teams are more willing to shell out big dollars.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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