As everybody should know by now, Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was traded Friday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for draft picks. The breakdown of the trade is listed below:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS GET:
- TE Kellen Winslow
CLEVELAND BROWNS GET:
- 2nd round draft pick in 2009 (50th overall)
- 5th round draft pick in 2010
- About $3.6 million in cap space freed up
If you think that we didn't get enough value for Winslow, then think again. Last year during the offseason, a tight end in the NFC was traded. That tight end, much like Winslow, was productive, injury-prone, and a little egotistical. His name was Jeremy Shockey, and he was dealt by the Super-Bowl winning New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints for a 2nd-round and a 5th-round draft pick.
Funny, isn't it? The Giants trade their tight end and are expected to go back to the promised land with no trouble, but the Browns trade theirs and we're "back in rebuilding mode", according to many. Here's the thing people need to remember though: these days in the NFL, the right rebuilding effort could yield a playoff result the very same season. While somewhat of a different situation, after the Atlanta Falcons had a new coach, a new QB, and got rid of veteran TE Alge Crumpler last season, they made the postseason after being projected as one of the league's worst teams.
Now then, that's not to say that trading Winslow is the cure to our problems; it's merely a bold attempt by new management to piece together the type of team they want to build. Phil Savage tried to build this team by trading draft picks for players; Georgie Kokinis and Eric Mangini are trading player(s) for draft picks. Also, according to the OBR, about $3.6 million in cap space will be freed.
Last year under Mangini, the Jets drafted TE Dustin Keller in the first round of the draft. I hope the Browns do not do the same that early (on Day 1) this April -- it would render the trading of Winslow almost useless. That opens the door for a guy like TE Martin Rucker to be a contributor last season. I'm sure we'd all like to thank Romeo Crennel for the two plays he allowed him to participate in during the season. Veteran TE Steve Heiden is a former starter, and as we saw him do in place of Winslow last year, can be even more productive than Winslow due to his threat of blocking and then slipping out.
Right now, the Browns are scheduled to have the 5th, 36th, and 50th draft picks. On draft day, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Browns end up with two first rounders; around the late 20's pick, if a player we really want is still on the board, we have some leverage to move up.
"Nothing against Winslow, who has tremendous athletic ability, but he comes from Cleveland with both emotional and physical baggage. Not to mention the fact that he’s craving a whopping new contract that Cleveland wasn’t willing to give him.
Granted, he’s fantastically young, turning 26 this July, but he has a body that has undergone a litany of surgeries. He has an attitude that has brought him nothing but trouble – even if he was absolutely right in his stand against the Browns trying to hide his staph infection last season."
Winslow had some memorable moments with the Browns, both good and bad. With the Buccaneers, Winslow joins former teammate Jeff Faine and Antonio Bryant, and returns to the state he played college football at. In a press conference after joining the Buccaneers, Winslow cited that he'd miss working with players like Braylon Edwards and Brady Quinn, but he failed to cite Derek Anderson. With the Buccaneers once rumored as one of the team's interested in his services, what are the odds that they end up together again?
For the Buccaneers' coverage on the Winslow deal, head on over to Buc'Em, our SB Nation affiliate.