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Ask Vic

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Ahmad Bradshaw might become a bargain

Posted Apr 23, 2013

Examining the real risk in the Darrelle Revis trade

Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw had 119 yards from scrimmage against the Packers last season -- 58 rushing, 61 receiving.

Chris from Andrews, TX

Where would you rather be picked as an NFL first-rounder? Remember, the lower you go, the better the team you are on.

There’s about an $11 million difference between what the first pick of the draft and the last pick of the first round will receive in their rookie contract. Chris, it’s professional football.

Steve from Fort Collins, CO

I’d like to remind my fellow Packers fans that from the ninth game in 2009 until the 16th game of 2011, the Packers went 36-9; three losses in overtime, two losses on last-second field goals, one loss on a last-second TD pass, two losses when the Packers had the ball deep in the opponents’ territory with a chance to win, and one loss by five points. Believe it or not, this is not normal. Many teams actually lose several games each year and sometimes by more than a touchdown. Really! Appreciate the good times while they last; ask any Lions fan you can find.

Thanks for the perspective you have provided with that wonderful historical account.

Ben from Minneapolis, MN

I find it humorous that after all this time people still think you write the column in order to tell people what they want to hear, rather than what your opinion is. Maybe one day they will figure it out.

I hope not. If they do, I’m out of business.

Daniel from Arcola, IL

Did you have any profound experiences or thoughts during your time off, like your top-of-the-mountain story from a few years back?

I decided the invention of the pain pill is the greatest medical breakthrough in history.

Brad from Basalt, CO

My daughter has started playing soccer. After the first game, I want to scratch my eyes out, and to top it off, my son has told us he will not be playing football this fall. I love my kids, but...

Oh, the times, they are a changin’ … but not for Vic. Whenever life threatens to drag me into change I’d rather resist, I immediately return to 1972 or ’74 or ’96 or whatever year I’ve decided I’d like to revisit. I was blessed with a wonderful memory. Some guys get good looks and all the girls. I got a good memory, and that’s fine with me because football has provided me with an eternity of happy days. The best games I’m gonna cover are the ones after I retire. Every day will be Sunday.

Andy from St. Louis, MO

Hey, Vic, there has been a lot of talk both in your “Ask Vic” column and in other media outlets about the need for the Packers to draft big on the line this year. Would the loss of Collins and Woodson over the past years be enough of a reason for Thompson to draft a safety early, or do you think he and the rest of the management team believe they have enough young talent to not spend a high draft pick on a safety?

I really believe you’re looking at it the wrong way. The talent of players such as Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid is enough of a reason to select them in the first round. You pick the player, not the position. You’re looking for talent worthy of the money you’re going to pay that player. You’re looking for the best player left on the board. If you don’t draft him, you’ll leave him for your competition to draft. Do you really want to leave the best player left in the draft for Atlanta and San Francisco to draft, so that you could draft the best player at a position of need?

Corbin from Adams, MA

Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and Mike Mayock go up in a space capsule. Who comes back?

Kiper, because he built the space capsule and he owns it.

Sean from Brighton, MI

Since we can start looking forward to our rematch with San Francisco early on, what position do the Packers need to address in the draft to stop the read-option?

You stop the run portion of the read-option with defensive linemen that can hold the point and linebackers with the athletic ability to run to the ball and win in space. Nick Perry has that kind of ability and, in my opinion, he’s exactly what the Packers needed in that playoff game in San Francisco.

Tom from New York, NY

I look forward to playing San Francisco in Week 1. This way we can show them who is boss right out of the gate.

That’s one way to look at it, but the main reason I like having that game as the season opener is because it’s going to give this summer’s training camp an energy I think last year’s camp lacked.

Daniel from South Milwaukee, WI

Last year’s draft had a lot of depth in pass rushers and you accurately spoke of the rush for them after the first one was taken. Can we expect the same from this year’s deep defensive back class and when will it happen?

The run on cornerbacks is likely to begin either late in the first round or early in the second round. The safety class is so deep that its ranks could be spread out over all seven rounds.

Chad from Stratford, WI

Is giving up the 13th overall pick and $96 million worth it on Revis? Sounds like they are taking a big risk and hoping for a big reward.

I’m surprised by the lack of analysis on this trade. Forget about the $96 million over six years because none of it is guaranteed. That’s not the risk. The risk in this trade for the Bucs is the $13.4 million difference between what the Bucs will have to pay Darrelle Revis annually, and the $2.6 million the 13th pick of the draft is likely to earn annually. The 13th overall pick is what the Bucs traded to the Jets, along with a fourth in 2014 that will become a third if Revis is on the Bucs roster at the start of the ’14 league year. Could the Bucs have drafted an elite cornerback, for example, with the 13th overall pick? For this deal to work for the Bucs, Revis has to make a full recovery from ACL surgery and return to the elite status he possessed when he was injured. The Bucs are gambling on Revis’ recovery. If he makes a full recovery, Greg Schiano will then have the centerpiece, cut-the-field-in-half cornerback he needs to play the attack defense he likes.

Dan from Milwaukee, WI

Is everyone still waiting to see how Ahmad Bradshaw recovers from his surgery before giving him a look?

With each passing day, Bradshaw becomes more interesting to me. He’s this year’s Cedric Benson. I love free agents when they become bargains. Bradshaw might become a bargain.

Eric from Eau Claire, WI

“Maybe the Packers performance isn’t the problem. Maybe the problem is a lack of appreciation for the good times Packers fans have enjoyed for a long, long time.” You’re right, Vic. It’s the fans’ lack of appreciation that is our team’s problem, as evidenced by all of the empty seats in Lambeau every Sunday. Maybe it’s time for you to retire and let Mike take over for good.

OK.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Good to have you back, Vic. Will you be doing an online chat at any time during the draft?

Yes, I’ll be doing a chat through the first round, up to the Packers’ pick.

Zach from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Which game is more important for the Packers, the 49ers or the Giants?

By the time the Packers get to the Giants part of the schedule, that game in New York will be more important than the opener in San Francisco. It’s just a fact that late-season games take on a heightened meaning because the few remaining games on the schedule begin to decide the division and playoff races. Neither game will have to be hyped.

Neil from South Range, WI

Great “point, counterpoint” this week. I think you both missed out on one point, that is it depends. If a team is at a point in the roster where they are losing a bunch of free agents, the answer is yes. If their roster is stable in that year’s draft, then the answer is no. I think Vic was closer to the right answer because every year there are free-agent losses, but every so often the impact seems to be greater and I think this year is a low-impact year. Vic, what say you?

First of all, the intent of “point, counterpoint” is to stimulate the readers’ opinions and to promote a lively debate in the comments section. Mike and I just get the ball rolling. In my opinion, the most important information in yesterday’s “point, counterpoint” is the games-played-by-rookies stats. From 656 in 2008 to 903 last year is a dramatic increase that constitutes a startling trend that every personnel director and head coach in the league must in some way rationalize. I am a dyed-in-the-wool draft and develop guy. I believe in it every bit as firmly as Ted Thompson does, but upon seeing that 656 to 903 trend over the past five seasons, I think draft and develop needs to be updated to draft and play. The Jaguars were an expansion team in 1995 when I covered them, and the lack of talent on Tom Coughlin’s roster forced him to rush his rookies into action. What I saw is that it could be done, even back then. By year two, they were in the AFC title game. Nowadays, the dramatic increase in games lost to injury is forcing all teams to rush rookies into action, and what we’re seeing is that it can be done. I think it’s making free agency even less attractive because teams are seeing they can count on a young healthy body to fill a need more dependably than they can a proven older player that tends to be unable to make it through a whole season in the later years of his career.


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