Tuesday, March 12, 2013

These Trades Won't Change Everything

Sorry we haven't posted in a few days. Well, I'm not THAT sorry. I don't have to apologize to you! YOU'RE NOT BETTER THAN ME! I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, IN SEARCH OF A DREAM! AND I'LL BE DAMNED IF I HAVE TO SIT HERE AND LISTEN TO THIS CRAP! I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!



A couple of pretty interesting trades have happened recently in the NFL. The NFC champ 49ers acquired Anquan Boldin for their widely coveted hill of beans. And the Niners' upstart division rival Seahawks acquired Percy Harvin, noted most underrated player in the NFL, for 3 draft picks, including a first-rounder. Before we get to it, a few words on the Anquan Boldin trade.



Boldin was traded for a sixth-round pick. SIXTH round. In recent NFL history, there have been only a small handful of players who amounted to anything having been picked in the 6th round or later. An obvious exception is Tom Brady, and Terrell Davis actually was a sixth-rounder as well. Currently in the NFL, guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marques Colston, Cortland Finnegan, Al Harris and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are examples of 6th-rounders who actually panned out. Those guys are by far the best 6th-round-and-later picks currently playing in the NFL. On average, only approximately 33% of players drafted in the 6th round or later contribute to NFL teams in any meaningful way. You're trading Anquan Boldin for someone who, if you're astronomically lucky, could one day become as good as Cortland Finnegan? Someone who has a 67% chance of not even playing in the NFL for more than a season? WHYYYYY?!

But anyway, let's look at the implications of this trade. The Niners now have a receiver who is consistent, big, tough, experienced, and a really great red zone target. He makes a team that won the NFC last year even better on offense. And the Seahawks receive one of the most versatile offensive players in football, a man who has a complete wide receiver skill set and does everything at an A level. He makes a team that was 2 points away from the NFC Championship game even better. These two teams were favorites to come out of the NFC anyway, and now they're even better. Crazy.

But here's something no one's talking about: both of these teams have QBs who will be in their second year of starting. Both were wildly successful rookie quarterbacks, and now they're going to be sophomores. The sophomore slump is a THING in the NFL, especially for quarterbacks.

Look at 2011's starting rookie QBs, and how they fared this year. The list includes Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, and Blaine Gabbert. None of them were much better this year than in their rookie year, with a couple of them taking marginal steps back. QBs with one year of starting under their belts don't fare much better in their second years. A guy like Sam Bradford had a decent rookie year, took a giant step back in his second year, and came back and was fine in his third.

I think people are expecting Kaepernick and Wilson to be much better because they have a year of experience under their belts. The fact is that second-year starting quarterbacks don't make the jump to stardom yet. They're still working out the kinks, and defenses have had a year and an offseason to figure them out. So don't start sucking the Niners' and Seahawks' popsicles just yet. We still have a long way to go with their second-year starting QBs to figure out of they're the real deal. But look out in 2014.

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