Let's hear it for Jerry Angelo.
|Jerry Angelo wants more for Briggs than the modest deal the 'Skins proposed. (Getty Images)|
Look, I don't care what you think of Briggs, whether you believe he's overrated or underrated. All I know is he's a two-time Pro Bowl choice and a proven veteran. You know what you have in Briggs because it's right there on videotape.
But let's say Angelo had gone ahead and accepted Washington's offer. What would he gain in return with the sixth pick? An unproven player. Sure, it could be someone like Michigan's Alan Branch or Clemson's Gaines Adams, defensive standouts who are expected to excel in the pros.
But nobody knows. That player could bomb, and call the league office if you don't believe me. It will tell you that the last three defensive players taken with the sixth overall pick were Pacman Jones (2005), Jonathan Sullivan (2003) and Ryan Sims (2002).
I don't need to tell you about Jones. He was in New York on Tuesday to meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell and, in all likelihood, plead his case for not getting suspended.
Then there's Sullivan. The defensive tackle not only was a bust, but he had the distinction of being one of the worst draft picks ever by the New Orleans Saints. Sims, another defensive tackle, was supposed to anchor the middle of Kansas City's defensive line, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, he was released this year after five underwhelming seasons.
My point is this: There are no guarantees with a draft pick, no matter how high it is, and trading a proven player for an unproven one -- while throwing in a first-rounder just to do business -- doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Then, of course, there's the matter of money. Briggs isn't happy with the $7.2 million he's due to make as Chicago's franchise player, which is why he wants to go somewhere like Washington. If Chicago pulled the trigger on the deal, the Bears not only could get the short end of the talent, but they would be on the hook for, oh, something like $15 million in guaranteed money for the sixth overall draft choice.
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, either.
Forget that Briggs is selfish, greedy and driven by a mad market that pays gazillions to unrestricted free agents like linebacker Adalius Thomas. This deal didn't add up for Chicago from the outset because it didn't offer enough in return.
I know what Lance Briggs can do in the pros. I don't know what Alan Branch or Gaines Adams or whoever becomes the sixth pick can do there. And that's the hangup. Jerry Angelo knew this deal wasn't fair to Chicago, and he was right.
Now the Redskins insist their offer is dead, and maybe it is. But I remember similar threats from Kansas City in 2001 when the Chiefs wanted Trent Green and St. Louis held out for a first-round draft choice.
Eventually, the Chiefs caved and gave the Rams what they wanted.
Maybe that happens here, I don't know. What I do know is that Jerry Angelo was right to put off Washington because he was getting short-sheeted.
First of all, he should want more in return for a Pro Bowl player. Second, he may get it. Remember, Washington has a history of overpaying for players -- especially decorated players -- that owner Daniel Snyder covets. If Lance Briggs is one of them, we may not have heard the end of this.
Until then, let's hear it for Angelo. He did what he should have done. He acted responsibly.