This week the draft fun should begin, and the early story on draft '09 is trades. We're used to seeing teams trade up from the 2nd for futures picks, but this year we're seeing teams flip first rounders for veteran players. Thus far, the Cowboys have flipped their top pick for Roy Williams and the Bears have shipped their first -- and next year's as well -- for Jay Cutler.
Today, Mike Lombardi writes that several more veterans are on the block and are already attracting first round offers. What's more, the trade partners could be NFC rivals.
- Lombardi claims the Browns are dangling QB Brady Quinn and already have a first round offer in hand;
- Cleveland is also shopping WR Braylon Edwards and has a first round offer in hand for him as well;
- Buffalo is shopping LT Jason Peters, and the Eagles are thinking hard about obtaining him.
Let's look at the last two possible trades in detail. I saw rumors a few weeks ago, which has since died, down, that the Giants are interested in acquiring Edwards. Remember, the Giants have let Amani Toomer go and cut Plaxico Burress last week. Those were their starting wideouts last year. They're picking low in the first. I suspect they might be that unnamed party in the Edwards sweepstakes.
Let's look at the possible Peters-to-Philly deal as well. The Eagles offense has been anchored by four players this decade -- QB Donovan McNabb, RB Brian Westbrook and OTs Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.
Age has finally caught up to that group. Westbrook can no longer practice much during game weeks, because of bad knees. The Eagles let Thomas leave and are waiting to see how Runyan rehabs from knee surgery before they consider a one-year deal.
In short, the Eagles line is a huge question mark. They have an excellent line coach in Juan Castillo, but we saw two years ago that even he could not help a bust like Winston Justice defend against a top rusher like Osi Umenyiora.
The Eagles are in an almost identical spot as Dallas was last year -- they own the 21st and 28th picks. (Dallas had the 22nd and 28th last year.) If they can get a quality, young LT like Peters and can obtain a young RB, they've taken a giant step towards rearming on the fly.
In other words, don't expect the East to get any easier.