Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Feb 2010

Top 10 Trade Value?

On ESPN today, Bill Simmons has his yearly NBA Trade Value column. Trades in the NBA are significantly more likely than they are in the NFL, but humor me for a second: Who would be at the top ten of the NFL's trade value list, accounting for contract and age?

My own off-the-cuff choices, heavily weighted for salary and age:

10) Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
9) Patrick Willis, LB, SF
8) Kevin Williams, DT, MIN
7) Ryan Clady, OT, DEN
6) Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
5) Haloti Ngata, DL, BAL
4) Trent Cole, DE, PHI
3) Drew Brees, QB, NO
2) Peyton Manning, QB, IND
1) Darrelle Revis, CB, NYJ

I suspect you might disagree.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 16 Feb 2010

82 replies , Last at 21 Feb 2010, 9:58am by td

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Phoenix138 :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:40pm

I expected more quarterbacks on this list.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by TitansFan (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:46pm

No RBs in your top ten? Interesting... Chris Johnson seems like he might have a rather high trade value at the moment. Even Adrian "Fumblestein" Peterson might garner a pretty penny. Just my thoughts.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by ChrisH :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:54pm

But in 2-3 years Chris Johnson will most likely have been run into the ground and not worth anything. If we think about who was dominant 3 years ago, Tomlinson would be in that group, but with how fast he and other RB's can drop off, I can't say they would be worth the money to trade for them.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:16pm

LT has 9 seasons under his belt. CJ has 2.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Scott C :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:51am

And LT is at the very top of the longevity * usage chart. Most RBs don't produce at the top level for 7.5 straight years. Most peak in a window of 3 or so years.

So, CJ is expected to look good for 3 to 5 years, and if he ends up with HOF longevity, 6 to 8.

QBs, CBs, and OL can have high value for a dozen years or more.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:42pm

Those positions can have such long careers only if they are at the very top of the longevity***** chart.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 4:35pm

As dedkrikit said, only Hall of famers are usually good for a dozen years. The average "good" QB is probably valuable for 4-7 years.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by tuluse :: Sat, 02/20/2010 - 9:25pm

Which QBs are you talking about?

Kerry Collins, Brew Bledsoe and Mark Brunell all played at a high level way longer than 4 years.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by TailgateJoeDOTcom (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:20pm

The league has moved to a 2-3 rb committee approach so a single rb is worth less, couple that with the air game taking over more and more. Also, for any of the feature backs seeing lots of touchs, their careers are short lived. How many years do you think Johnson can keep running like that? There aren't many Thomas Jones' running around into their 30's, and even TJ with all his yards still looks a little suspect.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dk240t :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:46pm

I think Peyton would be over Revis. QB is the most important position on the field. Defensive back is way back there.

Matt Ryan seems kind of random on the list, IMO.

I would expect to see less defensive backs, no Matt Ryan, and more offensive linemen on the list. There wouldn't be a lot of trade value in Ryan Clady? Rookie contract, 3 more years on it, not in the top 10, and a top left tackle?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:18pm

I imagine that a CB can be a more effective "wild card" than a QB. A QB must be in sync with the whole offense while the CB can basically just learn his job and use his skills.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by TailgateJoeDOTcom (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:28pm

Well the first thing the article said was heavily weighted on age, revis has only 3 seasons and has pretty easily established himself as the top at his position. With today's rules that look to protect the qb and make his job easier, while at the same time making it impossible to be a shutdown corner, Revis has defied the rules and is just that. How many other corners can a team say "go straight man-to-man and take him out of the game" and not have to worry about committing another safety for help? This is what allows the jets defense to be as good as they are, it takes the best weapon out of the game with just one man and allows the rest of the team to be on an even playing field numbers wise. Nobody else in the league goes strict man-to-man with Moss (2x a year) Andre Smith and the other big time wrs, the rules just make it nearly impossible. Now take his age into account, he is only 3 years into the league.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 7:06pm

Revis isn't at the top of his position. He's just the best cornerback that quarterbacks don't respect already. See: Nnamdi.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:51pm

Ack! Knew I forgot someone. Put Clady on and bumped Greer off.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dk240t :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 11:08pm

You owe me one. Hehe.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 1:53pm

I like the list, although I think Jabari Greer has a lot to prove yet. So far, he's proven that Peyton Manning thinks he's better than Tracy Porter. I notice you're also weighting by position, hence no Jones-Drew.

Joe Thomas, Ryan Clady, and several other young OL probably come into consideration too.

[Edit: Ninjaed on Clady!]

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by jfsh :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:03pm

I don't know about Revis over Manning. The question is always, would you trade them straight up? And the Jets would make that trade in a heartbeat, I think, while the Colts definitely would not.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by otros :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 4:20pm

Thought of the same thing, I immediatly asked my brother, would you take Revis one on one over Manning or Bress, "no effin way". I think Bill didn't think that way.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by TailgateJoeDOTcom (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:35pm

I don't think they would. The question becomes are the jets better with a) manning and an average corner or b)the potential of sanchez and the only true shutdown corner in the league.

Also, look at the dropoff when considering the players. Revis has been head and shoulders above the cb comp this year, facing the all around best group of WRs in the league giving up next to nothing and being on a tema that went 3 deep in the playoffs. factor in his age once again. Now, is there really a CB you would consider over him if you could have any CB in the league?
Manning, yeah we know he is one of if not the greatest to play the game, but he only has one SB. There are plenty of people that would take Brady over manning going into a sb, and you can maybe throw brees into that mix.

To me, it seems that there are a lot of people that have differing opinions on who they would take as their qb going into a championship game, taking age, experience into consideration. And as much as I hate to say it, Brady has won SB rings with less offensive talent than Manning.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Tino (not verified) :: Thu, 02/18/2010 - 11:14am

"Brady has won SB rings with less offensive talent than Manning."

And obviously, Brady won with more defensive talent than Manning.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:08pm

Trent Cole is good and certainly underrated, but to the point of a number 4 spot?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:15pm

Trent Cole? 4th? Are you high?

He's a very good player but I'd rather have Jared Allen, Freeney or Mario Williams. Certainly Williams, considering he's younger and much, much better than Cole. I can think of many players I'd rather have than Trent Cole.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:29pm

Clay Matthews or Orakpo would seem to be cheaper, younger alternatives too, Dumerville? You'd have to take Demarcus Ware, I don't care what he's getting paid, he's worth it.

That's just the pass rushers. I mean Cushing, Wilfork, Asomugha etc.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:18pm

Guys like Freeney, Allen, and Ware are making way more than Cole, that was likely Bill's thinking. Wilfork is about to make way more than Cole, Dumervil is terrible against the run but I suoppose you could make an argument for them. Matthews and Orakpo I'd probably agree with.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by .woobly doobly (not verified) :: Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:11pm

Matthews and Orakpo I'd probably agree with.

Both making big first round money, not really value picks

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Patrickasef (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:33pm

It's not clear to me why you think contracts are most valuable when they are about to expire; are we supposed to pretend that the NFL has NBA cap rules for this? If not, five of your top six make no sense. Cole is a legit choice, but for this, how is he not a poor man's Lamar Woodley? How are those QBs all not worse than Rivers here? The last free agent market made Greer's value clear. Williams and Willis make sense though.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Staubach12 :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:42pm

Reevis is too high. He can take away half of the field, but a great QB is more valuable. Brees should be higher than Manning simply because of age. Rivers should be on this list as well. I don't see how Ngata or Cole merit inclusion on this list (both are great players, but not top ten in terms of value)

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by TailgateJoeDOTcom (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:44pm

Your comments actually reinforce the Revis argument. You think Brees should be higher than Manning, and Rivers should be on the list. What about Brady? Where does he rank with those 2?
Revis really doesn't have those questions, he is THE shutdown corner in the league. And he is younger than the next guy, Asumungha or however you spell it, lol.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by slipknottin :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 3:08pm

Clady on there over Joe Thomas? Also surprised about Ngata and Kevin Williams.

Kevin Williams is near 30, and Ngata is a very good player, dont get me wrong, but I dont think he should be on the list. I would think a guy like Lamarr Woodley would be more valuable.

And lets be honest, teams value HBs very highly. Champ Bailey + a 2nd round pick for Portis? An entire draft class + next years 1 and 3 for Ricky Williams? Now we are not arguing wether or not teams should value Hbs like that, but wether or not they do. And its pretty apparent teams do.

I would absolutely include Chris Johnson and AP on that list.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by jonathan (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 3:13pm

Where in the world is Michael Oher? You think the Ravens would trade him for Willis? No way. Too many good LB's not enough 6'8" 350 monsters out there.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by slipknottin :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 3:16pm

Oher? Hes a rookie, and hes 6'4 310? Maybe your thinking of Jared Gaither?

As to wether the ravens would trade Gaither for Willis? Id say yes, absolutely, with no hesitation.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:20pm


Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:45am

Oher isn't even the best ROOKIE T in the league.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by are-tee :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 3:18pm

I think Revis is number 1 because he's only 24 - he'll turn 25 in July. Considering that and the skill level he's displayed already, he is incredibly valuable for the long-term.

I would have put Aaron Rodgers ahead of Matt Ryan, unless there are contract-related issues.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 3:26pm

Interesting that Rivers was the best qb the last two years based on dvoa and hes not on the list. And hes way younger than peyton. He is clearly the most valuable player in the league in my opinion. Way to show some belief in your websites numbers bill!

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Arson55 :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 4:34pm

Trent Cole on that list is insane. Absolutely friggin' insane. Good player, sure. But the most valuable defensive end in football? Absolutely not.

And, like slipknottin, I also question Clady over Joe Thomas.

And all quarterbacks are underrated on this list. Given the importance of quarterbacks the list should be more than half quarterbacks.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by MikeD :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:09pm

Ryan Clady is about 2 years younger and Clady's contract is about half of what Thomas' is.

Thomas might be better (and I don't think it's an open and shut case that he is) but for purposes of this list, Clady's youth and contract absolutely place him above Thomas.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Sophandros :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:25pm

How is Janikowski not in the top 10?

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:32pm

My list just off the top of my head:

10. Patrick Willis (best ILB in the game easily and still cheap for a few years)
9. Lamar Woodley (one of the best pass rushers in the game and very cheap)
8. Chris Johnson (his amazing productivity overcomes his position)
7. Ryan Clady (not nearly as good as Joe Thomas or Jake Long, but much, much cheaper)
6. Peyton Manning (he's 34 people)
5. Darrelle Revis (best defensive player in the game)
4. Matt Ryan (less good than the other top guys, but younger and will be good for a long, long time)
3. Aaron Rodgers (see Rivers, slightly less skill but cheaper)
2. Drew Brees (see Rivers)
1. Philip Rivers (younger and basically equivalent skill to Manning but without the name)

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Theo :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:17pm

Your point is that Manning is 34 when the season starts. Fair, but that leaves you 4 or 5 seasons left with a top notch QB, one of the best if not the best.
I'd say that's what he has in him, looking at his career with not so many injuries and no head injuries and number of sacks to speak of. He's the youngest 34 yo QB ever. (hasn't missed a game)
Is Revis, Rivers, Brees or someone else going to do that?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:26pm

He'll be 34 in about a month, and yes he's healthy but that can change so quickly, look at Brady. I wouldn't put too much stock in one 34 year old being much healthier than another unless we're talking about a Chad Pennington type.

I'm not one to believe in the "legend of Manning", if you will. He's obviously awesome, but I'm honestly not sure if right now Manning is better than Rivers and Brees, let alone to the point where it would make up the age difference. Rivers is almost 6 years younger than Manning, Brees is almost 3, Rodgers is almost 8. There's no way in hell I'm trading 4-5 seasons of Manning for 10-11 seasons Rivers, just for maybe a slight upgrade right now. Rivers is definitely my pick to be better over the next 5 years, and then you (barring injury) get another 5 extra years of Rivers after that when Manning would have already retired.

Looking back I'm honestly not sure if I wouldn't rate Manning lower, at least among QB's, and I definitely would not rate him above the guys I have listed.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Miker (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 6:11pm

Wait, I'm confused. According to USA Today, Manning's cap hit is about $21M and Brady's is $14M. I know I'm supposed to keep this irrational stuff off of here, but is Bill really suggesting that he'd rather pay 50% more for Manning?

Is there something in their contracts that I'm missing?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Theo :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:18pm

That's suggesting that it's one part contract and one part everything else.
Age, health and quality are also factors. It's up to you how much you weigh them.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:27pm

You can't just look at a contract over a one year timeframe, Manning might be much further along in his and there are other clauses/signing bonuses etc. that make a difference too.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Jimmy :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:15am

Both figures from USA Today are quite irrelevant considering that both players will have new contracts in six months. Brady's will be worth less but it will be because Manning is a better player not because Brady is willing to sacrifice for his team.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Patrickasef (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 6:25pm

And I don't how anyone can put Ryan ahead of Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger's contract is about the same per year as Ryan's, but there are two more years left on it.

Roethlisberger has much, much better passing stats than Ryan, while playing outdoors in Pittsburgh vs. Ryan playing in a dome, where it's been shown that domes add 1 Y/A to every pass relative to good outdoor weather settings, and more than that relative to bad weather settings.

Passer rating splits:
Philip Rivers outdoors: 97
Ben Roethlisberger outdoors: 90.1
Peyton Manning outdoors: 89.6
Drew Brees outdoors: 87.9
Matt Ryan outdoors: 79.7

Ben Roethlisberger indoors: 113.4
Peyton Manning indoors: 100.4
Drew Brees indoors: 98.6
Matt Ryan indoors: 88.1
Philip Rivers indoors (2 games): 66

I don't see how fewer years of a much worse player is better.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:32pm

I'd add Roethlisberger to my list over Willis, Woodley, or Manning if I could edit it.

But as far as Big Ben vs. Ryan, QB's are a different animal. They basically never leave unless you want them too, it's not like the Falcons are in any danger of losing Matt Ryan to free agency (at least with the current cap rules). I basically look at it like you have that QB under contract for his whole career, as long as you want him. Top QB's don't leave via free agency unless you have Philip Rivers waiting in the wings. ;-)

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by bubqr :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 5:15am

I would never trade anyone in this top 10 for Big Ben. I would be too scared of him breaking down anytime in the next few years. I think that he went from overrated (Sanchez-like) to underrated, but still, he'll end up with bionic arms and legs very soon.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by tuluse :: Sat, 02/20/2010 - 9:28pm

Steve McNair seems to be a good comparison to the amount of hits Big Ben takes. I think 2001 marks about an equivalent amount of time played to Big Ben now, he gave 5 good years after that. He did miss half the year one of those years.

I don't really know if that should change your opinion or not.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 6:26pm

This list is always going to cause disagreement as there is no real definition of the parameters. Personally I don't really care what a guy's contract says. In reality if any team was willing to shell out the three or more first round picks to get any of these guys then I reckon its's safe to assume they'd be getting a new deal pretty quickly anyway.

The conversation would be quite short:

Agent: You just traded 3 first round picks for this guy, now he's going to hold out unless you make him the highest paid player at his position immediately.

GM: I don't have any choice here do I? I just traded the future of the franchise for him, I'll be fired for sure if he's not on the field.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 6:44pm

Trent Cole is about 95% the player DeMarcus Ware is, he's as good as Allen or Williams, and he's better than Freeney. He's an elite pass rusher on a defense with no other pass rusher that's even above average (although he derives a benefit from the scheme the team plays). He's excellent against the run (anecdotally). He's consistently among the top-five in hits and hurries to go along with an average of 10.5 sacks per year since becoming a starter.

For all his production, he made $1.7 million this year. $1.7 million!!! He makes $2.9 million EACH OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS. And he hasn't made a peep, from what I can tell, about re-negotiating. He makes about 1/7th of what those guys makes. It's such an absurdly great deal that I considered making him #1.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Arson55 :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 10:53pm

I'm not going to argue the tremendous value he represents. But I'm not sure he is as talented as those other guys (other than Freeney who he probably is better than).

I guess it is because even though the Cowboys see him twice a year, he never scares me. Not in the same way that (for example) Justin Tuck does. I did go back and see that Cole has done better against the Cowboys during his career than I thought (5 sacks in 10 games), but still...I'm not sold. Maybe he's better than I thought. I'll have to keep an eye on him. Maybe he actually is a great pass-rusher rather than a good one who gets a lot of help from the scheme. I'll take a look.

...I still think quarterbacks are underrepresented on the initial list.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by njjetfan12 :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:46am

According to this http://eaglescap.com/Players/TrentCole.html

Cole also has a prorated signing bonus, so he's actually making about 4.5 million a year. Still a great player and great value, though

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by BlueStarDude :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:12am

I don't understand the many comments that call Cole an "insane" choice here. He has made himself into a great DE against the run, and he still has near elite pass rush skills. He has been the best DE in the league over the last 2-3 years, much more consistent than Williams, better all around player than Freeney, and just a bit ahead of Allen.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 6:44pm

Yeah i agree. Cole has been great and though i think saying he has been the best DE for the last 2 or 3 years a tiny stretch. I think allen has been better but i would probably put cole second. For the value each player brings and at the price each is worth, i would rather have cole on my team than allen.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Tim Wilson :: Thu, 02/18/2010 - 3:00pm

Yikes. Bill. You are overstating a bit here to try to defend your list. Cole is not "95% of the player DeMarcus Ware is." Ware is, according to KC Joyner's run defense metrics, one of the top 3 or 4 run defenders in the league at the DE or OLB position. Cole has evolved into a decent run player, and I don't have the metrics on him that I do on Ware because Cole doesn't rank in the top 10 and therefore I haven't seen his stats broken out, but he is not even 95% of the RUN DEFENDER that Ware is. And that doesn't even begin to discuss Ware's coverage ability or pass rush prowess, which is obviously the strongest part of his game.

You won't hear arguments from me for Allen above Cole, as it is apparently now the mark of a "great" DE to run straight upfield and utterly ignore the possibility of a run inside of you (as Allen routinely does).

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by dryheat :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:55pm

I would postulate that most of the Top 10 trade value are going to be guys drafted outside the top 8 that still have some run left on their rookie contract.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Kal :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:12pm

I just can't see a CB being #1. This is similar to the Robopunter talk; assuming that this CB can simply remove a receiver from being an option he is not going to win you games singlehandedly.

And while QBs won't either, they'll go a lot further towards that goal. Manning didn't do a lot of damage against Revis, but he didn't have to; he simply threw to the other guys that Revis didn't cover.

Furthermore, a good QB is always going to be an asset. A good CB is going to be an asset only against a good passing team. Against a good running team his skills are largely wasted. Wouldn't you rather have a great DE (who will be more important on a defense more of the time) or a great safety (same thing)? And that's just talking defense.

As stated above: would you take Revis for Manning, straight up? How about Trent Cole for Matt Ryan? How about any non-QB on the list for Matt Ryan? Unless you're already loaded at QB, the answer is decidedly 'no'.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:49am


I just can't see a CB being #1. This is similar to the Robopunter talk; assuming that this CB can simply remove a receiver from being an option he is not going to win you games singlehandedly. "

Without Revis, I doubt the Jets win 6 games this year. He was a huge part of the reason that defense was so good.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 6:41pm

If i remember right, the jets had 3 of the 10 best cornerbacks this year. I don't think revis is all that great to be honest. He still is probably a top 5 cornerback but he isn't the elite player at the position. The system that hes in makes all the corners great. He's just the cornerback du jour.

How many cornerbacks got injured when the jets played the colts? i think 2 or 3 did in which case no team stands a chance against a great quarterback with 2 or 3 of their top cornerbacks going down with injury. It showed just how valuable the other starting cornerbacks were to that team and that revis wasn't the only player making that defense great.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by MarkB (not verified) :: Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:41pm

If you're considering age and contract, and not just "would you rather have guy x than guy y," I wouldn't put Manning that high, and I'd dump cornerbacks for linemen. That "heavily weighted for salary and age" makes no sense to me. It's not just this contract, but the ability to tag and/or sign a guy into the future. Manning's best years are not ahead of him - that's what I'd want. I'd take Brees over Manning, knowing that Brees probably won't have as good a career. Or at least not as good a regular season career.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Joe SKolnik (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:21am

In trading for Peyton Manning your not only trading for a QB, but an offensive coordinator as well. Brees and Rivers might be just as valueble passers of the ball, but manning calls his own plays and writes a gameplan much more than the other two. I'd rather have manning than Brees right now with long-term future in mind, or probably even Rivers.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:51am

The idea that Manning "writes the gameplan" is not just wrong, but patently absurd.

And no, Manning doesn't call the plays. He audibles a lot, but they still send plays in for them.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by njjetfan12 :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:45am

I'd put Thomas on the list over Clady, and I think Aaron Rodgers has to be on the list. With how good of a year Jairus Byrd had, you could also make the argument that he has a place on the list. He had a great year and is signed to a very cheap contract for the next 3 years

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by R. Carney (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:20pm

Ballsy. I was going to put Byrd on my list (rookie, 9 picks in 14 games, third round pick...low rookie contract) but I couldn't pull the trigger

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 5:32am

I'm so sick of the peyton manning love. The guy is madly overrated. Yes he is the best quarterback of all time but that doesnt mean he is the best quarterback right now. If jordan rejoined the NBA he wouldnt be the best. Peyton has the most rabid fan base because he makes funny commercials. He is not the jesus. DVOA ranks him worse than Rivers in both the last two seasons. Don't let the career accomplishments of a player cloud the judgement on his current value. He is not the jesus

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:37am

So the top rated QB last year, according to this site, appears nowhere on this list? Really? What is the justification of that?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:37am

So the top rated QB last year, according to this site, appears nowhere on this list? Really? What is the justification of that?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 10:38am

So the top rated QB last year, according to this site, appears nowhere on this list? Really? What is the justification of that?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by MCS :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 11:55am

I guess I don't understand this exercise. Many of the names I've seen are guys likely to be franchised, not traded. What's the point? They may have high value, but the likelihood of a trade is virtually nil.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Bad Doctor :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 7:56pm

It seemed like a fun thread idea, but I don't think it really works for the NFL. Or for a Top 10 list, for that matter. Hell, the NBA has a much more restrictive cap than the NFL, but I bet Simmons would even admit that there comes a point on his list where contract basically doesn't enter into the equation anymore, and really never could for practical purposes, and it becomes just a "most valuable player" list. (i.e., Everybody thinks LeBron is the best player. How much bigger would his contract have to be than Wade's or Durant's to get Simmons to knock him out of the #1 spot on his trade value list? There probably can't for practical purposes be that big a difference in their contracts under NBA rules. I'd imagine every team thinks LeBron is better and would find a way to squeeze him under their cap, savings be damned.)

Well, this applies even moreso for NFL, where there isn't a very fluid free agent market, and you don't see teams losing valuable players for cap purposes. If a team thinks Ware is 10% better than Cole, they'll take Ware, contract and all. If you think Joe Thomas is significantly better than Clady, it doesn't matter that the sooner has a Top 3 pick contact and the latter a second-round contract. What does the $8MM in savings under a $140MM (or whatever it was) cap really mean? Go get the better player, and if you need to clear cap room you can trim the fat somewhere else on the roster.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Joseph :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:13pm

Understand arguing BB's list--but we are supposed to make our own, which basically nobody has done. So, without further adieu:
10. Calvin Johnson
9. Nnamdi Asomugha
8. DeMarcus Ware
7. Peyton Manning
6. Darrell Revis
5. Drew Brees
4. Ryan Clady
3. Philip Rivers
2. Aaron Rodgers
1. Matt Ryan

And I'm a SAINTS fan, for crying out loud.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Patrickasef (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 5:45pm

Asomugha's contract is like for a billionty dollars a year, without many seasons left. Of course when it expires they'll be able to franchise him for 1.2 billionty dollars, but it's still not a winner.
Anyway, Brendan made a pretty good list, but I really can't compare QBs to other positions straight up.
Non QB/LT,
Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, Trent Cole, Darrell Revis, DeSean Jackson, Lamar Woodley, Chris Johnson, Clay Matthews, Adrian Peterson, Brian Orakpo
For QBs:
(1) Rivers
(2) Roethlisberger
(3) Rodgers
(4) Ryan
(5) Brees
(6) Romo
(7/8) Peyton/Brady
(9) McNabb
(10) Schaub maybe?

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by td (not verified) :: Sun, 02/21/2010 - 9:58am

the salary cap is going away, and it isn't coming back. there won't necessarily be franchis tags in the near future.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 2:18pm

Well, Aaron Rodgers>Matt Ryan, Brees is probably more valuable in trade than Manning just because of their contracts, and Jay Cutler has to be on the list (after all, he was -actually traded- for tremendous compensation). I would think that Rodgers-Cromartie and Darnell Dockett should be considered, too.

Kevin Williams is a bit old, you have to assume his skills will decline pretty soon; honestly, the same can be said of Peyton Manning, although "decline" for him means he'll only be as good as Brees or Rivers three years from now.

Gary Brackett and Demeco Ryans would be huge if they were under contract (or in Ryans' case, under contract for longer).

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 4:44pm

Brees and Rivers are already better than Peyton Manning according to the stats here and at PFF. They're also obviously much younger, and I don't think Manning has nearly the value that they do.

Cutler has also had a ridiculously bad year since he's been traded, there's no way he'd get traded for that much right now. Who could yo bump off the list for him?

I think Dockett and DRC are both very good but I think they aren't quite worthy of being on here.

Agreed on Kevin Williams, he wouldn't be on my list.

Demeco Ryans is pretty good but definitely not good enough to merit serious consideration, and Gary Brackett doesn't even deserve to be mentioned. A 30 year-old overrated middle linebacker is nowhere close to one of the 10 most valuable commodities in football, he's probably not in the top 50 either.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 7:39pm

Actually, we should probably leave out QB's, because not only are they never traded because of salary cap implications (generally), but they never leave as FA's if they're anywhere near a 10 best list. No contract is too high. -Eli- Manning is worth $100 million. What this means is that age is more important for QB's; you are trading for them -forever-, not just for the length of a contract.

Demeco Ryans is a huge reason why Houston's defense has trended to league average from league-worst (and a reason why Cushing is so good so soon). Mario Williams is arguably the second most valuable player on that defense. It has improved a lot despite regression and injuries from what was once its best player, Dunta Robinson. He is essentially the same player as Patrick Willis, and he definitely belongs on the list. Brackett I understand the objections to, but I feel sorry for him because he's the only player on the whole defense who can tackle anyone.

My ten would be: Ryans, Willis, Cole, Ngata, Revis, Asomugha, A. Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Ryan Clady, Joe Thomas.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Tracy :: Thu, 02/18/2010 - 2:28pm

I agree with leaving QBs out entirely, as the list would otherwise be a list of the top qbs in the league, weighted for age.

Last year, Cutler fetched 2 first round picks, a 3rd round pick, and an average qb in trade, and that was after everybody knew that the Broncos absolutely HAD to trade him. No non-qb on anybody's list would fetch that much, and if you made a list of the top 10 qb's in terms of trade value, Cutler wouldn't crack the top 5, and might or might not be in the top 10.

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by R. Carney (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:16pm

The great thing about Simmons is that when he does these things, he doesn't write obsurd things for shock value or to be able to look back on it to prove he's right. To have Revis #1 and to have T. Cole and P. Williams (he's 37!!) on this list is ridiculous. First off, its been proven that this is a QB league. Not debatable. Look at the QBs in the playoffs, 10 of 12 elite or close to it. The fact that playoff teams were led by Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, and Carson Palmer (who had a down year) is NOT COINCIDENCE!!! Other teams with elite QBs (Ryan, Big Ben, Schaub), missed the playoffs due to percentage points (they were all 9-7). Teams have three DTs who rotate, they have two RBs, two DBs (so yes, you can throw away from Revis, ask Peyton Manning), and 3 WRs. There is one QB, and he touches and distributes the ball on EVERY PLAY. I can name great players at every position on bad teams, not the case with quarterbacks. Also not debatable. So to not have at least six QBs on this list in an era of such great QBs discredits this whole list.

Secondly, Simmons factors in age and salary, but long after skill level and what they do for their teams. In other words, if you were starting a team from scratch, in the win-now, 4 year average career, salary capped NFL, that you would take Darrelle Revis over Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, and there are 10 guys you'd take over Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Rivers, and Tom Brady? And don't think I didn't see that Trent Cole is better or equal to Dwight Freeney routine either. How do you think the rest of that line gets any pressure? He commands double teams regularly and occupies any chip or backfield help that comes. Stop getting your information and theories from Matt Millen.

That being said, my list (probably as debateable as most others, but less than some)

1. Brees
2. Manning (don't want to hear the stats arguments, he's just better)
3. Rodgers
4. Rivers
5. Brady
6. Polamalu (how quickly we forget about this guy, anyone watch PITT D without him last year?)
7. B. Roethlisberger
8. A. Johnson (makes Matt Schaub)
9. D. Revis
10. P.Willis
Honorable Mention. C.Johnson/R. Clady/R.Rice (I cheated, and use caution with any RB after watching the Bailey/Portis trade unfold)

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by R. Carney (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:26pm

Williams is 30, sorry I was thinking of the fatter one, still shouldn't be on the list

Re: Top 10 Trade Value?
by Anonymous Coward (not verified) :: Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:49pm

Really they're all quarterbacks. Unless you're a team that already has a good one and can't start 2.

My top 10 would be something like

1 Rivers
2 Rodgers
3 Brees
4 Manning
5 Big Ben
6 Ryan
7 Brady
8 Cutler
9 Flacco
10 Stafford

Absolutely shocked!!!
by panthersnbraves :: Fri, 02/19/2010 - 3:43pm

Julius Peppers is not number 1 on your list? Not on ANYONE's list?

Why,here in Panthers country, we have been told by his agent the he MUST be made the most highly paid player, as he is the best, most sought after player out there.

Is this not true?


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