Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Oct 2005

Bucs Deal for Tim Rattay

Hey kids, the trade deadline means everyone deal your backup quarterback! This is an excellent deal for Tampa Bay. Remember, Rattay was in the top ten of DVOA for quarterbacks last year until the injuries came, and the Bucs of 2005 are in a much better situation than the 49ers of 2004. Also today, the Chargers dealt Chet Lemon to the Dolphins for A.J. Feeley. Wait, you say Chet Lemon was a baseball player? Hmmm.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 18 Oct 2005

35 comments, Last at 19 Oct 2005, 8:28pm by Mr Shush


by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:23pm

Anyone else get the feeling that the 49ers just decided "Well, if we're still gonna suck this year, let's try to suck as much as we possibly can suck!"

by Al (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:25pm

What could the Chargers possibly want with A.J. Feeley?

by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:25pm

Until we know what the "conditional pick" was, we can't really assess this trade, but in general I think it's a wise move by the Bucs. I'm not sold on Simms at all.

by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:28pm

Wait a minute. The Dolphins had to throw in a draft pick to get the Chargers to agree to a Feeley-for-Lemon swap? That makes no sense to me. I know Feeley has taken quite a tumble in the collective minds of the football intelligentsia, but is he really worse than Cleo Lemon? Or is there some kind of cap hit that the Chargers are taking on the Dolphins' behalf?

by Sean D. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:32pm

Okay, I think I can explain the Chargers, Feely thing. Feely played for the Eagles right? Who are the Chargers playing this week? This is a counter move to the Eagles picking up Zeke Moreno to learn about the Chargers.

by Jeff George (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:40pm


by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:42pm

Here's a thought, though.

If San Francisco had instead said "Hey, anyone want to trade for Alex Smith?" think anyone would've bit?

I don't.

by Charles (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:50pm

If you are a niners fan, you should be outside Candlestick Park protesting your managment's actions.

If you are a fan of any of the other 30 teams, you should be scared.

If you are a bucs fan, get your superbowl bet in before the odds get shorter.

Rattay was the next great San Francisco quarterback, the logical successor to Montana, Young, and Garcia. He played like it a lot of the time last year. Put him on a team with a competent offensive line, a good back whoever it happens to be this week, and two very, very good receivers...

by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 6:54pm

Depending on what the conditional draft pick is, this could be a good trade for both the Niners and the Bucs. The Bucs need a decent QB, and the Niners don't need a QB controversy, but sure could use an extra mid-round draft pick.

I have absolutely no idea who Cleo Lemon is.

by charles (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 7:06pm

RE 8:
Great, now there is somebody else named charles posting, for a second i thought i wrote that comment but then i realized i don't know sh** about the 49ers. But to get back on topic, the status of cadillac williams the rest of the year will determine the bucs fate.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 7:10pm

So Rattay has to learn a new offense, right?

How easy is it to come in at mid-season and start at QB?

We're about to see if the QB position is as mentally challenging as the experts say it is. I don't believe Rattay will start for 2 months... at the least.

by VarlosZ (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 8:15pm

"What could the Chargers possibly want with A.J. Feeley?"

It's a prelude to trading Philip Rivers during the offseason; this way they have a decent backup QB afterwards.

I have no idea why Miami would have to include a 6th rounder to make that trade happen, though.

by Jeff F (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 8:45pm

Heh. Tampa just picked up a good backup QB.

Remember 2003? When Rattay had a team to play on, he was downright impressive in place of Garcia.

In 2004, he did pretty well before he was injured.

This year, the whole team might be even worse than last year, so it's hard to gauge how his performance really was.

IIRC, Lemon looked good in the preseason, but I have no idea what he has for experience.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 8:50pm

OK, so the Bucs traded for Luke McCown over the offseason to go with Griese and Simms. Now they trade for Rattay. I think Rattay's a good QB, but what was the point? If you thought McCown was good enough to trade for then you had to be confident in his ability to backup. If you thought Simms was competent enough to be the backup then you don't trade for another guy to start - which he won't do for at least a few weeks and presumably more.

So, is Rattay being brought in to be the backup or the starter?

by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 9:20pm

It’s a prelude to trading Philip Rivers during the offseason; this way they have a decent backup QB afterwards.

That was my first thought.

Is this the most exciting NFL trade deadline since the 1988 Herschel Walker deal?

by kjbad (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 9:43pm

They have to secure Brees first. If they are dumb enough to put a franchise tag on him again, someone will offer Drew his long-term deal and then the Chargers will have to play the match game to keep him.

by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 10:08pm

I like Simms a lot, but I still think the Bucs made a good trade, assuming the cost was not prohibitive. If being a Jets fan has taught me anything, it's the value of quality quarterback depth, and the Bucs have assured themselves of having NFL caliber players at spots one, two and three even if Griese is done for the year. When you've come out of the gate 5-1 and are as good as anyone else in the NFC, that's a prudent move.

by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 10:14pm

Not sure how legit this is, but early reports I've heard on the radio being reported are either a 6th or 7th round pick.

Have I mentioned how much I love Bruce Allen?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 10:59pm

I just read the Vikings acquired Fonoti from the Chargers for a conditional seventh round pick. I know he's injured right now, but weren't the Chargers pretty satisifed with his play last year? Why'd they sour on him so much?

by David (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 11:07pm

Depending on how much they get for Rivers this offseason, the net result of San Diego's trade of Eli Manning could end up being the single largest profit ever made off of one draft pick.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 12:43am

Why do the Charges want Feeley? Because he is actually a decent back-up QB, and has worked out well enough as a starter when needed when he had a team to play behind.

In 2002, he was 5-1 playing for Philadelphia, completing 86 of 162 for 961 yards, 6 TD's, and 5 INT's. FO gave him a DPAR of 10.7 and a DVOA of 3.0%.

In 2001 he was 1-0 playing for Philadelphia completing 10 of 14 for 143 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. FO gave him a DPAR of 7.2 and a DVOA of 96.8%.

Even in the dreadful 2004 Miami season, he helped provide 3 of Miami's 4 wins, going 3-6 in games where he had significant playing time, and had pretty good games against Tennessee, San Francisco, Denver, New England, and Cleveland despite having no offensive line and no running game. FO gave him a DPAR of -11.6 vs. Jay Fiedler's -22.9, and Fiedler had been the QB since 2000! So 1 dreadful game with Philadelphia and 4 with Miami need to be matched against 6 good games out of 7 with Philly and 5 good games out of 9 with Miami. San Diego is bring in a guy who can probably win 2 of every 3 games with the San Diego team if Drew Brees got injured. He's also a guy who they may be able to deal for another high draft pick (perhaps a #2 like Philly got or a #3 or #4) a few years from now if he does get some more playing time and wins a couple more games.

by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 1:55am

Tim Rattay I always thought had the potential to be a really good QB. In Tampa he can definately succeed. He has a few things he didn't have in SF -A running back. Receivers. An offensive line. A really good defense. Pretty much everything but a Pro Bowl TE - and the Tampa Bay Alex Smith has looked pretty good.

by Joey (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 2:06am

It's clear Gruden has never really loved Simms. They drafted him because for where he was picked he had a lot of upside after taking a big drop down the boards. But, if you look at all the bodies the Bucs have brought in and flirted with (remember Jeff Garcia?) they never had "Chris Simms: Our next starter" in their mind. But, apparently he's showed them enough not to get cut...but not enough to get a whole lot of time, or at least not enough to tell for sure if he can cut it as a starter.

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 2:17am

Andrew, about Feeley, throw out the 2001 game. It was Tampa Bay scrubs versus Eagles scrubs in a meaningless game in week 17, before a first round wild-card meeting.

I've always had a soft spot for Feeley. I'm an Eagles fan, and think what he did in 2002 was fantastic. In retrospect, Wannestedt was swindled int the trade of Feeley, but at the time I thought and hoped Miami had their quarterback of the future. I was happy when he got the starting job in Miami, but disappointed when he was not a significant improvement on Fiedler. Given what he did as an Eagle, I can't believe that he is as bad as he looked as a Dolphin.

I guess all of this is to say that I hope Feeley is not really a bad QB, and that the Eagles didn't jerk him around with what they did, and that I hope someone gives him a second chance.

by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 4:21am

It's pretty ironic that directly after the worst game in DVOA history for a QB that the team trades its backup. I guess the 49ers were more impressed with those interceptions than we were :)

by Sean (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 6:05am

In fairness to Smith, I broke down the first half of that game, and the Colts were getting tremendous pressure from a four man rush. It's pretty tough on a rookie when he has to deal with getting hit on nearly every dropback AND seeing seven men in coverage.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 9:58am

Obviously, the Bucs want to corner the market on Louisiana Tech quarterbacks.

by Lafcadio (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 10:58am

TB is doing a good deal, it's sure. But SF now has a rookie QB who will take a lot of big hits and nobody to sub in if necessary, except Ken Dorsey who just led Miami to the rose Bowl 3 years ago. Is he good or ...?

Now about the difficulty to learn a play-book. Can't Rattay, who played for two coaches and two different version of west coast offense, learn quickly the Gruden's version of the wco ?

Last question to green gang fans : what the hell is your management doing ?
Pennington : out
Fiedler : out
Bollinger : horrible
Testaverde : 142 yo
Couldn't they trade for Rattey ? And couldn't he learn the playbook as fast as Vinny ?

by MDS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 11:57am

Will, I had the same reaction about Fonoti, although his contract expires at the end of the season and it's not clear how soon he'll be ready to play this season, so they're basically giving up a draft pick to have, at most, half a season of his services.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 12:02pm

"Couldn’t they trade for Rattey ? And couldn’t he learn the playbook as fast as Vinny ?"

No, and no.

Vinny probably knows much of the Jets playbook, since he played there only a few years ago. Rattay is a West Coast Offense guy, as is Gruden.

by Dennis (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 12:41pm

Re #30: Vinny probably knows much of the Jets playbook, since he played there only a few years ago. Rattay is a West Coast Offense guy, as is Gruden.

Actually it's a whole new offense this year with a new coordinator (Heimerdinger).

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 2:48pm

I'm starting to think Saban isn't a genius. As bad as Gus Frerotten is I hate to see the Miami offense if (when) he goes down injured.

by Sean D. (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 3:28pm

I find all this talk about a Rivers trade very intriguing. What I think is quite wrong about the talk is the trade for Feeley precludes a Rivers trade. I see it more as a safety net in case someone blows their socks off with a trade offer this offseason. From everything I've heard A.J. Smith say it sounds to me as if they have no need to trade Rivers, and so it is up to other teams to want to get him. This is a much better position than being forced to trade a guy. I still say they want Feeley to teach them about the Eagles and Dolphins systems for their upcoming games.

by BillinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 4:27pm

An interesting aside, in some Patriots book chronicling Belichick there was the side note that in the 2000 Draft, The Pats were debating selecting one of two quarterbacks with excellent potential. They were very enamoured with one in particular but ended up drafting Tom Brady. The other QB was Tim Rattay.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 8:28pm

Regarding the Fonoti trade, I believe it was not so much a question of the Chargers souring on him as of them liking what they've seen of Chris Dielman this year a whole lot and trying to get some sort of value for Fonoti while they still could.