Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Mar 2009

Seahawks Trade Peterson For Lions' Redding

After refusing to take a pay cut, linebacker Julian Peterson was traded by the Seattle Seahawks to the Detroit Lions for defensive end/tackle Cory Redding. The Seahawks will also get the Lions' fifth-round draft pick in the deal.

Peterson was arguably Seattle's best defender last year, finishing second on the team in tackles and third in sacks. The linked story describes Redding as "a talented young player who is still in his prime," but he's 28 years old -- at this point, what you see is what you get, and he's not likely to get any better. He is 2 1/2 years younger than Peterson, though.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 14 Mar 2009

25 comments, Last at 17 Mar 2009, 4:04pm by tuluse


by Abe (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:08pm

Any word on how the Seattle contingent of FO feels about this?

by Dunbar (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:37pm

Any time you can trade one of the 10-20 best linebackers of the last decade for an overpaid tweener from one of the worst teams of all time who's probably not even a top 10 defensive tackle/end right now ... you just have to make that trade.

by Yaguar :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:43pm

I feel like some of the players on the Lions defense appear to suck more than they actually do, because the system is just so awful that they can't really do their jobs right. I feel like Redding could be one of those guys.

Seattle seems far out of contention for a while (yea, they might take their division at 8-8 one of the upcoming years, but that doesn't count) and getting slightly younger is a good thing. They also got a pick out of it.

I still think it's not so good overall. They should have let Peterson stay at the salary he had

by Independent George :: Sun, 03/15/2009 - 6:36pm

I'm not sure why you think Seattle seems so far out of contention. Last year's injuries seemed like a freak occurance; if Hasselbeck plays a full season, I can see them as an 11-5 team.

by Yaguar :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:14am

Since 2005-2006, the whole offense has deteriorated. QB, RB, WR, OL, you name it.

I'm not sure why you think Hasselbeck is still a solid (or even mediocre) quarterback. His last four seasons in DVOA:
2005: 30.0%
2006: -10.3%
2007: 12.8%
2008: -34.2%

Obviously, I expect the decline trend to reverse itself some, but not that much. Also, remember that the average passing DVOA in the league is well over 0% these days, because of the leaguewide increase in offensive numbers.

If Hasselbeck doesn't start a full season, it could be because he was simply benched for Seneca Wallace. Wallace outplayed him last season, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him do it again.

by Doug Farrar :: Sun, 03/15/2009 - 4:04pm

Well, at least this gives them back the fifth-round pick they lost in the Keary Colbert trade.

No doubt Peterson is on the decline, but I'm kinda "Meh" on this deal. Redding missed time last year with knee and groin injries, so I'm not sure how much the "getting young" idea fits in. Had this been Peterson for Shaun Rogers, that would have been a different story. What this trade doesn't really do is address Seattle's two primary front seven issues -- the lack of a dominant nose tackle to soak up blockers, and the lack of a consistently elite pass rusher.

by Crushinator (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:46pm

Kind of a bad trade for the Seahawks IMO. When Redding went to the Lions, he was all potential and to this point, he's still all potential. Julian Peterson is a proven good sometimes great LB. Do the Seahawks really need another roll the dice player in exchange for a strong contributor and the privalege of paying Reddings bloated contract?

by Joe in Seattle (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:53pm

I don't love the deal, and I think it makes the Seahawks worse for right now, but as Yaguar said, the team is kind far from contention, outside of the 6-10 division title they'll get next season.

Seattle has actually has some decent linebacker potential with guys like Will Herring and David "the Heater" Hawthrone. Plus it will be interesting to see what Redding does with some decent talent around him.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 4:17pm

I think Seattle's dealing from a position of strength, so the drop-off won't be as bad as it looks, but it seems like a fairly lateral move at best.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 7:04pm

I don't mind trading Julian Peterson, but I am pretty disappointed in the return. He definitely was not the best defender last year. Worst of the three LBs the year before.

So late in free agency, was the big thing the money? Who're they going to sign, now? Maybe they don't like anyone but Curry, in the draft?

Disappointed in the return. Not that I'm expecting a 2nd round pick. I mean, Detroit's 2nd round pick is a pick I could get behind! So come to think of it, a "late 4th" and Redding, I guess it's close to OK. Please, somebody tell me something encouraging about Cory Redding, though.

by NCE (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 8:19pm

Worst of '07 Tatupu and Hill isn't accurate and wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if it was.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:46pm

2007. Hill'sbest full season. Tatupu has been tremendous until 2008. JP was great in 2006, a difference maker in 2007, but in ways both good and bad (example off the top of my head: Bengals, week 3. Bigtime 2nd down sack near the end zone, followed by a 33 yard screen pass to Rudi Johnson. JP was the one that made both plays happen). I contend it's accurate.

But your main point, that that's not exactly setting the bar very low, I completely agree with.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 4:04pm

This is only tangentially related, but I find it funny that Urlacher is overrated because he has some minor trouble shedding blockers, but Tatupu is tremendous with the exact same problem only a much, much worse.

Not saying you were one of the people saying Urlacher was overrated, just an overall feeling I got from ESPN and even posters on this site.

by Feagles - King ... :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 11:26pm

This would seem to point towards taking Curry in the draft, right? Or maybe hope that a linebacker like Laurinaitis is available in the top half of round 2?

by putnamp (not verified) :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 7:09pm

Two good takes from a Seattle perspective:




- Seattle gets 4.6 in cap space
- Redding likely pairs with Mebane, meaning Cole is likely more of a backup
(good article about Cole in the 1 vs the 3 here: http://www.fieldgulls.com/2009/3/2/778122/the-tape-colin-cole-hammer)
- Hill gets to show off some of his pass rushing skills now. Could mean a break out year for him, too.
- Seattle looks to be building their front 4 to stop the run, which necessitates Deon Grant moving to FS (where he's strongest) to bolster their coverage unit.

Seems like Seattle's interest in Malcolm Jenkins looks a lot more legitimate now.

by zlionsfan :: Sat, 03/14/2009 - 7:51pm

Funny, I wasn't sure it was that good of a deal from the Lions' perspective.

I thought Redding was decent last year, keeping in mind that on the defense it's hard to tell how good players actually are. It's nice to improve the LB quality (which isn't that hard to do, actually), and there's no guarantee a 5th-round pick would make the team, but I guess when you have so few chips to trade, you do what you can.

And they do have cap space. Because who would you have paid more money to last season?

by beedubyuh :: Sun, 03/15/2009 - 11:11am

I think this was a move by the Millen twins to head off the criticism that will come when they take Stafford #1 (given the low regard he is being given by the media) by acquiring a name OLB, someone they can point to and say, "See? Curry doesn't fill a position of need for us."

As a Bears fan I welcome this continued organizational ineptitude by the Lions. Hurrah!

by John Walt :: Sun, 03/15/2009 - 12:21pm

I am still holding out hope that they take Monroe or the non-crazy Smith #1 overall.

by beedubyuh :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 10:30am

That would be the right move in my mind, too. If they do go that way, then I'll see it as a sign of real progress (unfortunately).

by Da Captain (not verified) :: Sun, 03/15/2009 - 1:21pm

Freeing up some cap space is a good thing and Peterson is on the decline with a growing cap figure so the departure was going to take place sometime in the next year or two if Peterson wasnt interested in restructuring his contract. Also, it puts Hill in the position to be a pass rusher again which he showed promise in the year before Peterson arrived. Getting Redding in return isnt anything exciting.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 11:21am

If the Lions play Cliff Avril at SAM linebacker and start Ernie Simms with Julian Peterson... they could have the best LB core in the entire NFC.

With Lofa, Peterson and a highly underrated Leroy Hill, Seattle decided to part with Peterson. I do like "heater" Hawthorne on the bench and apparently Seattle felt comfortable enough with him to pull the trigger on this trade.

They lose a DT to the Giants, and bring one in. They get cap room & a pick and now Heater Hawthorne gets his cut.

by RugbyRuss (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 12:08pm

As a Seahawks fan, I love this move. Why? Because I think Peterson has been completely over rated the last couple of years.

He does way too much freelancing and over running the play and while he still makes great plays occasionally, they were getting fewer and farther between as he lost a step. His speed allowed him to make up for his mistakes in the past. If you look at most of the big runs the Seattle defense allowed, especially early in games, they were right at Peterson's side.

by witless chum :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 1:51pm

I think I like it from a Lions perspective. LB is a huge hole on the team, with Ernie Simms being the only guy who'd be a starter on other teams. Redding had one excellent 2/3 of a season in 2006. (He did almost all his damage in 11 games) Then Millen paid him big money. 2006 looks like an outlier year at this point, though I had hopes that Grady Jackson would take up enough blockers as the poor, aging man's Shaun Rogers to let Redding make plays. The Lions have a couple of young DTs (Andre Fluellen and Landon Cohen) that the coaching staff might like.

Peterson's age and cost aren't ideal, but it's trading way overpaying for a guy who hasn't produced for probably overpaying a little for a guy who has.

by zlionsfan :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 9:28am

The Lions will probably have to overpay for a couple of seasons anyway if they want to acquire talent.

I know a lot of people are high on Sims, but I'm hoping the Lions show a lot more man coverage this season, because I saw a number of plays where he simply looked out of place in zone. Of course, I don't know for sure what his responsibilities were, and it's possible that ineptitude around him contributed to his problems - if you see other people blowing their coverages constantly (cough Bodden cough), you start to wonder if maybe you've got something wrong - but it didn't look like that scheme was a good match for his abilities.

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 10:51am

One of the Problems with the Lions was the coaching staff insisting on running the cover 2 when they certainly didn't have the talent to make it work, especially in a dome.

Round hole and square peg.