Get permission from the team to discuss contract terms with the player you covet.
Agree with said team on what the proper compensation is for acquiring said player.
The two most vital steps to any trade for someone who is contract-less are under away between the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers.
After the Chargers agreed to allow the Seahawks to discuss contract terms with restricted free agent hold out Vincent Jackson, new news broke last night that would appear to have thrusted things to another level.
Chargers executive Randy Mueller was in Seattle last night to take in the pre-season match up against the Green Bay Packers, and he wasn’t just there to take in the view of the gorgeous stadium or downtown skyline.
His mission was to scout Seahawks players who the Chargers are targeting as return in a possible Vincent Jackson trade.
Teams don’t give permission to teams to speak to their players and send top executives to scout players for sh**s and giggles, this latest development means some progress is being made on the Jackson trade front.
The Chargers are reportedly seeking a second round pick as a return for Jackson, which the Seahawks appear to have no qualms about meeting. Whether or not the players Mueller was scouting would be icing on the cake or would help bring down the pick needed to acquire Jackson remains to be seen.
The most desirable return in any deal would be help along the offensive line, an area the Seahawks don’t exactly boast a bevy of pro bowl talent.
Position by position, here’s my take on who the Chargers are most keen on obtaining and why.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chargers inquired about Seattles’ top three running back; more specifically Leon Washington and Justin Forsett.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Seahawks rebuffed them immediately.
The only running back who Seattle would part with in a Vincent Jackson trade would be Julius Jones, who to me represents nothing more than a capable backup who can do a little bit of everything and is spectacular at nothing.
Regardless. there is not much depth behind Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles, if the Chargers show any interest in Jones, expect the Seahawks ready to deal him.
Considering the fact the Chargers would be dealing a wide receiver it’s only plausible to assume they wouldn’t mind taking one back in the process.
Houshmandzadeh is off limits, and Tate’s definitely off limits. I don’t seem them trading Mike Williams with the way he’s been performing.
Considering the money they would have to pay Jackson ($8-10 million per), my paycheck would be on the Seahawks dealing the expensive and underachieving Deion Branch if the Chargers inquired about their receivers.
Not only does Branch get paid ridiculous money for his borderline No. 3 WR production, he is seven years older then Deon Butler and does not offer the long term potential he brings to the table.
If the Seahawks acquired Jackson and kept Branch, the average salary of their top three receivers would be an appalling $7.8 million.
You can bet names along the Hawks offensive line are going to be tossed back and forth, regardless of their plausibility.
Okung and Unger are certainly off the table, and couple that with the injuries to Okung and Willis, I would find it hard to believe a name can come up that won’t have a premium attached to it considering depth concerns.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind them flipping Chris Spencer, how the man still has a starting job in this league when he doesn’t even know his own snap count on occasion is appalling to me.
The scenario for replacing him isn’t plausible currently with Chester Pitts still recovering injury.
The Willis injury certainly comes at a bad time; with the Tra Thomas retirement, the match would appear to be seamless with the Chargers needing a fill in with the Marcus McNeill fiasco.
Not very sure the Seahawks would be amenable to dealing any of the prominent fixtures along the defensive line; Brandon Mebane, Chris Clemons, and Red Bryant are all off limits.
The Chargers will most likely target a nose tackle for their 3-4 scheme, and the object of their desire will most likely be Colin Cole.
Depending on the Seahawks confidence in Kevin Vickerson, Quinn Pitcock, and Craig Terrill, they may possibly view Cole expendable if it is necessary to facilitate a trade.
Kentwan Balmer, who played the three technique at North Carolina, also could be a viable replacement option for Cole depending on his progression.
I wouldn’t bank on them being keen on dealing Cole, but regardless, it is one of the better matches for supply and demand between these two teams.
You can never have enough bodies at linebacker in the 3-4 defense and the Seahawks offer some premium depth at the position.
They would more then likely be willing to deal backup Will Herring in any deal; if he were on another squad, he would probably be a starter.
Herring is very versatile and would bolster what is already a very solid San Diego unit.
Earl Thomas would be off limits but after that everyone is game except for Kevin Ellison, whom the Chargers cut after he was busted with a few too many painkillers.
The very versatile Jordan Babineaux would be the most likely target for them, and they would actually be able to immediately plug him in as a starter at strong safety opposite of Eric Weddle.
Kelly Jennings is another player I don’t see the Seahawks putting in the off limits category, but considering the depth at safety in contrast to corner, I doubt they would be amenable to dealing a corner.
All in all, I see Colin Cole, Jordan Babineaux, and Deion Branch, as the three most likely trade candidates based on the Chargers most pressing needs and the Seahawks depth at defensive tackle, safety, and receiver (considering they would be acquiring one). Out of those first two, Babs is far more replaceable with Earl Thomas locked in at safety, Milloy penciled in as the starter opposite of him, and Ellison proving to be a viable starter while with the Chargers in his rookie campaign last season.
The depth behind Cole is much more questionable and unproven then the depth at safety.
On the offensive side in the ball, Branch is the most expendable name amongst wide receivers based on his salary and lack of long term potential in contrast to Mike Williams and Deon Butler.
As far as the results of Muellers scouting foray, I will have a post up on that soon.