Monday, March 30, 2009

The WORST Green Bay Packer First Round Draft Picks of the Last 50 Years...

As the 2009 NFL Draft approaches, and anticipation builds, do the Packers really know what they will be getting with their first round draft pick? History says, um, not necessarily. Submitted for your approval:

1980 Bruce Clark, DT - Selected fourth overall

(taken before Art Monk, Matt Millen, Otis Wilson, Dwight Stevenson)

Out of Penn State University, Bruce Clark was a College All American and the first player to win the Lombardi Trophy as a junior. He went on to have a good career, but not for the Packers. Drafted by the Packers with the 4th pick of the draft, he instead signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

While money was one factor, reportedly the main reason he went north was he didn't want to play middle guard (now known as nose tackle) in the Packers 3-man line. This was easily Bart Starr's biggest blunder as GM. Most likely the topic was discussed with Clark, but Starr probably was confidant he could convince Clark to do what is best for the team. Unfortunately, he underestimated the new attitude among athletes - me first.

This selection makes the list not because of the player's lack of talent, but simply because the Packers got absolutely nothing out of a high first round pick. An inexcusable blunder.

1987 Brent Fullwood, RB - Selected fourth overall

(taken before Shane Conlan, Rod Woodson, Jim Harbaugh, Tim McDonald)

Out of Auburn University, Brent Fullwood gained 3700 yards rushing and scored 24 touchdowns for the Tigers. Green Bay made him the fourth overall pick of the draft, and expected big things. Fullwood never really delivered, however. Fullwood lasted only 4 years with the Packers, starting 30 games and rushing for 1700 yards. Almost half of those yards came in 1989, where he actually was named to the Pro Bowl.

Unfortunately, his career took a nosedive after that. Constant injuries and a seeming lack of motivation caused the Packers to tire of him quickly. The next training camp they were willing to waive him, but managed to convince the Cleveland Browns to take their former number one draft pick for a future low-round draft choice. Fullwood never played a game for Cleveland.

One decent year for a top-five first round draft pick... spells B-U-S-T

1965 Larry Elkins, WR - Selected tenth overall

(taken before Joe Namath, Lance Rentzel, Fred Biletnikoff)

Out of Baylor University, Larry Elkins was a consensus All-American his junior and senior years. He was MVP of the 1965 Hula Bowl and still holds the Baylor single game receiving record with 12 catches. The tenth pick of the draft, Elkins was actually the second of the Packers' two first round picks (fortunately the first one, Donnie Anderson, worked out a little better).

This was the era of the competing leagues, and Elkins never played a down for the Packers. Instead, he signed with the Houston Oilers of the rival American Football League. He never started a game, injured his knee his rookie season and broke his collarbone his second season. He decided to retire after that.

In 2001, Elkins was quoted as describing what happened in his pro career as "rather unlucky". The same could be said for the Packers.

1969 Rich Moore, DT - Selected twelveth overall

(taken before Fred Dryer, Gene Washington, Ted Hendricks)

Out of Villanova University, Rich Moore appears to be a true man of mystery. After much searching, there appears to be no information out there about his college career. After joining the Packers, he lasted only 20 games over two years. He never started a game and his stat sheet looks like a baseball no-hitter box score - nothing but zeros.

What can I say? he was an unknown at the time and has apparently disappeared from the planet (or at least the internet). Major blunder.

1959 Randy Duncan, QB - Selected first overall

(taken before Richie Pettibon, Joe Morrison, Dick Bass)

Out of the University of Iowa, Randy Duncan was a consensus first team All-American. He won the Walter Camp Award and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting to Billy Cannon. A can't-miss prospect, Duncan was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the very first pick of the first round of the 1959 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, he decided to go play for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Duncan only played for two years in Vancouver before coming back to the USA and signing with the Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs). Duncan hardly played for the Texans, and when Texans coach Hank Stram traded for Len Dawson, Duncan retired from football.

Maybe this one should be higher on the list - A number one overall pick that never plays for your team and is out of football in two years - wow!

1981 Rich Campbell, QB - Selected fourth overall

(taken before Ronnie Lott, Mike Singletary, Mark May)

Out of the University of California, Rich Campbell was a college All-American. Despite a knee injury that cut short his senior season, Campbell passed for 7,174 yards in his college career. It was a school record at the time and is still fourth-best in Cal history.

Selected as a can't-miss pick, Campbell was a major disappointment with the Packers. He appeared in only seven games over four years, completing 31 of 68 passes for 386 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, His career quarterback rating was a whopping 38.8. A religious-studies major in college, Campbell entered a seminary after leaving the Packers and became a Baptist minister.

Forrest Gregg thought Rich Campbell was going to be the Green Bay Packers' quarterback of the future. Campbell's utter failure certainly helped along Gregg's resignation three years later.

2001 Jamal Reynolds - DE - Selected tenth overall

(taken before Freddie Mitchell, Todd Heap, Drew Brees)

Out of Florida State University, Jamal Reynolds had proclaimed himself "the greatest defensive end the world has ever seen, period." In his senior year, Reynolds won the Lombardi Award and was a finalist for the College Defensive Player of the Year Award. He recorded 12 sacks and 58 tackles during that season.

The Packers were so enamored of him, they traded their first round pick (#17) and QB Matt Hasselbeck to the Seattle Seahawks for the chance to take Reynolds. Jamal Reynolds was Ron Wolf's last first-round draft pick with the Packers, leaving a nasty blemish on Wolf's stellar reputation as the Packers' GM.

After only 2 seasons with the Packers and recording only 1 sack, Green Bay attempted to trade Reynolds to the Indianapolis Colts, but he failed the physical and the Packers released him 10 days later. The following season, Cleveland picked him up, but he was cut before the season started.

This one is near the top of the list because we actually paid a lot more than a first round pick to go get this guy. Unfortunately, his talent did not match his ego, but it did match his size, which was not that of a typical DE. Packer fans took to calling him "Too-Small". This pick was "too-awful".

1989 Tony Mandarich - OT - Selected second overall

(taken before Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders, Trace Armstrong, Eric Metcalf, I could go on...)

Out of Michigan State University, Tony Mandarich was called "the best offensive line prospect ever" by Sports Illustrated. Nicknamed "The Incredible Bulk", Green Bay was hardly the only team enamored with Mandarich. For example, NY Giants GM Tom Boisture said of Mandarich, "he's the best college football player I've ever seen... this kid is better than Anthony Munoz."

Mandarich would later be renamed "The Incredible Bust." How could so many be so wrong? The Packers signed him to a huge 4.4 million dollar per-year four-year contract. For the first two years, Mandarich played only on special teams. In his third year, the Packers made him the starter, hoping he would show some improvement. No such luck.

In the last year of his contract, Mandarich developed a mysterious parasitic infection which supposedly sapped him of his strength. He couldn't play at all, and most people assumed it was the result of no longer taking steroids. Mandarich vehemently denied steriod use, but the Packers had no interest. After paying him for 3 years, they decided to cut their losses and let him go. Five years later, he returned to the NFL and played 3 non-descript years with the Indianapolis Colts, before retiring for good.

In the Fall of 2008, Mandarich finally admitted for the first time that he had been a steriod user at Michigan State. In an interview, he recounted how he faked a drug test before the 1988 Rose Bowl, using someone else's urine sample. He didn't take steroids in the NFL, but he reported to the Packers addicted to a drug called Staydol, injecting himself 6-7 times a day. Getting high became all that mattered to him, and destroyed his career.

Mandarich is possibly one of the top-3 all-time NFL busts (look at who was taken after him) and there is not doubt he holds the top spot in dubious Packer History.

Keep an eye out for my follow-up article, "the BEST Green Bay Packer first round draft picks of the last 50 years."

You can read more of Al's Green Bay Packer articles on his Packers Blog.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Packer Pick Prediction: Ted to Take the Tackle

After reading this article's title, I know what you are all thinking: Al is all about alliteration...

But seriously, your first thought was: "Yes! B.J. Raji is coming our way! Oh, I hope he's right, I hope he's right, I hope he's right! Or maybe we're going to trade down a bit in the first, take another nose tackle, and still pick up another draft pick.

"Maybe we'll get Ron Brace, Raji's teammate at Boston College or perhaps Peria Jerry of Ole' Miss. Either way, we'll have a 300-pound brute who can contribute and help our new 3-4 scheme be a huge success!”

Slow down there, buddy, you're jumping to conclusions. I've had some great discussions/debates with other Packers fans about how we can help our defense. We all know what caused our woeful season in 2008.

Yet we all (except for the worst pessimists among you) have hope. We have a brand new coaching staff on defense, led by the ultra-experienced and well-respected Dom Capers.

He has hired a great staff, including Carolina's former defensive coordinator, Mike Trgovac. How many teams can claim two defensive coordinators on their staff?

We have a new strength and conditioning coach, Dave Redding. He is a 23-year veteran of NFL weight rooms and a member of the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame. A Hall of Fame coach, damnit!

And you're going to love his philosophy—he's not about how much players can lift or how many reps they can churn out. His primary concern is building endurance. His aim is for players to have as much energy on the last play of the game as they did on the first play. Beautiful.

We all sat and watched in horror last year as Green Bay's defense collapsed at the end of games, especially in the second half of the season. This new approach to training can only help, right? So, we have hope.

Now, all we need are some players to fit our new three-four system. A stud defensive lineman would be great, specifically a nose tackle. Some 300-pound immovable object that can tie up centers and guards at the same time, freeing our linebackers to do their jobs unblocked. Where better to get this player than the first round of the draft?

Yes, one of the best 32 players in the country can be the centerpiece of our defensive line next season. Imagine it.

Except, I don't think it's going to happen. Don't ask me to explain why I am saying this. I don't have any inside information. I haven't bugged the Green Bay war room, haven't hacked their computer systems, and haven't been spotted in the dumpsters outside Lambeau Field.

It's just a feeling I have—something inside me. I'm usually pretty accurate when I get those feelings. For example, I had a March Madness feeling to take Arizona for at least a Sweet 16 appearance, and they made it. (Unfortunately, I had no such feeling about who would actually win the whole thing...)

At the Green Bay-Seattle playoff game in the snow, after Seattle went up 14-0 and the fans at Lambeau went into an instant depression, I just got a feeling in my stomach (and it wasn't the brats and Miller Lite) that Green Bay would end up blowing them out. Yay for my feeling!

Unfortunately, the next week, when the game against the Giants went into overtime, a bad feeling came over me that a fumble or interception would lose us the game. Boo for my feeling!

Now that I've established my unquestionable credentials as far as feelings go, I have to get this off my chest—the Packers' first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft is going to be a tackle—an OFFENSIVE TACKLE. It's just a feeling I have...

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Mt. Rushmore of the Green Bay Packers

With ESPN doing their state-by-state Mt. Rushmore, here are my choices for the Green Bay Packers' four iconic figures that would most deserve being carved into the side of a mountain.

In my opinion, this honor should not be about statistics, but about leadership. Heroic or iconic figures only need apply.

#1: Curly Lambeau - The Founder of the Green Bay Packers.

MY COMMENTS: This man started it all. A classic entrepreneurial story of vision, indomitable spirit and against-all-odds success. A football pioneer, he is credited with inventing the first pass-oriented offense and the idea of daily practices.

He was an owner, player, head coach, general manager – he did it all. A Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Curly is the person most responsible for keeping football alive in small-town Green Bay. Without Curly Lambeau, there would be no Green Bay Packers— enough said.

MINI-BIO: Curly Lambeau was a standout player at Green Bay East High School before attending Notre Dame University, where he played for the famous Knute Rockne. Lambeau made Notre Dame's varsity squad as a freshman.

In 1919, Curly was back in Green Bay for a few months, recovering from an injury. He convinced his employer, the Indian Packing Company, to let them use their athletic field and to supply jerseys for a football team he was starting. The team was so successful, he was awarded a franchise the next year in the newly formed Pro Football League.

However, the team lost money and he had to forfeit the franchise. But the next year, with new backers, he bought back the franchise for $250, including $50 of his own money.

Lambeau played for the Packers from 1919 to 1929. Although Lambeau played halfback, he was the player who took the snap from the center, as was common practice during that period. Lambeau threw the Packers' first official pass, first official touchdown pass, and kicked the Packers' first official field goal.

Lambeau coached the Packers as an NFL team from 1921 to 1949. As head coach, he led the Packers to six NFL championships (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944). Lambeau's regular season record as head coach of the Packers was 212–106–21 (.656) overall). These official records do not include the Packers' 19–2–1 record under Lambeau prior to joining the NFL.

Besides being a part owner, player, and head coach all at the same time, Lambeau is credited with pioneering daily practices and the forward pass in the NFL. Three months after his death in 1965, the Packers renamed City Stadium to Lambeau Field.

#2: Vince Lombardi - ESPN's "NFL Coach of the Century"

MY COMMENTS: My go-to guy for inspirational quotes. A man like who we’ll never see again. So much integrity, so much passion, so much dedication and such an inspiration to his players. And not a bad coach, either. If there is any man that deserves to be carved into a mountain, it’s Vince Lombardi.

My No. 1 Lombardi quote:

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."

This is a quote that found its way tacked up onto the walls of my kids’ rooms. It’s one of the best messages you can send to your children.

MINI-BIO: Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1913, Vincent Thomas Lombardi was the first son of Italian immigrant parents. He attended Catholic schools and studied for the priesthood for two years before changing his mind and going back to St. Francis Prep High School, where he was a star fullback.

He attended Fordham University, and played varsity football for three years as an undersized guard. He was one of the famous "Seven Blocks of Granite". Lombardi graduated cum laude and worked for a finance company for two years. In 1939, he took a teaching position at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, NJ, where he also coached football, basketball and baseball.

He stayed at St. Cecilia for eight years, five as head football coach. He next spent two years back at Fordham as an assistant coach, before being hired by West Point as offensive line coach. There he was tutored by the man considered the best coach in the country at the time, Earl "Colonel Red" Blaik.

The Colonel and his staff worked 17-hour days. He refined Lombardi's leadership skills and taught Vince to stick with clear-cut plays (simple blocking and tackling), strive for perfect execution, and conduct himself respectfully on the field. This would later become the hallmark of Lombardi's NFL coaching philosophy.

After five years at West Point, he was hired as offensive coordinator for the NY Giants. The defensive coordinator at the time was Tom Landry. (The Giants let both of them get away). In three years, they helped turn the Giants around from a 3-9 team to the NFL Championship. Lombardi is credited for switching Frank Gifford from defense to offense, where he went on to a Hall-of-Fame career.

In 1958, at the age of 45, Lombardi accepted a five-year contract with the lowly Green Bay Packers, who had only won one game the year before.

Lombardi held the first ever of his notoriously intense training camps to gear up for the 1959 season.

"Dancing is a contact sport," he told his Packers, "Football is a hitting sport."

He expected obedience, dedication and 110 percent effort from each man, but he also made a promise to them: If they obeyed his rules and used his method, they would be a championship team.

Three years later, that promise became a reality. At Lambeau Field in Green Bay on December 31, 1961, Vince watched proudly as the Packers defeated the New York Giants 37-0 for the National Football League championship.

The year before, the Giants had made an attempt to hire him back as head coach, but he had declined. Vince went on to lead the Packers to five NFL Championships, including the first two Super Bowls.

He retired from coaching after the second Super Bowl, staying on as the Packers' GM. But he got the coaching itch again a year later. He left Green Bay to coach the Washington Redskins, leading them to their first winning season in 14 years.

Unfortunately, the next summer, he was diagnosed with cancer, which rapidly spread and took his life on September 3, 1970, at the age of 57. His funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NY was attended by over 3500 people.

A week after his death, the NFL's Super Bowl trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor. Lombardi was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at its next induction ceremony in 1971.

In addition to Lombardi's contributions to the history of professional football, Lombardi is legendary for his coaching philosophy and motivational skills. Many of Lombardi's speeches continue to be quoted frequently today. Lombardi's players were wholeheartedly devoted to him, and his emphasis on hard work and dedication endeared him to millions who admired his values.

Lombardi is also credited with introducing the concept of zone blocking to the NFL. The line would block as a unit, instead of individually man-on-man. The running back then was expected to run toward any hole that was created. Lombardi referred to this as "running to daylight."

Vince helped the men he coached succeed to the best of their abilities. He brought them pride and victory, and his legacy of perseverance, hard work, and dedication has made him one of the most admired and well respected coaches in the history of all sports.

#3: Bart Starr - A Leader of Men

MY COMMENTS: Bart Starr was the first person I ever idolized. “Bart the Cool” never seemed to sweat. An incredibly nice man, his on-the-field persona was described by teammates as steely. He was the ultimate field general, managing his troops and leading them to victory.

Bart led the Packers to five NFL Championships, including three straight. It was the first and last time it’s been done. Bart chooses to wear the ring from that third consecutive championship (SB II), because Vince Lombardi told him at the time that it would never happen again.

MINI-BIO: Bryan Bartlett Starr was born January 9, 1934 in Montgomery, Ala. He grew up in a Military family, and was raised in a strict disciplinarian environment. He credits his parents with molding his personality and teaching him the merits of hard work.

His high school coach did not think Starr could be an effective quarterback because he was so quiet and shy. But Starr’s dedication and work ethic swayed him over. Starr’s dream was to play football at the University of Kentucky, for Paul “Bear” Bryant.

However, his parents wanted him to stay closer to home, so he accepted a scholarship from the University of Alabama. Ironically, a year after Starr graduated, Bear Bryant would come to Alabama and become a coaching legend.

Bart married his high school sweetheart during his sophomore year at Alabama, forfeiting his scholarship money. Bart had an unspectacular career at Alabama, missing significant time due to injuries.

As a result, he was not highly sought after by NFL teams. He was drafted in the 17th round of the 1956 NFL draft by the Green bay Packers. For the next few seasons, he would be a backup quarterback and part-time starter, splitting time with Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. The Packers did not have much success in those years.

Then along came a coach named Vince Lombardi, who immediately saw something in Bart Starr that others had not. Most people thought Lombardi was crazy for making Bart the starting quarterback. But Lombardi knew that Starr was like him. He would out-work, out-think and eventually defeat the competition, even if he was not as talented.

Starr would become the ultimate leader of men. He was the military commander leading his troops into battle. His success was staggering.

With Starr at quarterback the Packers went on to win six division crowns, five NFL championships, and two Super Bowls.

From 1960-67, the Packers were 62-24-4 under Starr. The only playoff game Starr ever lost with the Packers was his first, the 1960 NFL Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. After that, Starr was a perfect 9-0 in postseason play.

Starr was the NFL Player of the Year in 1966 and Super Bowl MVP in 1967 and 1968, in Super Bowls I and II.

Starr retired in 1972, and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. He was the Packers’ head coach from 1975 – 1984, but did not enjoy the same level of success as a coach.

Starr is still a regular at Packers Alumni days, and now devotes much of his time to charitable organizations.

#4: Brett Favre – Larger than Life

MY COMMENTS: For me, Brett Favre is all about overcoming adversity. He has had many difficult challenges in his life, met them head on, and came out victorious.

Although there have been many magical moments for Brett, the one that still gives me goosebumps is that Monday Night game versus Oakland after his father had just passed away. What he accomplished that night was incredible, because it really was like a dream.

The balls he threw up into double and triple coverage had no right being caught, yet the Packers receivers were caught up in the surreal feel of that evening, and they truly ran through a brick wall to catch those balls.

Same for the rest of the Brett’s Packer teammates. They were used to Brett carrying them on his shoulders, but that night, they carried Brett and made it special for him. That night, Brett Favre was truly “larger than life”, or death, for that matter.

MINI-BIO: Brett Lorenzo Favre was born in Kiln, Mississippi, a tiny town with no paved roads and not a single stoplight. Sports were always a big part of his life. Brett’s father Irvin taught his boys mental and physical toughness.

When he was four years old, he got hit in the head with a baseball bat and didn’t even cry.

“I used to cry when I’d get a whuppin’. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to get another one. So I would cry to fool people," Breet said, talking about his childhood.

In high school, Brett starred in baseball and football, but the football coach (his Dad) didn’t like to throw the ball much. As a result, Brett received only one football scholarship offer, from Southern Mississippi.

The coaches at Southern Miss wanted to make him a defensive back, but Brett insisted on competing at quarterback. He entered his freshman year as the seventh string quarterback. By the start of the season, he was the backup.

He came in to the third game of the year at halftime, and led his team to a come-from-behind victory with two touchdown passes. This despite having a massive hangover and vomiting during pre-game warmups. Southern Miss had found their new quarterback.

During the summer before his senior year, Brett was involved in a near-fatal car crash where he flipped his car three times. Doctors removed 30 inches of his small intestine and miraculously, he suited up for the season-opener only six weeks later.

He proceeded to lead Southern Miss to a come-from-behind victory over Alabama.

Alabama coachGene Stallings said, "You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."

Favre was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons. After a year with little playing time, Ron Wolf traded a Packer No. 1 pick to Atlanta for Brett. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Green Bay legend of Brett Favre was born. In the third game of the season, Brett came in for an injured Don Majkowski and was having a horrible game. Among other things, he fumbled four times. But that was all forgotten when he led the offense down the field for a game-winning touchdown drive.

The following week he was the starter and never missed another start in his career.

A brief list of some of his accomplishments:

Favre is the first player to win the AP MVP three times (1995–97) in NFL history, and led the Packers to seven division championships (1995,1996,1997,2002,2003,2004, and 2007), four NFC Championship Games(1995, 1996, 1997, and 2007), two NFC Championships (1996 and 1997), and one Super Bowl championship (XXXI).

He holds a number of NFL records including: most career touchdown passes (464), most career passing yards (65,127), most career pass completions (5,720), most career pass attempts (9,280), most career interceptions thrown (310), most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks (269; 291 total starts including playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (169)

Other Packer greats that were considered:

Don Hutson
Reggie White
Paul Hornung
Forest Gregg
Fuzzy Thurston
Jerry Kramer
Ray Nitschke
Willie Davis
Mike Holmgren

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Al Harris is staying with the Packers: Should he be?

Al Harris is returning to Green Bay for his sixth season with the Packers.

The news became official a few weeks ago when Packers GM Ted Thompson informed Harris that the Pack would pick up his $1.2 million roster bonus and play him in 2009.

The question is, should he be?

With the Packers moving away from Bob Sander's bump-and-run or bust defense, will Harris be able to change from the only way he knows how to play? I'm skeptical. There were times last season (mostly 3rd-and-longs) when Sanders actually called for zone coverage. It wasn't pretty.

Harris, for one, looked very confused at those times. He seemed to not know which way to turn, and a lot of opposing receivers found big openings between Harris and the safeties.

This resulted in too many first downs for opposing teams on 3rd-and-longs. The Packers' defense struggled with third downs plays all year, and this was one of the reasons.

With the Packer defense not being able to get off the field on third downs, they wore down towards the end of games and we all know the disastrous results. But back to Al Harris.

I'm not saying the defense's problems were his fault. But what I am saying is the times I saw Harris asked to play zone, he couldn't handle it. Line him up face to face with a receiver in man coverage, and he will do well.

When he has to think about more than the man in front of him, things start to fall apart.

Now it's certainly possible the new coaches can teach Harris how to play a different style, but with 11 years in the league—well, you know what they say about old dogs.

Midway through last season, Harris publicly wondered aloud whether the Packers intended to bring him back, assuming they’d begin a youth movement.

But after Harris returned from a career-threatening spleen injury and completed the season in a strong fashion, Thompson believes Harris still has a lot to contribute to the franchise:

“This is a guy that I don’t see a lot of drop-off,” Thompson said. “He’s still a good player and we think he’s going to be a good player again this year. We’re not having a big youth movement.”

That being said, wouldn't this have been the perfect time to trade him? He made his first Pro Bowl outright in 2007, and participated this year after other players dropped out. At age 34, his value is not going to go up next year.

If you believe that Tramon Williams did a very good job when Harris was hurt (as I do), why not consider trading Harris? I don't know what kind of value you could expect, but if we could get a late second rounder or early third, I would do it and use the pick to draft a cornerback.

Harris' contract will be up after the 2009 season, so there's a good chance he leaves via free agency and we get nothing for him. Does this make sense, or am I crazy?