Wednesday, May 19, 2004

It was news on ESPN.com that QB Kerry Collins cancelled his planned visit with the Packers, but it was surprising Collins agreed to come and visit in the first place. If Collins was willing to be the backup quarterback and be paid like a backup quarterback, he would still be on the roster for the New York Giants. Collins and QB Tim Couch want exactly the same thing, to be a big money starting quarterback, and both have been surprised that no one is willing to pay big money for a quarterback prone to making turnovers. Its possible that both Couch and Collins remain free agents until the preseason starts, waiting for a preseason injury or ineffectiveness to open the door to a starting job. But they might be better off deciding before June 1, when QB Kurt Warner becomes a free agent.

Jsonline.com reported that CB Mike McKenzie hired Drew Rosenhaus as his fifth agent in five years. Rosenhaus has developed a reputation as one of the more aggressive agents in the NFL, so this is not a good sign that the Packers can expect McKenzie to return. Rosenhaus told jsonline.com that he was targeting teams with needs at cornerback, but they have to return equal value back to the Packers. That is a short list, when you consider salary cap considerations.

All of Rosenhaus's clients have ties to Florida, McKenzie lives there in the offseason, so I started with Jacksonville. They have the salary cap room, they are rebuilding their secondary, and they could trade disgruntled SS Donovan Darius, however, Darius' availability has been widely known in the NFL and if the Packers had really wanted Darius, they probably could have traded for him before now.

Miami has the salary cap room and a quality player, DE Adewale Ogunleye, that they are having trouble resigning, but no obvious need at cornerback.

San Francisco would have the salary cap room if they traded LB Julian Peterson for McKenzie, but they passed on resigning their CB Ahmad Plummer this offseason so they don't appear to be looking for a veteran corner.

Dallas might have an interest after losing CB Mario Edwards to Tampa Bay, they have the salary cap room, and Dallas is historically accurate in the trading market, but no obvious player they could trade back in return.

Some other teams: Arizona has salary cap room, but its unlikely McKenzie wants to play in Arizona; New Orleans has cap room and would probably listen to an offer, but they probably wouldn't trade anything higher than a 3rd round pick in next season's draft, similar to what they gave up for FS Tebucky Jones last season; Kansas City has salary cap room and still needs to improve their defense, but it isn't obvious what they could trade in return; Houston was interested before the draft according to jsonline.com, but they are pretty tight against the salary cap when you consider the cost of signing their rookies; Philadelphia, San Diego, and Seattle all have some salary cap room, but no other obvious reason to trade for McKenzie.

The entire NFL has known that McKenzie wanted a trade, and any sincerely interested team could have approached the Packers by this point, but apparently no one has done it. It seems unlikely that the Packers and McKenzie will find a trading partner that suits both of them.

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