Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Profootballweekly.com posted that three teams have shown interest in trading for CB Mike McKenzie.

Houston. Their secondary is a work in progress, but they appear unlikely to be interested in McKenzie in any way other than as a 3rd cornerback. CB Aaron Glenn is coming back from a groin injury, but he has practiced in mini-camp and appears ready to play. CB Marcus Coleman is being moved to free safety, while rookie CB Dunta Robinson (10th player taken in 2004 draft) is the likely starter opposite Glenn. CB Kenny Wright seems settled in at 3rd cornerback after his 3 interception, 12 pass defense season in 2003. McKenzie would upgrade the cornerback position in Houston, he would likely start in 2004 while Robinson learns the position as the 3rd cornerback, but I can't imagine Houston would offer much in return for McKenzie.

Pittsburgh. McKenzie would start immediately in Pittsburgh. CB Chad Scott returns for his 8th season in Pittsburgh, but longtime cornerback CB Dewayne Washington left in free agency. Opposite Scott is 7th year CB Deshea Townsend who has only started 17 games in his career. There is very little depth at cornerback, although Pittsburgh did draft well regarded rookie cornerback Richardo Colclough in the 2nd round, who will probably have a steep learning curve after playing college ball at small Tusculum. Pittsburgh is not known for trading, but they are looking to release LB Jason Gildon and might be trying to trade Gildon for McKenzie, but the Packers wouldn't trade for a linebacker likely to be released on June 1 anyway. It seems unlikely that Pittsburgh would offer a high draft choice for McKenzie when they have made so few trades in the past.

New Orleans. New Orleans is one of the few teams in the NFL that commonly makes trades, although they are more likely to trade for a high draft choice (RB Ricky Williams for two 1st round picks, OT Kyle Turley for a 2nd round pick) than trade away a high draft choice (FS Tebucky Jones for 3rd, 4th, and 7th round picks, CB Jason Craft for a 5th round pick). New Orleans has some depth at cornerback with little experience and two veteran cornerbacks in Ashley Ambrose and Fred Thomas. New Orleans' pass defense was below average last season, and the only substantial addition was trading for reserve cornerback Craft. They also let CB Dale Carter leave in free agency, but Carter was not a factor in 2003 due to his umpteenth suspension by the league. The Packers would probably not want to trade McKenzie to New Orleans, because they both play in the NFC and New Orleans could potentially compete with the Packers for a wild card spot in 2004. New Orleans has salary cap room and would probably have no problem offering a package of middle round draft choices for McKenzie, similar to the package given up for Jones, but the Packers would be unlikely to accept that offer.

It seems likely that the Packers will wait McKenzie out rather than accepting any of the offers these teams would likely make to them.

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