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    Categories: NFL

AJ McCarron a better trade target than Garoppolo?

A bit of cozy, impromptu interview stole viewers’ hearts on NFL Network Sunday when New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick visited and and cheap jerseys in the booth during the combine telecast and Belichick was connected via headset with former player Willie McGinest.

“What we do with a lot of our carryover (salary-cap) room is we look at guys that are coming up into the future and we normally start those discussions in the summertime and we’ll see if we can get some things done in advance with any of the players who are coming up, whether that’s Tyler (Eifert) or (Kevin) Zeitler or (Dre) Kirkpatrick or Gio (Bernard) or whoever.

“We do reserve a portion of our carryover room just for that and so we can minimize the number of (unrestricted free agents) that we have. We’ve got a large number this year and it’s going to be a challenge for us. We’ll be proactive with some of the young players that will be coming up in the next year or two.”

Revis may need to wait for his recent legal troubles to play out before attracting interest, but even then there’s an open question of whether he’ll want to play. The Jets owe Revis $6 million guaranteed in 2017 on the disastrous, sentimental contract they signed him to in 2016. The contract has offset language in it according to ProFootballTalk, which means Revis would need to find a team willing to pay him more than $6 million or he will be earning the same amount of money whether he plays or not. (The Jets will root for Revis to get a job, since then they will be on the hook for less money if he signs elsewhere.)

The Chiefs cut Charles because it didn’t make financial sense to pay him more than $6 million when they had Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West in house. But it was hard not to draw a connection between Charles’ departure and Eric Berry’s  jersey new market-setting contract for safeties. I’ve read criticism that the Chiefs paid Berry more than they had to when they handed him more than $40 million in guarantees, but that’s silly logic. Safeties in today’s NFL are worth as much as top-shelf cornerbacks. The 28-year-old would have made even more money if he had hit the open market, and there comes a point when teams should be fair with core players they truly value as leaders.

Throughout last offseason, coach revealed in January, no team reached out to inquire as to McCarron’s availability. Were the Bengals to engage in 2016 trade talks, they would have demanded a first-round draft pick in any compensation package, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week.

Lewis was reluctant to deal McCarron at the time, he explained, “because he’s exactly what we look for to be a replacement quarterback if we needed it.”

Although McCarron never got off the bench in 2016, director of player personnel insisted late last month that Dalton’s backup has become “an extremely valuable piece of our team.”

Peterson landed at No. 16 on the list, while Charles is at No. 47. The ranking is created by averaging the ranks of Chris Wesseling and myself. Wess was more optimistic about the prospects of both players, especially Charles. In a best-case scenario, Charles figures to be a quality role player. That puts him behind guys like LeGarrette Blount in my mind. Peterson has a higher ceiling. He’s defied injury and age expectations before and could still add a lot of juice to a team looking for early-down help. Wesseling did a great job putting together landing spots for Peterson. If Peterson doesn’t return to Minnesota, Tampa Bay makes a lot of sense.

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