A couple of Cleveland Browns made the first list of NFL players ranked by level of trade value. The list has become a staple of Bill Simmons’ NBA coverage mostly due to the fact that the NBA is like the stock market. Let’s hope that this, combined with the moving of the trade deadline doesn’t turn the NFL into the NBA with teams constantly “loading up” for playoff runs. A couple of Browns are on the list written by Bill Barnwell and footnoted by Bill Simmons.
Joe Haden makes the inaugural list even though he’s a player on the old rookie wage structure system. He comes in at #34
The scary thing is that Haden, at 23, might be better than either Webb or Flowers. Judging cornerback play is an inexact science, but Haden’s reputation is right there alongside that caliber of player. His big rookie contract guaranteed him $26 million off the bat, so he’s not exactly a bargain; he’s also likely to be subject to a four-game Adderall suspension this season. But Haden just submitted an age-23 season that was better than Darrelle Revis’s age-23 season … and Revis broke out as a superstar the following year.
Big Joe Thomas comes in at lucky #13 ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, RG3, Mike Vick and Jay Cutler.
Thomas is actually the best player on the Browns and they stink, but the problem is that the Browns have two great players — Thomas and Haden — and haven’t gone out of their way to get Barry Church from the Cowboys yet. (Sorry.) Thomas is the league’s best left tackle and, by acclamation, the league’s best offensive lineman. You think Peyton Hillis got close to 1,200 yards by himself?
Of course, Bill Simmons footnoted Joe Thomas in his often-imitated style…
The best two Browns are a cornerback and a left tackle? The lesson, as always: God hates Cleveland.
It is an entertaining list and worth the read. They not only take into account talent, but also contracts. It is an unbelievable advantage to have drafted someone after the rookie wage scale was in effect. Pay special attention to the Cam Newton vs. Matt Ryan section. If you were starting a franchise from scratch without money being an object, it’s pretty clear that there’s a debate between Ryan and Newton. With money being a factor in a salary cap league? It becomes a lot easier to grab Newton, even after only one solid year in the league.
Maybe next year Trent Richardson can be on the list too.
[Also see: Montario Hardesty: I Think I Played Well]