July 22, 2014

Two Cleveland Browns highlight Grantland’s “NFL Trade Value Rankings”

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]

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Never liked Bill Simmons. It gets even worse if you hear him talking in his whinny a** voice.

  • mgbode

    hahahaha. I actually liked Simmons (pre-Boston gloating days. once the Pats then Sox then C’s started winning championships, it was all downfield).

    but, I had to stop reading him when I heard him speak. man, that’s an annoying voice. even accounting for being from Boston it’s annoying.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Always trying to invent “systems” and “forecasts” or whatever else you want to call it for various sports. I love how Simmons comes down to Thomas and Haden being this teams best two players. Like anyone who remotely follows football or this team couldn’t tell you the same thing. I’d be more impressed with these things if they told you ahead of time which players would be the next great thing not after.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The accents are the only thing bad about Boston sports well that’s not true just about everything was with those accents. I still cringe when I hear it thank God for the sports and all of those championships. It made life much easier.

  • mgbode

    Barnwell wrote the article. Not Simmons (he just used Simmons template).

    But, he actually mentions OL, DTs, and elite players on cruddy teams, which means his list is still better than Peter King’s :)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Of the 50 players covered there was only 1 I wasn’t familiar with and that was #37 NaVorro Brown. This stuff can be fun for what it is but that’s about all IMO. I mean I love fantasy football but there’s a reason it’s called fantasy football.

  • mgbode

    Navarro Bowmann was awesome last year. Speaking of fantasy, he was the first IDP player I picked up for my team :)

  • Dee P

    Funniest part to me of this is that Thomas is known around the league as an “ok” run blocker, and a superior pass blocker….yet the writers try to sound intelligent by mentioning the Hillis season.

  • God

    Hey Bill, I don’t hate Cleveland. It’s you who I’m not that fond of.