The San Francisco 49ers look poised to do some serious damage in this off-season.
They have traded away 2005 Number One Draft pick Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in a deal that left everyone astounded. The Chiefs gave up the 34th pick in this years draft, plus a conditional pick in next years draft. This is now a 3rd round pick but could rise to another 2nd rounder based on Smith's performance for his new team.
This was a fantastic bit of business for the 49ers. They now essentially have another first round pick to utilise and now have a total of 15 picks in the 7 rounds of this years Draft. There's no doubt the Chiefs overpaid for Smith, a QuarterBack who has struggled mightily during his time in the NFL. The last two seasons have been far more positive for Smith and some would deem him unfortunate to lose his starting spot due to a concussion. The Chiefs, sensing there wasn't a Signal Caller worth taking with the first pick this year, moved the 34th pick for Smith instead of drafting a Matt Barkley with it.
So, with all these picks the 49ers are poised to make a move themselves. They could use their multitude of picks to move up in the draft if somebody takes their fancy, or move to trade for a difference maker should the opportunity present itself. This is an ideal scenario for the 49ers to be in as they already have a team that is primed for another Super Bowl run this season. They don't have a lot of holes, a dominant defense and a faced paced offense with a dual threat QuarterBack will ensure they won't be far away next season too.
There has been rumours circulating around the NFL that the 49ers have identified two players that they will be looking to trade for between now and the start of Organised Team Activities. The two players mentioned should be striking fear into the hearts of every Head Coach in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Percy Harvin is one. The other is New York Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Darrelle Revis is widely considered to be the best man-coverage corner in the NFL. He covers the opposition teams best receiver every week and the very best have struggled to make an impact against him. Revis has voiced his displeasure with his contract this off-season and is looking for a long term deal that would make him one of the highest paid players in the League. The Jets, restricted by their cap space, seem either reluctant or unable to cater to Revis' demands and have reportedly put him on the trading block. The deal Revis is reportedly looking for is in the region of $16 million (£10.54m) a year, making him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
If the 49ers were to pursue this deal, the Jets would require a Kings Ransom to let go of their prized possession. Certainly their top 2 picks in this years draft and possibly their 2nd round pick next year, and even that might not be enough. They do need some help in their secondary as it's one of their few weak points of their team. I have mocked corner Jonathan Banks to them in my mock draft but getting Revis would be astonishing. Already one of the best run defenses in the league, with Revis covering the opponents best receiver one-on-one it would allow more blitz packages and make the 9ers defense the most feared in the entire league.
There are some things to consider if they are looking into this deal. First, Revis is recovering from a torn ACL injury that ended his season in September. These are notoriously hard to come back from but all indications point to Revis making a full recovery. There would be reservations about giving up so much for Revis if his physical detects otherwise. The other would be his contract. Revis is in the last year of his deal and as stated previously, is looking for an extension. Whether the 49ers could cater to his demands when they have contracts of their own to renew (Michael Crabtree) is up for debate. Would it be worth all the assets it would take to get Revis just for a one year rental? That's for the 49ers to decide, but it all seems a bit excessive with no long term deal is in place.
Percy Harvin would be less expensive. The dynamic Minnesota Vikings receiver was an early MVP candidate last season, producing sensational numbers for the over-achieving Vikings. Harvin's season was also cut short due to injury. Harvin tearing ligaments in his ankle, an injury he was unable to play through.
Harvin has seemed unhappy at the Vikings for a couple of years now. He voiced his displeasure at the direction the franchise was going in last off-season and requested a trade. He later rescinded this request after talks with head coach Leslie Frazier and star Running Back Adrian Peterson. Despite the Vikings surprising everyone by making the Playoffs Harvin has again stated that he wishes to be traded. He is in the last year of his Rookie Deal and is looking for a deal in the region of $9 million (£5.93m) a year.
The 49ers could likely get Harvin for the 34th pick and a mid-round pick (4th/5th round) in this years draft. Harvin is a dynamic playmaker who is equally adept as th X receiver or in the slot. He is also a threat in the running game and is a sensational kick-returner, although the 9ers already have Ted Ginn Jnr for those duties. If they were to acquire Harvin, they would possess one of the most devastating offenses in the League. Pairing Harvin with Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Frank Gore and LaMichael James would simply give opposing defenses too many headaches.
Much like Revis, Harvin's contract would be a cause for concern. In these tight Salary Cap times they may be reluctant to give Harvin what he is seeking. He also has some injury concerns of his own to consider. Harvin is prone to crippling migraines that have sidelined him numerous times over his career. Harvin has had them most of his life and recent reports suggest he has finally got to the route of the problem. This would have to be fully evaluated if the 49ers are to make a move on the talented receiver.
So, two moves that could change the dynamic of the 49ers and indeed the NFL. They would be instant favourites if they were to acquire one of these trades. If they were to somehow get both, then they would be far and away the best team in the league.
That may be unlikely, but these are exciting times for 49ers fans as they look to get their first Championship since 1994. A big off-season is no doubt awaiting them.
Watch this space...
Dean Jones: Follow me on Twitter @DeanJones_