Which Teams Would be Interested in Trading for Larry Johnson?

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So far this week at Arrowhead Pride, it's been Larry Johnson, Larry Johnson and more Larry Johnson. If you're weren't sick of the guy already, this past week of coverage may have put you overboard.

So naturally, what do you we have for you? Another post on Larry Johnson!

Hate us, yet?

Anyway, we've all been talking about what the Kansas City Chiefs' recent victory in their salary grievance case means for LJ's future. Some want Larry to stay in KC; others would cut him this second without getting anything in exchange.

Before we get into what teams may possibly be interested in trading for Larry Johnson, I want to preface this post with one point. This is not a post suggesting that Larry should be traded. It's simply examining the options out there should a trade come up for discussion. I didn't make that clear in yesterday's post about what Larry's trade value is. These are hypotheticals if a trade does indeed go down.

Both Primetime and I, despite our annoyance with Larry, still think the best option is to run his butt into the ground and max out any value the Chiefs can get. That is, if they can't find a trade suitor.

Yesterday, most of us put Larry Johnson's market value between a 3rd and 5th round pick. What teams may or may not (emphasis on may) be interested? Jump over to see who were talking about.

Arizona Cardinals (Revenge of the Birds)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 31 (31)   Castille, Tim 
Round 2, Pick 31 (63)  Green, Justin 
Round 3, Pick 31 (95)  Hightower, Tim 
Round 4, Pick 31 (131)  James, Edgerrin 
Round 5, Pick 31 (167)  Kreider, Dan 
Round 6, Pick 31 (204)  Vincent, Chris 
Round 7, Pick 31 (240)  Wright, Jason 
Round 7, Pick 45 (254) 

 

A trade for Larry Johnson is a possibility but Edgerrin James and LJ aren't that different in at this point in their careers.  James will be 31 at the start of the 2009 season and LJ will be 29.

It's certainly a possibility, though I would put the Cardinals likely interest as moderate, at best.  LJ wouldn't be a significant upgrade over James and Tim Hightower presents a solid option in 2009.

Cincinnati Bengals (Cincy Jungle)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 6 (6)   Benson, Cedric
Round 2, Pick 6 (38)  Dorsey, DeDe
Round 3, Pick 6 (70)  Johnson, James
Round 3, Pick 34 (98)  Perry, Chris
Round 4, Pick 6 (106)  Runnels, J.D.
Round 5, Pick 6 (142)  Watson, Kenny
Round 6, Pick 6 (179) 
Round 6, Pick 36 (209)
Round 7, Pick 6 (215) 
Round 7, Pick 40 (249)
Round 7, Pick 43 (252) 

 

The Bengals have been working out Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno so it's likely that they're at least interested in adding some talent at the RB position.  Cedric Benson had a decent season in 12 games of work but they still lack some depth there.

I would place the Bengals interest slightly above the Cardinals because LJ would immediately become the best option on the roster.

Those five 6th and 7th round draft picks probably wouldn't interest the Chiefs enough but two 3rd rounders give the Bengals enough firepower to assuredly get a deal done.

Baltimore Ravens (Baltimore Beatdown)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 26 (26)   Daniels, P.J. 
Round 2, Pick 25 (57)  Lawrence, Matt 
Round 3, Pick 24 (88)  McClain, Le'Ron 
Round 4, Pick 23 (123)  McGahee, Willis 
Round 5, Pick 26 (162)  Parmele, Jalen 
Round 6, Pick 25 (198) Rice, Ray 

Is Willis McGahee sticking around? The Ravens just picked up Ray Rice but Johnson could be a a replacement for McGahee, whose slated to hit FA next season. 

It would probably be in the Ravens best interest to keep McGahee this season because he'll probably be trying to increase his value on the open market so it's unlikely the Ravens would add LJ and carry both on their roster.

The interest level for the Ravens would be low.

Cleveland Browns (Dawgs by Nature)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 5 (5)   Ali, Charles 
Round 2, Pick 4 (36)  Harrison, Jerome 
Round 2, Pick 18 (50)  Herron, Noah 
Round 4, Pick 4 (104)  Lewis, Jamal 
Round 6, Pick 4 (177) Patrick, Allen 

Thomas, Marcus 

Vickers, Lawrence 

 

Jamal Lewis probably won't be in Cleveland past this season. He's only a few months older than LJ so a trade wouldn't accomplish much in terms of getting younger (which is the main reason Lewis would be gone after this season).

The Browns interest level would likely be higher than the Ravens but not as much as the Cardinals or Bengals.

With only two picks after the first day, the biggest question is if the Browns will continue the Phil Savage way and trade draft picks.

Dallas Cowboys (Blogging the Boys)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 2, Pick 19 (51)   Anderson, Deon 
Round 3, Pick 5 (69)  Barber, Marion 
Round 4, Pick 1 (101)  Choice, Tashard 
Round 4, Pick 17 (117)  Coleman, Alonzo 
Round 5, Pick 20 (156)  Crosslin, Julius 
Round 5, Pick 30 (166)  Jones, Felix 
Round 5, Pick 36 (172) 
Round 6, Pick 24 (197)
Round 6, Pick 35 (208)
Round 7, Pick 1 (210) 
Round 7, Pick 18 (227)

 

Never count the Cowboys out but with Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, RB is a minor need.  They did lose Julius Jones last year who was a first and second down back before Barber broke loose.

The Cowboys interest is difficult to gauge but I still wouldn't place it above the Cardinals or Bengals.

Five 4th and 5th round picks is enough wiggle room to get a deal done with the Chiefs without hampering the rest of the draft.

Denver Broncos (Mile High Report)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 12 (12)   Young, Selvin
Round 1, Pick 18 (18)  Buckhalter, Correll 
Round 2, Pick 16 (48)  Hall, Andre 
Round 3, Pick 15 (79)  Hillis, Peyton 
Round 3, Pick 20 (84) Jordan, LaMont 
Round 4, Pick 14 (114)  Pinnock, Andrew 
Round 5, Pick 13 (149)  Torain, Ryan 
Round 6, Pick 12 (185) 
Round 7, Pick 16 (225) 
Round 7, Pick 26 (235)

 

The Broncos put 7 RBs on IR last season so they're definitely in the market even after adding Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington in FA. 

But do you really expect the Chiefs to send LJ to Denver?  Not me. Besides, the Broncos can get away with a Buckhalter/LaMont Jordan combo next season.

But if they wanted to do it, those two 3rd round picks are likely enough ammo to get a deal done.

Houston Texans (Battle Red Blog)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 15 (15)   Brown, Chris 
Round 2, Pick 14 (46)  Leach, Vonta 
Round 3, Pick 13 (77)  Moats, Ryan 
Round 4, Pick 12 (112)  Sapp, Cecil 
Round 4, Pick 22 (122)  Slaton, Steve 
Round 5, Pick 16 (152) 
Round 6, Pick 15 (188) 
Round 7, Pick 14 (223)

 

Ahman Green has already approached the end of the line in Houston so they could be interested in adding someone to complement swift Steve Slaton.  However, LJ's running style isn't the best fit for the zone blocking scheme Gary Kubiak runs in Houston. 

Still, Kubiak remembers how well LJ ran over Denver when he was with the Broncos so it remains a possibility.  The interest level would be low.

Indianapolis Colts (Stampede Blue)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 27 (27)   Addai, Joseph 
Round 2, Pick 29 (61)  Ball, Lance 
Round 3, Pick 28 (92)  Hart, Mike 
Round 4, Pick 27 (127)  Simpson, Chad 
Round 4, Pick 36 (136) 
Round 5, Pick 29 (165) 
Round 6, Pick 28 (201) 
Round 7, Pick 27 (236)

 

They're listed as possibly interested because RB could be construed as a need for them. However, LJ doesn't pass block well and the Colts are a pass heavy team.  LJ wouldn't present a major upgrade with their style of play. 

The interest level would be very low.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Big Cat Country)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 8 (8)   Cotrone, Anthony 
Round 2, Pick 7 (39)  Jones, Greg 
Round 3, Pick 8 (72)  Jones-Drew, Maurice 
Round 4, Pick 7 (107)  Owens, Montell 
Round 5, Pick 8 (144)  Pearman, Alvin 
Round 6, Pick 7 (180)  Washington, Chauncey 
Round 7, Pick 23 (232) 
Round 7, Pick 41 (250) 
Round 7, Pick 44 (253) 

 

They lost Fred Taylor to FA so LJ could play a role in extending the life of Maurice Jones-Drew who has yet to be the feature guy in the Jags offense.

Though there haven't been any reports indicating any interest, I would suspect the Jaguars would be interested in adding a veteran back like Johnson.  Remember, this team won 11 games just two seasons ago so they may be in a "win-now" mode which could benefit someone like LJ in the latter stages of his career.

New England Patriots (Pats Pulpit)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 23 (23)   Faulk, Kevin 
Round 2, Pick 2 (34)  Green-Ellis, BenJarvus 
Round 2, Pick 15 (47)  Maroney, Laurence 
Round 2, Pick 26 (58)  Morris, Sammy 
Round 3, Pick 25 (89)  Taylor, Fred
Round 3, Pick 33 (97)
Round 4, Pick 24 (124) 
Round 5, Pick 34 (170) 
Round 6, Pick 26 (199) 
Round 6, Pick 34 (207)
Round 7, Pick 25 (234)

 

The Pats should be interested in a player like LJ.  They've demonstrated an ability to A) control "problem children" (Randy Moss) and B) take in veterans seemingly on the way down.

NE is likely to continue with a RB by committee approach next year according to Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe but expect there to be some interest from New England should Johnson become available.  They won't pay top dollar which wouldn't make it a #1 landing spot for LJ but expect there still to be some moderate interest.

New Orleans Saints (Canal Street Chronicles)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 14 (14)   Barnes, Darian 
Round 4, Pick 16 (116)  Bell, Mike 
Round 4, Pick 18 (118)  Bush, Reggie 
Round 7, Pick 13 (222) Evans, Heath 

Hamilton, Lynell 

Houser, Kevin 

Sobomehin, Olaniyi 

Stecker, Aaron 

Thomas, Pierre 

 

Deuce McAllister is an UFA and was a similar type of back to LJ. Deuce has a more significant injury history and LJ does represent an upgrade at this spot. 

Though recent reports say the Saints are ready for Reggie Bush to be "the guy", it's not really feasible to expect him to carry the full load by himself.

I would expect the Saints to be as interested in LJ as the Cardinals or Bengals.  The real question is do they have the ammo to initiate a trade like this with only four draft picks?

Philadelphia Eagles (Bleeding Green Nation)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 21 (21)   Booker, Lorenzo 
Round 1, Pick 28 (28) Buckley, Eldra 
Round 2, Pick 21 (53)  Eckel, Kyle 
Round 3, Pick 21 (85)  Weaver, Leonard 
Round 4, Pick 21 (121)  Westbrook, Brian 
Round 5, Pick 5 (141)
Round 5, Pick 17 (153)
Round 5, Pick 21 (157) 
Round 5, Pick 23 (159)
Round 6, Pick 21 (194) 
Round 6, Pick 22 (195)
Round 7, Pick 21 (230)

 

Absolutely a need.  Brian Westbrook is the only proven commodity on this list. 

An LJ signing would A) help extend the career of Westbrook by splitting carries with him and B) give another weapon in the offense for Donovan McNabb.  Remember, this team made it to the NFC Championship game last season so they're certainly interested in a "one final push" scenario before McNabb moves on.

I would place their interest in LJ at the top of the list especially since they have four 5th round picks to play around with.

Seattle Seahawks (Field Gulls)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 4 (4)   Duckett, T.J. 
Round 2, Pick 5 (37)  Forsett, Justin 
Round 3, Pick 4 (68)  Jones, Julius 
Round 4, Pick 5 (105)  Schmitt, Owen 
Round 5, Pick 1 (137) 
Round 6, Pick 5 (178) 
Round 7, Pick 4 (213) 
Round 7, Pick 36 (245) 
Round 7, Pick 38 (247) 
Round 7, Pick 39 (248) 

 

RB is a need but not a major one (right now) compared to other needs across the board for Seattle.

All four RBs listed above were acquired within the last year by the Seahawks.  They should have an interest in LJ but likely wouldn't be major players putting their interest level at low.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Buc 'Em)

Draft Picks Current RBs
Round 1, Pick 19 (19)   Askew, B.J. 
Round 3, Pick 17 (81)  Cook, Jameel 
Round 4, Pick 20 (120)  Graham, Earnest 
Round 5, Pick 19 (155)  Smith, Clifton 
Round 6, Pick 18 (191)  Storer, Byron 
Round 7, Pick 8 (217)  Ward, Derrick 
Round 7, Pick 20 (229)  Williams, Cadillac 
Round 7, Pick 24 (233)

 

I'm not sure if I would call this a need or an area of interest.  Earnest Graham, Derrick Ward and a rehabilitated (really?) Cadillac Williams are likely all they'll take into the 2009 season. 

Ward just signed a $17 million deal on March 2nd so that likely puts their interest in LJ at a minimum.

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