Would you rather have something or nothing? That's an easy answer. Everybody would rather have something as opposed to nothing. And that's what the Green Bay Packers will be faced with over the next couple weeks as training camp winds down.
In fact, it's what the Milwaukee Brewers are doing right now with a couple of veteran players. They recently traded veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Chris Dickerson, a developmental player who may or may not pan out. But with the Brewers essentially out of playoff contention, they traded away Edmonds and at least got something in return, knowing the likelihood Edmonds would be back with the Brewers next year and the team would get nothing in return if he left.
The Brewers are now considering doing the same thing with Craig Counsell, getting something in return for a player who may not be back with the club next year anyway.
The Packers made two trades where they at least got something instead of nothing last season. Just as NFL teams were being required to trim rosters down to 53 players, the Packers made a deal with the Baltimore Ravens trading offensive lineman Tony Moll for safety Derrick Martin. If not for the trade, the Packers would have likely cut Moll and gotten nothing in return. But instead they got Martin, not a great defensive player by any means but one of the more valuable special teams players on the team.
In addition, the Packers traded long snapper J.J. Jansen to the Carolina Panthers in April of '09 for a conditional seventh-round draft choice in 2011. It wasn't much, but again, something is better than nothing for a player who would have just been cut instead.
If Ted Thompson is able to move a long snapper, there's reason to believe he could make a couple moves before the end of training camp this year. The Packers have arguably the most trade bait in terms of player depth they've had in years for Thompson to play "Let's Make a Deal."
The following is a breakdown of the players with at least a possibility of being traded to another team.
- Offensive lineman Daryn Colledge – Colledge provides probably the most potential value for any trading partner looking for a starting caliber offensive lineman. He's generally been a four-year starter ever since his rookie year in the league and was considered the Packers most consistent offensive lineman as recently as 2008. The Packers seem to be in good shape with current backups that include first-round draft choice Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Jason Spitz and rookie Marshall Newhouse, so they can afford to spare a lineman. Part of the reason the Packers might be reluctant to make the transition to Bulaga at left guard is to keep the trade value of Colledge as high as possible. His value only increases if there's another team that suffers an injury to a starter sometime before the end of the preseason.
- Offensive lineman Jason Spitz – The Packers may part with Jason Spitz for the right price, but he seems a less likely trade candidate than Colledge because of Spitz's ability to play all three interior offensive line positions. Plus, teams might be scared away by his back injury last season. A lot of it depends on what the potential trading partner wants. If they want Spitz and not Colledge, the Packers might be forced to listen to their offer, especially if it's in return for an outside linebacker where the Packers are especially thin.
- Defensive back Jarrett Bush – Some may wonder any team would be interested in the object of Packers fans' ridicule everywhere. Remember that during the 2009 offseason that the Tennessee Titans signed Bush to an offer sheet before the Packers decided to match it. The fact is, he's a pretty decent special teams player when he's not committing penalties. And he's a having himself a good training camp. Teams can watch tape of the Packers first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns and watch the isolated shot of Bush and Derrick Martin jamming a Browns gunner on punt coverage to a near standstill. And then they can watch him make two tackles on special teams and break up a pass on defense. Combine all that with the experience Bush brings as both a cornerback and safety and he could net a late round draft choice.
- John Kuhn – Like Bush, Kuhn received interest from another NFL team when he made a visit to the Cincinnati Bengals as a restricted free agent during the '09 offseason. Kuhn didn't receive an offer, but it shows there's at least curiosity in his services. The Packers don't figure to keep three fullbacks this season, so they would almost certainly be willing to listen to teams interested in one of them.
- Fullback Korey Hall – Once again, it depends on who the trading partner wants. If they want Hall and not Kuhn, the Packers would have to at least consider it. Hall brings to the table decent receiving skills and he's a pretty good special teams player. One of the fullbacks are likely to be cut otherwise, so even a late-round draft choice would be better than the nothing they'll get in return if they cut a player.
- Fullback Quinn Johnson – Johnson's biggest asset is his ability to lead block. For teams that value a good lead blocker, Johnson may be more coveted than either Kuhn or Hall. And seeing as Johnson is behind both Kuhn and Hall on the depth chart on both offense and special teams, the Packers probably wouldn't mind trading him.
- Donald Lee – With Jermichael Finley firmly entrenched as the starter at tight end, Donald Lee isn't nearly as valuable to the Packers as he was a season or two ago. Should another team suffer an injury at tight end, the Packers be willing to oblige for a player whose salary they might be willing to strike off their books. Lee has had a very solid training camp and showing better receiving skills than he did a year ago. To that extent, the Packers may not be willing to make such a move.
- Spencer Havner – The only other tight end the Packers might be able to trade is Havner, but even that seems a remote possibility. They probably won't be willing to part with rookie Andrew Quarless and other teams would probably take their chances that they could get Tom Crabtree on waivers. So if teams want to take a chance on a tight end who scored four touchdowns a year ago, it might only take a seventh-round draft choice to get him.
- Desmond Bishop – There's been talk about trading Bishop in the past, but any potential deal would probably have to blow the Packers away. With Brandon Chillar making the move to outside linebacker, the Packers don't have much depth on the inside and probably won't be willing to part with Bishop. Besides, there's a possibility he will be playing a much larger role this season in nickel packages.
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