Christopher Price of WEEI is confirming a previous ESPN story reporting the Patriots are interested in trading for DE Derrick Burgess in exchange for a 2010 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.
Burgess is going into a contract year, and even though he has not wined and complained about it like Anquan Boldin or Thomas Jones, it is clear he has not been particularly happy about his contract. While Burgess signed the contract when he was coming off an injury, he certainly outplayed it for the few years, and has since suffered more injuries and letdowns.
If the Raiders can get a second round pick for Burgess I think they should take it. Most on this board believe Burgess would be moved back to a nickel rusher in the Raiders DE rotation this year, which may increase his sack production, but I believe the Raiders have sufficient nickel rushing depth to trade Burgess and acquire the draft pick. With Burgess out of the rotation the Raiders could use Trevor Scott, Greyson Gunheim, Stryker Sulak, or others as nickel pass rushing specialist. This groups is very young, but they should be able to put their speed and agility to their best use pinning their ears back on passing downs. Also, to my knowledge Kalimba Edwards has not yet signed with another team and could be brought back as a nicker rusher, rather than trying to have him play RDE nearly full time as he did last season with mixed results.
Acquiring a 2nd round pick for Burgess is likely more valuable for the Raiders than letting him play out his contract and then having him walk away after this season. If the Patriots are serious about giving up that high a draft pick the Raiders should pull the trigger.
What are your thoughts on potentially trading Derrick Burgess?
Jerry McDonald wrote about this situation at his Inside the Raiders blog today:
The dilemma for the Raiders is whether to dump Burgess in a contract year, when he could be motivated to produce a big season to drive up his value in free agency. If the Raiders were to reduce his snaps and use him as a situational pass rusher, he could be of some value.
The other side is that Burgess’ stats have dwindled in each of his four years in Oakland, going from 16 sacks to 11 to 8 to 3.5, and that 2008 draft pick Trevor Scott could be ready to be the primary pass rusher.
Out of a 3-4 defense, the Patriots would look to use Burgess as an outside rusher.
Given Burgess’ lack of production and health issues, I’m having a hard time believing Bill Belichick would give up a second- or third-round pick to get him.
If such a pick is offered, the Raiders should take about a split-second to say yes and not worry about what Burgess does as a Patriot.
Even if Burgess were to go to New England and post 10 sacks as a part-time player, that doesn’t mean he was going to do it in Oakland, where his body language suggests he wants out.
Throughout the offseason, the Raiders have been loading up not only on speed, but on players who appear to want to be in Oakland. Burgess does not. A second- or third-round pick would be a gift.
At least one Raiders beat writer has the same view as most of us - a second round pick for Burgess is a gift and if offered the Raiders should take it.