Could Wilson Get Traded?
3/23 - Update -- TRADE PARAMETERS -- According to Giants101, the Broncos and Giants are close on the parameters of a deal. The story says the Broncos offered Wilson, and the #21 pick to the Giants for DE Justin Tuck, the #20 pick and the Giants 4th Round Pick. The Giants would like the offer "toned down". Thanks to WABronco for the link!
3/22 - Update -- WILSON'S AGENT SPEAKS -- Peter Schaffer, Al Wilson's Denver-based agent has confirmed reports that the Broncos are shopping the 4-time Pro Bowler. Said Schaffer --
"It's a little premature. There are a number of teams that are interested in Al - Al is a player who is definitely in high demand - but no decision has been made even whether Al will be traded, there's a number of moving parts. We're just going to take it one move at a time.
As for Wilson's feelings on the matter, Schaffer told the AP --
"Al Wilson is the consummate professional. He understands the business side of the game. He also understands the Broncos have treated him eminently fairly throughout the course of his career, there's a business side of it. He certainly has nothing but admiration and respect for the fans of Denver and the Broncos organization. He's had a wonderful run here - and I'm not by any means saying that run is over. It may continue."
Those comments seem to reaffirm my position. Remember a couple of years ago. The Broncos allowed Trvor Pryce to field trade offers before he agreed to a contract restructuring. That restructure essentially became a 1 year deal that allowed Pryce to become a free agent after the 2005 season(He was due a huge roster bonus last spring that the Broncos had no intention of awarding). I could see a similar scenario unfolding with Wilson. Stay tuned!
Check it out from the Giants point of view over at BigBlueView, our NY Giants blog!
Adam Schefter needs to catch up. On March 7, I asked the question that is still on everyone's mind -- Is Al Wilson on the trading block? It appears as the answer is a resounding yes(we knew that, didn't we?) and according to NFL.com and our old buddy Adam Schefter, the Broncos are close to moving the Pro Bowl Linebacker to the New York Giants, though no word has come out as to what the return compensation would be.
Why would the Broncos entertain thoughts of trading one of their team leaders? I think I answered that in my 3/7 post as well -- The questions remains, with all the moves the team has made, and all money that hasa been spent, are the Broncos looking to part with a major part of their team, and major chunk of their salary cap, as part of the renovation. No word has come from the Wilson camp, though hearing your name repeatedly mentioned in trade talks can't do much for you confidence in the team. Now, a little over two weeks later, Wilson hired a new agent, Peter Schaffer, and he is actively assisting the Broncos in finding a home for Wilson.
If, or more approprately, when Wilson is traded it will be a loss much greater than just tackles and sacks. Wilson, like Rod Smith, is a team leader on and off the field. It was obvious to me that Wilson's play digressed last season, even with the Pro Bowl birth, and the injury rap sheet on Wilson, including a scary neck injury in which he was carted off the field on a stretcher, is growing.
I also have my own opinion. Wilson was active, yet did not play in the season finale against the 49'ers. Something tells me Shanny wasn't too happy with Wilson, who declared thumb and back injuries were too much to play through. That, coupled with the piling injury laundry list, may have signaled the end of the Wilson era in Denver. I can't blame the Broncos, Wilson probably has 2 years left as an elite player, and his salary cap number - $5.3 million in 2007 - is growing at the same rate his on field play is declining.
Regardless of what happens, Wilson has been a warrior for the Broncos and will always have a place in the heart of Broncos fans. Sometimes there are casulaties in any fight to be champion, and once again Mike Shanahan is proving he is un-afraid to make waves in order to make the Broncos better.