Trade talk all talk for Seahawks

October 26, 2012 

It’s no secret accomplished Kansas City wide receiver Dwayne Bowe maintains a love-hate relationship with Chiefs executives.

He loves to hate them.

A few weeks ago, Yahoo.com’s Jason Cole reported Bowe “wants out of KC very badly. Not exactly a revelation, but true.”

Despite the Seattle Seahawks’ need for a receiver who knows what an end zone looks like – Bowe, a six-year veteran, has scored 39 career touchdown with the Chiefs – news of the 2010 Pro Bowl player’s discontent drew little interest among Seahawks fans.

They understand midseason trades, while not rare, almost always involve marginally relevant players (former Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry, for instance, sent to the Oakland Raiders last October) and marginally relevant draft picks. (Curry netted Seattle a seventh-round choice in 2012 and a conditional fifth-round choice in 2013.)

Pro football is unique like this. Baseball observers look at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline with an excitement that rivals the anticipation of opening day.

Midseason trade scenarios are annually bandied around the NBA, and it’s easy to see why: The playoffs don’t begin until April. Mulling trade possibilities gives NBA fans something to talk about besides, like, NBA games.

The NFL extended its trade deadline by two weeks this year, from the Tuesday following Week 6 until the Tuesday following Week 8. So there’s time for the Seahawks to swing a deal – 11 days – but I doubt they’ll be active.

Acquiring somebody like Bowe would require them to surrender future draft picks, and future draft picks are a more coveted commodity in the NFL than actual players, even those who are proven.

Still, there have been a few October surprises over the years. On Halloween night, during the strike-shortened 1987 season, the Los Angeles Rams traded future Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson to Indianapolis in a three-team deal that sent running back Greg Bell to L.A., along with three first-round picks. Buffalo also participated in that blockbuster, acquiring linebacker Cornelius Bennett from the Colts.

In 1989, when Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson had full control of the Dallas roster, he sensed a season down the drain after four games and identified running back Herschel Walker as a rebuilding-plan linchpin. Johnson talked with the Browns, adeptly stirring the pot, before pilfering the Vikings in a trade that involved 18 players and draft picks.

“The Great Train Robbery,” as it has come to be known, gave the Cowboys enough ammunition to put themselves in position to draft such staples of their Super Bowl dynasty as Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland.

Johnson’s masterful work before the 1989 trade deadline helps explain the reluctance of present-day general managers to surrender draft picks. No GM wants to be associated with “The Great Train Robbery, Part II.”

As for the Seahawks, the team hasn’t always been averse to the notion of midseason deals involving legendary names. They traded for Jerry Rice in 2004. Rice showed up amid much fanfare – after all, this was the great Jerry Rice, a superstar, and even if he’d lost a few steps, he would serve young teammates as a mentor whose work ethic figured to be contagious.

Rice caught 25 passes, and scored three touchdowns, in 11 games with the 2004 Seahawks. He didn’t seem terribly interested in that unpaid role as inspirational mentor.

More recently, and with much better results, a 2010 midseason trade with the Bills gave Marshawn Lynch’s stalled career a jump start. He’d developed a reputation in Buffalo as a high-maintenance head case, but the roster-building duo of Pete Carroll and John Schneider envisioned Lynch in Beast Mode, and they rolled the dice.

Well, sort of. It wasn’t much of a gamble. Lynch cost only a 2011 fourth-round pick and a 2012 fifth-round pick. For that they got the running back whose typical burst off tackle produces a second effort that precedes a third and fourth effort.

A good deal? It was a steal.

If the Chiefs dangle Bowe in a trade, they won’t be privy to a steal. Even though free agency next season appears imminent – tagged as Kansas City’s “franchise player” in 2012, there’s no chance they’ll retain that designation on Bowe for a second consecutive season – there’s a market for play-making receivers.

A Miami native who played college ball at LSU, Bowe seems like an easy fit for a Dolphins uniform. The Rams and Jets might be in the mix, too.

In other words, if the Seahawks want to acquire a receiver who’ll have an immediate impact on their plodding offense, it will cost more than a fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick. It will cost, at the very least, a second rounder.

Think about this: a second-round pick, and probably a handful of other mid-round draft choices, for a guy who held out of his first training camp as a rookie and was suspended four games in 2009 after a drug test revealed he’d taken a diuretic.

The Seahawks get him, by the way, for maybe all of eight regular-season games.

Do you want to make that trade? Really?

Just asking, just wondering, just trying to juice up a trade-deadline discussion that’s dry to the point it’s parched.

I’d make that trade in a heartbeat.

john.mcgrath@ thenewstribune.com

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