No, I'm not saying the draft guarantees anything, but would I be willing to entertain trade on a player who blew up in a contract year? Yes.
Bill Walsh didn't build through "free agency" - he built through the draft. The only "free agency" around when Walsh was coach was "Plan B" and that wasn't anything like the FA of today Wild Bill. No, there are no guarantees.
No it's not similar to saying that at all. Willis has been a consistent performer since the day he was drafted. Apples and Oranges. This is the reason why he's franchised. If the team thought he was that awesome, they have the cap room to aggressively go after him with a long term deal - like they decided to do (in error) with Soapoaga.
I understand what you're saying about grooming another player, but if you have a chance to grab a blue-chip DT - chance, sure why not take if someone offers you a #1. Again, everyone is assuming Franklin has been the rock of the defense, this super DT for years. He's had one good season and everyone has declared him un-tradable.
Guys, please don't get so emotional about this. I certainly am not. I'm just saying if a team came along to offer a #1 for Franklin - depending where that #1 was, I'd consider it. Sure there are no guarantees in the draft, but there are also no guarantees that players will maintain high performance either.
Franklin has had One. Good. Year. I mean seriously he's not even anywhere near the "All-Pro" discussion whereas Willis' play forces that conversation every year and will do so again next season. Does Franklin need to? No. Again not an absolute argument but before we anoint him the new top DT in league, I guess my standard is more than one year - particularly his contract year. Do I absolutely know he's plateaued. Of course not. However, it is a proven fact that players tend to become less effective (outside QB and some WR) once they hit 30. I'm not arguing an absolute argument here. I'm just not. I'm just saying like any good poker player, you have to consider it.
If Detroit or any team in the top 10 says "we want Franklin, here's our first" you would be crazy not to at least listen and consider.
That's all I'm sayin.
So there must be some consensus in the organization about Franklin's value or this would not be a conditional franchise tag. If Singletary absolutely felt Franklin was the heart of his defense you really think the 49ers would just allow an opening? The message is clear - at least from the team's standpoint - "We think you're awesome, but not untradeable".
[ Edited by NinerGM on Feb 25, 2010 at 09:13:45 ]