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KB21

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With only nine days remaining before Draft Day, a lot of wheeling and dealing is going on behind the scenes. Much of it involves PFW’s top-ranked quarterback.

PFW has learned that the Buccaneers have discussed a trade with the Dolphins and Browns. A team executive said the Dolphins have discussed a conditional trade with Tampa Bay  with the stipulation being that Alex Smith is available at the No. 2 spot  in which the Bucs would send a third-round pick and perhaps a player or an additional second-day draft pick to Miami in exchange for swapping first-round picks. With few teams looking to trade up, the Bucs hold more leverage in negotiations and are trying to play Cleveland and Miami against one another.

An assistant general manager, who classifed talk this week as very preliminary, said, “The Dolphins will get laughed out of the league if they accept anything less than a No. 2 pick. It won’t happen for a third-rounder.â€Â

The trade has a great chance of being circumvented by the 49ers, however, who are not expected to let Smith fall if they can agree to contract terms with Smith’s agent, Tom Condon, in advance of the draft. Condon is scheduled to be in San Francisco today to meet with top team brass.

Last year, it was Condon who was believed to be at the center of the controversy regarding Eli Manning’s refusal to play for San Diego. The Chargers’ struggles as an organization were given as the reason for Manning’s snub of the organization, but some league sources believed the more logical reason was that another one of Condon’s clients, Drew Brees, held the Chargers’ starting job and would be pushed by the wayside if the team drafted Manning.

As it turned out, both Brees and Manning appear to have benefited from their agent’s hardball tactics. With Chargers rookie QB Philip Rivers holding out during training camp, Brees held on to the starting job and had a banner year, earning the franchise tag at the end of the season and pocketing $8 million for 2005. Manning, meanwhile, signed a lucrative six-year deal with $20 million in bonuses and is the starting quarterback for the Giants in the nation’s biggest market.

This year, two team sources allege that Condon has been trying to pull a similar power play and manipulate the draft the way he did a year ago with Manning because he does not want Smith to play in San Francisco.

If Smith were somehow to slip past the Niners, despite their strong preference for him, expect contract demands to be cited as the primary reason why. Regardless, don’t rule out the clout of football’s most powerful agent in determining the shape of this year’s draft. If Condon convinces Smith and his family that Miami offensive coordinator Scott Linehan or Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden provides a richer learning environment and a better chance for success than the 49ers do, there is some thought among teams that Condon could wind up bullying the Niners’ new staff into selecting Rodgers, especially given that Rodgers’ agent, Michael Sullivan, is said to be much more flexible with contract demands than Condon, perhaps because Sullivan realizes that his client could slip as many as 10 spots if the Niners do not select him.

The other factor that could weigh into the decision is notoriously cheap 49ers owner John York, who after hiring Mike Nolan, said he was willing to do whatever it took to resurrect the franchise to the glory years under former owner Eddie DeBartolo. If York, who is said to charge employees for stamps on outgoing mail, is still pinching his pennies and the difference in contract demands between Smith and Rodgers is $10 million in total contract value, as one team executive said it could be, Rodgers could become the Niners’ guy.
This is only for the premium board.
 

phunwin

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Thanks KB. BTW, Muck or AJ, I think someone posted this same thing almost verbatim on the main board.
 

Boomer

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No matter what the dopes say on the main board I'M STILL sure as I can be that the 49ers want Smith over Rodgers. I think they might be tring to bait Cleveland or Tampa into a trade because again, I believe, those 2 clubs would pass on Rodgers.
 

DOLFANMIKE

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Boomer said:
No matter what the dopes say on the main board I'M STILL sure as I can be that the 49ers want Smith over Rodgers. I think they might be tring to bait Cleveland or Tampa into a trade because again, I believe, those 2 clubs would pass on Rodgers.
Boomer, I don't doubt that SF like Smith better than Rodgers, but there are some key aspects of this situation that may make Rodgers the 49ers man.

- He played near the Bay area, and Cal is followed by many SF fans. Rodgers would be a popular pick

- Rodgers has taken more snaps from behind Center and Smith was mostly a shotgun QB

- Rodgers is being rumored to be asking for less than Smith at #1 because he fears dropping back to 5 overall or worse if SF doesnt draft him.

- Plus the players agent seems bent on keeping Smith out of SF
 

phunwin

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DOLFANMIKE said:
Boomer, I don't doubt that SF like Smith better than Rodgers, but there are some key aspects of this situation that may make Rodgers the 49ers man.

- He played near the Bay area, and Cal is followed by many SF fans. Rodgers would be a popular pick

- Rodgers has taken more snaps from behind Center and Smith was mostly a shotgun QB

- Rodgers is being rumored to be asking for less than Smith at #1 because he fears dropping back to 5 overall or worse if SF doesnt draft him.

- Plus the players agent seems bent on keeping Smith out of SF
Yeah, I tend to go with the ESPN Insider guys on this one. They said there was about a 90% chance that Rodgers would be the pick. Makes sense that his salary demands would be more reasonable; it seems like everyone below SF likes Smith better.
 
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