NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports the Giants and Broncos are in trade talks involving middle linebacker Al Wilson. The Eagles, Lions, and Redskins (before they signed London Fletcher) have also reportedly been involved in talks regarding Wilson. We suspect Wilson would stay in the middle and New York would move Antonio Pierce over to weak-side linebacker if the sides can strike a deal.
More articles. Basic gist is that Denver is looking to trade Wilson for cap space.
From Adam Schefter
(March 22, 2007) -- In the NFL's off-season of The Trade, the newest one could come this weekend.
The Broncos and Giants are engaged in talks that could result in Pro Bowl middle linebacker Al Wilson being shipped from Denver to New York, multiple sources said.
Denver has had extensive talks with numerous teams this offseason regarding Wilson, but the talks with the Giants are the most substantive and heated to date.
New York has a glaring need at the linebacker position, and Wilson could be the ideal player to line up to next to veteran Antonio Pierce.
Denver is also talking with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles, but the Giants seem to be the most likely landing spot at this point.
The reason Denver has even entertained the idea of trading Wilson is cost. Wilson is scheduled to make $5.2 million in base salary this season and he could earn another $600,000 in workout bonuses.
Strapped with all the big moves they have made this off-season -- giving running back Travis Henry $12 million in guaranteed money and tight end Daniel Graham $15 million in guaranteed money -- the Broncos need to shave costs elsewhere.
They decided to explore doing it at linebacker, where they would be ready to shuffle their unit. Former strong-side linebacker D.J. Williams could shift inside, to middle linebacker, to Wilson's position, where Denver can better take advantage of his wide-ranging abilities.
Since they've made this decision, Wilson's new agent, Denver-based Peter Schaffer, has worked to try to facilitate a deal. He has found interest around the league, but is being careful about trying to place Wilson into the best situation.
There is no question Denver would miss Wilson, one of the unquestioned emotional leaders not only of its defense, but its team.
But Denver's loss would be New York's gain.
DENVER (March 22, 2007) -- Al Wilson's new agent confirmed that the Denver Broncos are shopping around for a trade partner but that a deal for the star middle linebacker isn't imminent.
NFL Network reported that talks with the New York Giants have heated up after the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles showed strong interest.
"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," Denver-based agent Peter Schaffer told The Associated Press. "There's a number of moving parts. We're just going to take it one move at a time."
The Broncos, whose policy is not to discuss personnel matters in the offseason, could move D.J. Williams inside to replace Wilson, an eighth-year pro from Tennessee who was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl last season.
Schaffer has worked to try to facilitate a trade for Wilson since the linebacker switched agents last week. Schaffer said he wants to make sure Wilson winds up in the best situation, whether that be in Denver or elsewhere.
"The Giants have expressed interest," Schaffer said. "We're exploring all options. We want to make a decision that's best in Al's short-term and long-term interests."
Wilson had a team-best 113 tackles last season, including 88 solo, with five sacks, a forced fumble and six pass breakups.
A fan favorite, Wilson also is a locker room leader and elder statesman on the team. He spoke at the funerals of cornerback Darrent Williams and running back Damien Nash this offseason, two teammates who died at age 24.
The Broncos have committed big bucks to several free agents this month and might want to free up money by dealing Wilson, a player who would command a high return.
"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," Schaffer said. "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."
The Giants do not need two OLB. They have Torbor (tendered), Wilkinson, and Blackburn. The Star Ledger reported that their "Giants source" said that Wilson would move to the Will and Gerris Wilkinson will most likely be starting at Sam. I don't know how likely this deal is but it's more than a rumor. The Giants beat reporters are backing up the story that the Giants are in contract negotiations with Wilson's agent.
If I was the Broncos I'd be looking to get rid of some other bum(s) to clear up some space. You don't cut loose your best player (or one of them) and team leader if there are not other issues than the cap. Wilson is a top-flight MLB and any team would be glad to take him off the Broncos hands. I could be wrong, but I don't even think that cap figure is among the highest for MLBs out there, and Wilson is undoubtedly one of the best. If the Broncos don't try to restructure him or give him a new contract that is just plain dumb - he is the reason their D has been among the top in the league the past few years.
North Ancaster Astros - Crusaders Treasure Chest represent
Just saw on ESPN that the physical issue was because of Wilson's neck. No link as of yet, but it was stated that the deal "could" be off. Nothing definitive yet. ESPN also did not say what the neck issue was.
EDIT - Thanks to Sox below. Too lazy to go looking for the link this morning.
Last edited by smackthefirst on Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.