ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas lists Falcons wideout Michael Jenkins as a player that could be offered up via trade once the lockout ends. It’s no secret that Jenkins future in Atlanta is tenuous when the team paid a king’s ransom to move up in the draft to take Julio Jones with the sixth overall pick. But does that mean that Jenkins should be gone as soon as possible?
What can the Falcons get for Jenkins? Last year, a number of wide receivers changed teams, but very few of them did so for premium value. Looking over those trades, probably the best the Falcons can hope for is a 5th round pick. That’s what the Jets gave up to get Santonio Holmes. The Bucs traded a 6th round pick for Reggie Brown, and the Chargers and Rams traded sevenths for Patrick Crayton and Mark Clayton, respectively. Honestly, I think it’s much more likely that the Falcons would have to be willing to settle for a sixth or seventh round pick. Holmes and Brown were traded prior to the 2010 draft, and Clayton and Crayton were traded in September. Considering the lockout may end at some point this summer, it’s likely that it’s going to be closer to the value given up for the latter pair rather than the former.
Is that a worthwhile trade for the Falcons? I would think Jenkins is more valuable than a sixth round pick next year. Even if he’s playing third fiddle to Jones and Roddy White, Jenkins is still probably going to catch 30-50 passes this year. That seems a lot more valuable than a late round pick next year.