The NFL's trading season is about to begin with permission given by Tuesday morning for teams to begin to move players like Kevin Kolb and Kyle Orton. Several players have been written about in terms of possible trade options this NFL offseason, but one match between teams and needs that has yet to be made could be one of the most valuable. Specifically, a deal between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers involving Nick Barnett that makes as much sense as any.
For the defending Super Bowl Champions, there's a need to get under the salary cap, as they're currently right at the threshold. Dan Pompeii lists the reasons why the Packers are eager to get rid of Barnett in his latest column at the National Football Post:
The Packers are all ears when it comes to talking about trading Nick Barnett. Moving him would save them more than $4 million on the salary cap, and they could use that space. Barnett is a versatile, valuable defender who can start in multiple schemes and at multiple positions, but he’s now behind Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk on the Packers’ depth chart. If the Packers can’t get what they want for Barnett before camp or early in camp, they may hang onto him to see if teams increase their offers as camp and preseason go on. Releasing him also could be an option at some point.
For the Chiefs, there's a need all through the linebacking corps for stronger competition. Derrick Johnson certainly turned a corner last season to become one of the team's most valuable defeders, and Jovan Belcher held down the other starting ILB spot -- an impressive feat for an undrafted free agent. Yet Belcher hasn't played well enough to stave off all threats of competition and Barnett's playoff experience and playing ability would definitely provide value on all fronts.
Perhaps the one factor that makes Barnett to the Chiefs a win-win is the Chiefs need to spend money and the Packers need to shed it. The Chiefs have well over $30 million to spend and linebacker is a spot of need. The move for Barnett would fill a hole without having to worry about other suitors. It's uncertain what the package would have to be, but perhaps a fourth or fifth round choice in 2012 would be enough to get a deal finished.