Analyzing the Redding trade
My first inclination is to think of him as the 10-sack monster from a few years ago and I know lots of people remember how dominant he was at Michigan State. But his production fell considerably last year - five sacks, no interceptions - and the trade is a plug-one-hole, open-another sort of deal with no real future value (unless Seattle hits on the fifth-round pick it got as part of the package).
Peterson will be 31 when the season begins, has one serious injury in his past (a blown Achilles in 2004) and his contract is such that, unless he restructures, he won't be here long term (he's due $6.5 million in base salary this year and $7.5 million next with $500,000 raises the two seasons after).
Sure, he'll start at strong-side linebacker, which fills a major void on the Lions' roster. But by dealing Redding they now have just as gaping a hole at defensive tackle (unless you think Andre Fluellen or Ikaika Alama-Francis is ready to step in full time) and it may eliminate the need for Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry at the top of the draft.
I don't mean to imply that Redding is irreplaceable. He's absolutely not. He's injury prone, due a big salary himself (though at $3.3, $4.3 million and $5 million the next three years, he's considerably cheaper than Peterson) and like Peterson on the backside of his career.
I'm just not ready to give the trade glowing marks yet. Not with the Lions now without fourth- and fifth-round picks in the draft, and not until I see what else lies ahead.