A friend of mine asked me if the Niners should trade Patrick Willis for Payton Manning, and I told him flat out no. He tried to convince me that it was a good trade to make, and I seriously wanted to slap him! But I really need to hear what all of you think.
Here is what my friend had to say to support this trade...
- Larry Grant played well enough when filling in for Willis.
- The Niners are in their prime.
- Gore isn't getting any younger.
- Smith will give you 2 years, and then you have to rebuild.
- The Niners D is at about a 98 out of 100, losing Willis will make the D a 93.
- The Offense with Smith (minus the NO game) was a 75 at best, and with Manning would be about 90.
- Manning makes WRs great.
- With Manning you have 3 or 4 winning seasons.
- The benefits of adding Manning outweigh the cons of losing Willis.
Now, head after the jump to hear what I have to say...
I think he underestimates the importance of Willis to the Defense, and overestimates Larry Grant's playing ability. Yes, Grant played well filling in for Willis, but there were some plays the he missed that Willis makes, and over a season I think that would really add up.
I agree that the Gore isn't getting any younger, but there are other ways to handle that situation, ones that I think are much more beneficial for the team. And the Niners already have an option for after Smith in Kaepernick. Whether he pans out or not, it's way to soon to say, and I don't think the Niners are going to have to rebuild after Smith at all.
No, the Niners offense wasn't great the whole season, but I don't think you can completely discount games like the NO game. This offense clearly has the potential to play great football, and given a full offseason and more time to learn the system and by adding some less dramatic pieces, I think they can live up to that potential. Plus, I don't think Manning's playing style fits with Harbaugh's system, and I don't think Harbaugh is going to change his system for anyone.
Yes, Manning can make average WRs look great, and the Niners need help at WR, but the Niners can improve their receivers more effectively by adding new WRs that are going to come cheaper than adding Manning. The Niners are also trading a relatively team friendly contract in Willis for a massive contract in Manning, even if they do restructure. Taking on Manning is going to handcuff Baalke and company from adding much of anything else to this team, or even retaining the likes of Goldson and Rogers.
Now, I'd really like to hear what all of you think. Have at it...