It's hard to step away. It's hard to look across the table and see something you want so, so much and step away, but Seattle did, and I commend them for it. Miami has traded its second round pick in 2010 and second round pick in 2011 for Brandon Marshall. Miami is consolidating a core around its young talent, left tackle, quarterback, cornerback, and have traded for Marshall to help push a near-contender over the top towards contention. Great. Great for Miami. I cannot fault the move from their perspective, though the price is very steep. For Seattle, this would have been a mistake.
Two second round picks is not as valuable as a single first. It is, rather, much more valuable. The draft is fluid. In a good enough draft, the talent found at the end of the first and throughout much of the second is nearly identical. In fact, even in a typical draft, two common second round picks, say the 43rd the Dolphins have already given and a 52nd in 2011, should they improve significantly next year, is worth 49 points. 49 points is equivalent to the seventh overall pick. And that, mind you, does not account for the difference in salary. Two second round picks cost less than a seventh overall pick, cost much less than Brandon Marshall. Add in age and liability - character, injury, suspension - and Miami has made a major investment with major downside.
Seattle needs those valuable middle round picks, a 60 this year, something lower next, to push this team, not over the top, but out of its grave. It needs youth. Marshall is young for sure, but 26 is still 26, and 26 is a lot older than 21 or 22. It needs cheap depth. It needs what Miami needed years ago but has since developed: a quarterback, a left tackle, a corner, a core.
This is great news for Seahawks fans. We didn't get the pipe dream deal many of us longed for, but we also avoided mortgaging youth and potential for a supposed sure thing. Seattle can now take the resources they would have otherwise invested in Marshall and draft two cheaper players, with two pairs of knees, two affordable contracts, and that can fill two positions of need.