Sports Outside the Beltway

Javon Walker Traded to Broncos for a 2nd Round Pick

The Packers got the 2nd round pick they’d been holding out for in exchange for reluctuant wideout Javon Walker.

Javon Walker got what he wanted on Saturday — a ticket out of Green Bay and the groundwork for a new contract. The Packers traded Walker, who had threatened to retire rather than play for the team in 2006, to the Denver Broncos for a second-round pick.

The Broncos and Walker agreed to parameters for a six-year contract extension, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s a great competitor,” Shanahan said. “He has great speed, great size, very physical. He can turn a short gain into a big play. Very good blocker in the running game. That’s one of the guys that I look at and call a complete receiver.”

Walker, coming off a serious knee injury as he enters the final year of his contract, said last month that he wanted to be traded. “It was a situation that was created some time ago, and it needed to end,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “And it ended today.”

McCarthy said he spoke with Walker once since taking over as the Packers’ coach in January, but wasn’t entirely clear about what caused him to demand a trade. “I think we got fair market value for the young man, and best of luck to him as he goes on to Denver,” McCarthy said. “Those types of situations can not occur.”

But by giving Walker his wish, are the Packers encouraging future disgruntled players to demand trades as well? “I guess time will tell … But I’ll just say this: Life is full of experiences, and this has given us some knowledge of how we would deal with this in the future,” McCarthy said.

The new NFL labor agreement basically assures more of this sort of activity on part of players. The days of sitting star wide receivers (it’s always wide receivers, it seems) who mouth off are gone. Teams have no choice but to either play them or let them go, trying to get as much as they can. The problem with that is that it not only undermines the whole idea of free agency but it puts teams at a huge disadvantage in a salary cap league where prorated signing bonuses suddenly count against the cap in one year once a player leaves the team.

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