Like any good columnist, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz has the power to polarize and produce discussion with his writing. His piece about A.J. Green did exactly that among the Falcons faithful.
I'm not here today to bash Schultz, a smart guy who makes the best argument possible for getting Green. He is a weapon, and it's undeniable that he'd be an upgrade for the Falcons offense, probably from the moment he stepped on the field.
In a vacuum, where A.J. Green were just available to the first team that tackled him to the ground, I'd be all for the Falcons going after him. As we all know, we're not living in a vacuum.
The problem is what it would take to get Green. Schultz's colleague, D. Orlando Ledbetter, figures it would take a first-and-second round pick in 2011 and a second rounder in 2012 to move up ahead of Cincinnati and Cleveland, the two teams most likely to snap their jaws on Green. That's a serious bounty.
Is Green worth it? That's an argument I don't pretend to be an able arbiter about. I'm of the opinion that football teams should be built deep and talented, and you by necessity sacrifice depth when you trade multiple picks to go after one player. He could transform the face of the franchise, but then again, injuries or scheme fit could lead to him struggling to be an impact player. The odds are against the latter, I would say, but it's not impossible.
We can't let the mistakes of the past inform our future. As reader Mosugo noted in James Rael's post yesterday, the Falcons would have had to give up a similar package to get at Calvin Johnson, and the players they ended up drafting with those picks were Justin Blalock (good), Jamaal Anderson (a bust because of his draft position) and Chris Houston (just a plain old bust). As Mosugo wrote, you can make a strong argument that the Falcons should've pulled the trigger on trading up to get CJ, who is now one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
But this is a new front office, a smarter front office, and one that is building a damn good football team. I like Dimitroff's ability to do more for this team with those three picks than A.J. Green alone can do. Ultimately, that's what decides the argument for me.
Where do you stand, gentle readers?