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Published on 09/02/2008 at Tue Sep 02 10:32.
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The Denver Broncos have traded Domonique Foxworth to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional 2009 draft pick, CBS4 Denver reports.  The Falcons have agreed to give the Broncos a 7th round draft pick in return for Foxworth’s services.  The pick can elevate to a 6th rounder if Foxworth re-signs with the Falcons before April’s draft.

A trade involving Foxworth has been rumored for months, culminating in the news Monday that Foxworth was sent home from practice to wait to be traded.  Foxworth was classy about the situation, and now he’ll have a chance to compete for a starting job in Atlanta.

A third round draft pick in 2005, Foxworth has played in 46 of 48 games for the Broncos, including 18 regular season starts.  He also started both of the Broncos’ postseason games in 2005.  Since playing predominantly cornerback in his rookie season, Foxworth was moved all over the defensive backfield in 2006 and 2007, with time at safety, corner, and nickel back.

With the additions of Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel at safety, 2008 was looking to be an opportunity for Foxworth to return as a cornerback, particularly in nickel packages.  Now he’ll be playing in Atlanta, where incidentally he’ll face his former team (along with K Jason Elam) in Week 11 of the regular season.

The move leaves four cornerbacks on the Broncos roster – starters Champ Bailey and Dre Bly, draftmate Karl Paymah (the only remaining pick from 2005), and rookie Jack Williams.  Last year, while Foxworth was playing safety, Paymah came in and played as the #2 corner in nickel situations, with Bly moving to nickelback.  It’ll be interesting to see if this same lineup stands in 2008, and if the Broncos fill Foxworth’s roster spot with another defensive back for depth.

I can’t stand this trade. What is with the Broncos burning the midnight oil in the offseason? Last year, it was the trade of Gerard Warren and the addition of completely useless Simeon Rice. This year, we’re trading high-quality offensive lineman Montrae Holland for a fifth round pick in 2010, and our third corner for an even later round pick in 2009. Neither move makes any sense, and I’m tired of scratching my head. It hurts. Please, please, Mike Shanahan, stop valuing second day draft picks over solid depth. We’re a hamstring pull away from not even having a dime package.

Thanks for your efforts, Foxworth, on and especially off the field. The Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center probably wouldn’t exist without you. Best of luck in Atlanta.

  • Dario

    This team is about character…until it’s not.

  • kerry

    Holland was traded because he didnt have a spot except on the bench. Kuper outplayed him and bothered to show up at playing weight. this trade of Foxworth shows that Shanahan believes Jack Williams is ready to step up next year because Bly may not be there next year. Foxworth had three years to break the starting lineup and couldnt. better we get something for him now then nothing after this year

  • flbronc

    We love ya Foxy- Atlanta got an absolute STEAL. Even if it is a 6th rounder, we go t robbed blind in this deal.

    I’m with ya on this one Kyle- it doesnt seem to make any sense at all. We’re trading a quality player for the potential rights to a practice squader next year…. I fail to see the logic in that.

  • LorDog

    Hard to believe but Shanny must see something REALLY special in rookie Jack Williams. Is it even possible that, as a rookie, he could step in with the caliber that Foxy brought to the team? This also will now put a lot of pressure on Paymah. Personally, I have not seen much in Paymah that gets me excited. I’m concerned with our CB depth. As Kyle mentioned, one pulled hammy and we’re in deep!

  • adam

    I like Foxworth, but did anybody else watch him get roasted against by the Cowboys second string quarterback and rookie receiver. To continue to play devil’s advocate, isn’t Hillis a 7th round pick? They must think that the new safety from the Titans could step in at corner and do as well as Foxworth.

  • Kyle

    The RMN is saying that new waiver wire pickup Calvin Lowry is expected to play CB. OK, so we’ll still have a dime package.

    Foxworth had a bad preseason, but I don’t even think it was that bad. Honestly. Most of the big plays were happening while he was with the #2’s against #1 offenses. With no pass rush, what do you expect?

    Holland showed up overweight, but worked hard to get back to playing shape.

    These guys were literally two of our best backups across the field. After the slew of injuries we sustained last year, I don’t understand how the Broncos can possibly de-value depth like this. Who the hell do we even have who’s a backup guard?! Kory Lichtensteiger?

  • Kyle

    adam – good point about the Dallas game. I had forgotten about that.

  • Panamanian Bronco

    To me, it does make sense trading Foxworth because we have enought quality CBs, but I think we could get something better than a seven round pick. Its a shame!

  • TJ

    Best of luck Foxy! Now, that being said, he is an overrated corner. All I seem to remember is seeing recievers consantly beating Foxy up and down the field. He was never making game changing plays. There is a reason he was not consistently able to crack the starting lineup. Broncos fans love him because of his undeniable high character, but how many games did we win because we had a nice guy on the field?

    Kyle, while I completely agree with you on the Holland trade, I think the Broncos made the right move with Foxy. IMHO.

  • Truman

    Foxy is a great guy but never really got it done. He looked horrible in preseason. That said, a 7th rounder? Come on, he wasn’t THAT bad.

  • MIAbronco

    why is it that denver never keeps people. it seems like once someeone starts to get good, we trade them or decline to resign them. remember reggie hayward, clinton portis, and i could even say jake plummer but jay is the man. but think about this, shanny has been searching for “his” running back ever since TD left, but he had him in portis. im afraid to fal in love with a player in denver because he’ll probably be traded for future worthless draft picks. and in response to hillis being a 7th rounder, usually 7th rounders are camp fodder. i really liked foxy for everything he did in and out of football, best of luck

  • Kyle

    The only ‘rated’ Foxworth has been in his time in Denver has been ‘under.’ Most fans just didn’t like the guy. He got beat, but what corner not named Champ Bailey hasn’t?

    He’s not a playmaker, I’ll give you that. He’s the John Engelberger of the defensive backfield – not a ton of talent, but a hard worker who plays a lot better than most fans think. He gives up the big play but is always tight in coverage when it happens. It’s not like the receiver is yards ahead of him, he’s just poor when it comes to actual pass-blocking/catching.

    From a strictly football standpoint, no off-field Boy Scout stuff, I’m still mad about this trade. We’re throwing our best depth away for late round picks.

    The 2008 Denver Broncos are a better team with Foxworth and Holland on the roster. Foxworth might not have been in the team’s long term plans, but I’d rather have him for a year than a 7th rounder next.

  • Jonathan Douglas


    When was his contract up?

  • mikebirty

    Does trading Fox away make the Broncos a better football team? Getting rid of Henry and Walker made the Broncos better. It can be argued from a team-work stand point that getting rid of Holland has made the team better. But I can’t understand how this makes the defense better.

    Sure Paymah may be better and Jack Williams may be more of a playmaker but seriously does it matter if he was going to be 5th choice and sit on the bench for a season – do you think he’d have caused any trouble? And its not like the low tender offer he signed was going to make an impact on the cap.

  • Kyle

    JD- both he and Paymah had one year left on their deals.

  • T-Money

    This is no good at all. He had some really good potential. What a nice thing to wake up to. Although on the brighter side he’ll probably start in Atlanta, considering some factors. He has to be stoked on that.

    Bottom line it was a bad deal. They got a steal.

  • Richard

    I agree TJ. The day we drafted Williams, Foxworth, and Paymah it was said by the prognosticators that Williams could step in right away as well as return kicks, Foxworth was a project and Paymah had the best potential but would need to learn the position in the pros. Because of that seasons situation, Foxy got the chance to play as a rook and frankly did quite well. Unfortunately, he didn’t get much better after his first campaign.
    Regarding this years contract situation the coaches had to decide between Paymah and Foxy, and I guess we know who won. I’m sure we could have gotten more for Foxy had we traded him at the start of preseason, but then we would have had to know in advance that Jack Williams was going to be a player. I think the staff covered their bets as well as they could.

    I also like Foxy, great young man with real football talent. I wish him every success in Atlanta(until we play them of course).

    By the way on another site, the terms of the trade are listed as a 7th this year, and an additional 6th should they sign him to a new contract. I don’t know if this is accurate or Kyle’s interpretation of the deal is the correct one? A 6th and 7th would be a better deal for the team, if that is the real arraingement.

  • ryan

    Well the only thing I can think of as some above have mentioned is that we were looking at our finances going into next season and decided we couldn’t afford Foxy. We need to remember too that Brandon Marshall is still playing on his rookie contract and will be looking to get PAID if he has another steller year for us. I know that we spent a 3rd rounder for Foxy and are only getting a 7th or 6th pick in return but perhaps that’s the price we have to pay for the past few years of service he’s given us. All in all Foxy is a very classy and committed player and it hurts losing a player of his caliber and integrity.

  • TheSportsGuru

    Seeing the smirk during the 2005 AFC Championship Game on Ben Roethlisberger’s face when he is talking to the Steeler coaching staff as he’s telling them that “whoever is on #22 is wide open” still makes me nauseous.

    Foxy seems like a player who has peaked. He was about to become the #5 CB and for a player that feels, and says, he’s a #1 that could be a problem in the locker room. No doubt, Foxy is 100% class, but the Broncos simply had to make a move with a player that was not part of the longterm plan moving forward.

  • http://no olen

    character is important but has to be combined with winning. Foxworth has character but NFL is demanding more.

  • Pat

    If anything its great that Foxworth will get a chance to start. He has tremendous potential and i couldn’t be happier for him. at least he didnt got to the pats

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Go read the article and statistics on MHR and take a good, hard look at Foxy’s play. Plus, take a look at his preseason.

    Remember, in training camp we were hearing that he was coming on strong, doing everything to prove it, and yet he had a bad preseason? That’s not a good sign for his future.

    Both Paymah and Foxy are in their 1 year tender having just gotten through the restricted free agent period. Teams would’ve had to give up a 3rd rounder to get Foxworth, and clearly that wasn’t going to happen. And once we told Foxworth to go home, that meant we were probably going to get a little under value on the trade. But we get something, and that’s good. If we watied, we’d probably get nothing.

    Jack Williams had a fantastic preseason. The guy looks like D-Will out there, and I have this sneaking suspicion he’ll pass Paymah on the depth chart part way through the season. He is playing with heart, soul AND innate talent.

    I adore Foxworth as a person, and I really do wish it had worked out. I also really feel Foxworth deserves a chance to start and see what he does throughout an entire season. But he’s been on the field a lot, and he leaves receivers open. He plays too tentatively and that’s why even with pressure, quarterbacks were able to get completions on him.

    In his defense, he always made the tackle when a receiver completed on him, so he tended to give up the medium play instead of the big play. Which is sort of the opposite of Dre Bly, who is more likely to actually defend the pass but if he whiffs he is less likely to make the tackle and give up the big play.

    So the trade off there is an interesting one. Let’s see what works out.

    I suspect the RMN is right in that Lowry will probably play the Sam Brandon role from a couple of years ago, AKA the ‘Big Nickel’ where we would put in a safety instead of a DB on passing downs. Lowry has a reputation as a big hitter. So my guess is he and Paymah will split time as the nickel, depending upon the package they want to use.

    I can’t say I hate this trade; I didn’t hate the Holland trade either. Neither of these feel like the Gerard Warren trade to me, where he was just inexplicably in the doghouse and shown the door out unceremoniously. I know we regret that one.

  • Roy

    This trade sucks. I can’t believe we got more for Holland than we did for Foxy. Wow.

  • Kyle

    I did take a long, hard look at Foxy’s play though. I have to say I disagree with Guru and you, Earl. Foxworth was not nearly as bad as many make him out to be. He had a bad AFCCG in his rookie year. Ben Roethlisberger was smiling about #22’s guy being open because he had all day in the pocket to contemplate life, balance his checkbook and brush his teeth (so that smile would look good).

    I’m not saying he was a starter, I just don’t see Paymah or Williams stepping up above him. Sometimes we get too enamored with rookies as fans. I know I’m guilty of it. Needing depth, I’d rather have Foxworth than a 7th or 6th round pick. If we had depth I’d be “more” ok with it.

    That’s probably my biggest issue. Back to Holland – who the hell do we have as a backup guard now? Kory Lichtensteiger, that’s it?

    I’d feel a lot better about this team’s depth with Holland and Foxworth in tow.

  • Jonathan Douglas

    The point of my question about FA, was that Foxy (and Paymah as you mentioned both are coming up on FA). And I think this was an issue of which CB would most likely re-sign with us next year.

    I love Foxy for several reasons, but I do NOT believe he would have stayed in Denver once he was a FA. So, I think it came down to this…

    If Foxy is likely to walk away after this year, why not get something for him now?

    No one is going to give you anything at the end of the season for either as the two would-be FA. Foxy at least got you a conditional pick instead of nothing (which is what we would have gotten after this year).

    On your point about depth… I agree completely. I remember a post-season game versus Indy where we lacked depth at CB due to injury and we got totally spanked. I’m with Kyle on this one… I don’t want to be caught in that situation ever again.

    However, in this case Shanahan must think that Lowry and a possible 6th pick is more valuable than having Foxy for his last year.

  • JT

    You know, I just don’t get it! I remember all of those years where it seemed like the CB position has been an area that needed improvement. Now there is finally some quality and depth, and as usual, a quality player gets away for next to nothing in return!

    How can we become a serious contender if the team cannot commit to these quality players that are getting away? I might be able to understand if we were actually getting something of equal quality in return… “Let’s get rid of a Play Maker for a late round Draft Pick”

  • kerry

    i sure would like to know this “Playmaker” that everybody keeps referring to. because people cant be talking about Foxworth because he was far from a playmaker. everybody needs to stop giving this guy so much credit for something he didnt do. he had 3 years to break the starting lineup and couldnt do it. if he was better then Bly then the Bly trade never would have happened. sure he was a classy guy, but what wins super bowls? being a classy player, or playmaking talent? lets all face it, Foxworth was an upstanding citizen and a hardworker, but had average talent at best. so average that we only got a seventh rounder. if he was more talented then we would have kept him or gotten a higher pick for him.

  • Matt

    I would have liked to see atleast a 5th rd pick for foxy. Im all for stockpiling draft picks but a higher round would have been nice. I do like j williams so i was for trading foxy. Im gonna have to think about this one for a day or two. Im not completely convinced right now.

  • troyn

    Other than for what he did off the field, I just don’t get all the love for Foxworth. All I ever see him do is make the tackle… 10 to 20 yds downfield. He never looks for the ball and receivers outbattle him when the ball gets there. Bly gets a lot of criticism for gambling, but at least he makes a pick now and then. I wish DF all the luck in ATL, cause he seems like an ok guy, but it was obvious to me he wasn’t going to get the pt he wanted this year and would be gone in free agency. I think both paymah and especially williams would be ahead of him by years end.