Looks like trade rumors are heating up again:
By TOM SILVERSTEIN and TODD ROSIAK
Posted: Sept. 23, 2004
Green Bay - At least one National Football League team has an interest in Green Bay Packers cornerback Mike McKenzie and might be preparing a trade offer that could meet the Packers' demands, two NFL sources said this week.
After McKenzie's return from a 46-day holdout last week, the Packers have had calls inquiring about what it would take to acquire the veteran. The only team known to have interest in McKenzie dating to the off-season, when the Packers allowed the disgruntled cornerback to seek a trade, is the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are thought to have offered the Packers a second-round pick but at the time, the Packers would accept nothing less than a first. However, with the season already in progress and the trading deadline just three weeks away, the Packers might be willing to accept one of the Saints' two second-round picks and another pick or player if it's offered.
An NFL source familiar with the McKenzie situation said he thought the Saints were prepared to make another run at acquiring McKenzie and could have an offer on the table in a very short period of time. Another source familiar with both the Packers and McKenzie's camp said he thought a trade was imminent and could take place this weekend, before the Packers travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts, although he was unable to say for sure that the Saints were the only team in the running.
A source in the Packers organization acknowledged that there had been mild interest in McKenzie, but cautioned that it wasn't any greater than it had been previously and doubted that a deal was imminent.
The Packers are well aware that McKenzie doesn't want to stick around Green Bay and they might be willing to accommodate his wishes for a trade if the right offer comes up. But just because they get an offer doesn't necessarily mean coach Mike Sherman will accept it.
The Packers have all the leverage in the dealings. They can sit back and accept offers from other teams and see what materializes. If they don't like the offer they can hold onto McKenzie, expecting that he would at least finish out the season given he would be in breach of his contract if he left and would be liable for returning previously paid signing bonus money.
But the Packers have shown faith in left cornerback Michael Hawthorne and might be willing to accept a draft pick and a player to strengthen them both in the present and the future.
The Packers know if they don't trade McKenzie and make it through this season, they will be right back at Square One with him when the season is over. Plus, trading McKenzie would allow Sherman to deal with a united locker room instead of having to worry about having a disgruntled player in his starting lineup.
The Packers have been preparing as though McKenzie will start against the Colts Sunday, but Hawthorne has also been getting a good number of snaps to prepare himself for the game