Panini America is the worldwide leader in sports collectibles, trading cards, and certified authentic memorabilia for the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, FIFA, Baseball, and Hockey. Ravens Super Bowl winning QB Trent Dilfer is representing the company in Minneapolis this week and found the time to talk with JohnWallStreet. Trent shared his thoughts on the top QBs in the ’18 draft class, how much he thinks Kirk Cousins is worth and a prop bet he feels good about.
JWS: After Sunday’s game, NFL fans will turn their attention to April’s draft. Which 2018 QB rookie card will be most sought after? In other words, who is going to be the Top QB selected?
Trent: This is as deep a QB class, at the top of the draft, as we’ve seen in quite a few years. Guys who like a more athletic, intuitive player are going to love Sam Darnold. Some guys (scouts/coaches/GMs) love “trait guys” (arm, height, weight, speed) and they’re going to like Josh Allen. Then there are those that love the creative Brett Farve type, making magic or making chaos happen, and that’s the Baker Mayfield crowd. I think if you’re evaluating based on pure talent it’s a toss-up between Darnold, Rosen and Allen. If you look at the player that has the skill-set most transferrable to the NFL over the past 15-20 years, I think it’s probably Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen; but, if you’re looking for a guy who’s been highly productive and finds a way to get it done, the Drew Brees type, the Russell Wilson type, then it’s Baker Mayfield.
JWS: Alex Smith just received a contract with $71 million guaranteed. It’s nearly a certainty Kirk Cousins will receive a free agent contract with more guaranteed money. Is Kirk Cousins worth that kind of cash?
Trent: I think Kirk Cousins is very, very good. I think he deserves a legitimate franchise starting QB contract. He’s been productive enough to get that; however, I don’t think he deserves Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson money. I think he priced himself out of Washington and that’s why Washington went out and got Alex Smith. I think he’s worth 10-13 QB money, I do not think he’s worth top 10 money. He may end up in a worse situation, making more money. I would be shocked if he’s as productive with his next team in years 1 and even 2 as he’s been with the Redskins. Personally, I think that is a poor decision.
JWS: The XFL won’t be competing head-to-head with the NFL in the fall, but has no intention of being a feeder league. Does the XFL stand any chance of success?
Trent: I got approached by another group this year about being the commissioner of a spring league, so I did a lot of vetting and research on it; and yes, it can be successful. It can be successful because people want to watch football and it doesn’t have to be at the level of the NFL or big-time college football. You can make a lot of money if the ratings are 1/10 of what they are; they’re still going to out-rate anything else on TV. I think if they can build in some pageantry, some rivalry; and the game doesn’t have to be star-studded, but it has to be clean and look like Saturdays and Sundays. Now, I think they’re making a massive mistake if their plan isn’t to be the developmental arm of the NFL.
Howie Long-Short: The most valuable Panini cards are the ones with unique pieces of memorabilia ingrained within them (i.e. piece of a jersey, an autograph). An autographed Tom Brady rookie card recently sold for $85,000 (and it was pulled from a Contenders pack that cost just $4.99)! I asked Trent what the most valuable piece of memorabilia (besides his Super Bowl ring) he owned was?
Trent: I was lucky enough to go to one Pro Bowl and I got a Reggie White helmet, a Barry Sanders helmet and a Chris Carter helmet; but, the coolest thing I have is a helmet with Terry Bradshaw’s facemask from Super Bowl 10. We were playing a Sunday Night game in ’98 and I wanted to honor Terry, so I called him. He actually gave me his Super Bowl 10 game-worn helmet. I was able to take the face mask off of it and put it on my helmet. I got fined for it, but still have the helmet.
Fan Marino: Which will be higher, the temperature at kickoff or the number of points scored in the first quarter? Yes, you can place a wager on that proposition.
Trent: Points in the first quarter will be higher, it’s super cold, here.
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