Redemption For Dean Lombardi: LA Kings Acquire Ryan Smyth

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After sitting at the station, watching the unrestricted free agent train pass him by on July 1 and then signing veteran free agent defenseman Rob Scuderi on July 2, which did nothing to fill the gaping hole the Kings had on left wing, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi earned at least a bit of redemption on July 3 when he acquired left wing Ryan Smyth from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing and a fifth round pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

The trade is contingent upon the results of physical examinations of the players involved in the deal.

Last season, Smyth scored 26 goals and added 33 assists for 59 points in 77 games. He led the Avalanche in assists and was second on the team in goals. He was also tied for the team lead in power play goals (10) and game-winning goals (3). He also led the team with 257 shots.

In fourteen NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and the Avalanche, Smyth has scored 310 goals and has added 350 assists for 660 points with 733 penalty minutes in 920 regular season games. In 81 playoff games, the 6-1, 190-pound native of Banff, Alberta has scored 25 goals and has contributed 27 assists for 52 points with 82 penalty minutes.

Smyth, who was selected by the Oilers in the first round (sixth overall) of the 1994 National Hockey League Entry Draft, had his best season in 2000-01 with the Oilers when he scored 31 goals and added 39 assists for 70 points in 82 regular season games (for more details on Smyth’s NHL career, see “Kings Get All-Star Forward Smyth”).

The Kings had to give up some talent to get Smyth with the 23-year-old Quincey, who had a rather eye-opening debut season in the NHL after the Kings claimed him off of waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on October 13, 2009, going to Colorado.

Nevertheless, in the end, this was a deal that Lombardi not only had to make, but he also had the assets available to do it.

One look at the depth he has built on his blue line, from the Kings roster down to the minors and even junior hockey—mostly through the draft, explains why Lombardi was able to deal Quincey.

But back to that hole on left wing…

Indeed, after sitting on the unrestricted free agent sidelines on July 1 and then signing Scuderi the next day, the Kings still needed a top six left winger and the outcry was loud and clear from both the fans and media.

And for those of you who have read my story, “July 1 Was The Time For Dean Lombardi To Gamble,” yes, I am writing this piece while looking in a mirror.

Yes, give Lombardi credit. He stuck to his plan by going after a player he believes is the right guy.

“Ryan is the type of player who fits with our team,” said Lombardi. “He fills an important need as he is a competitive, gritty, scoring left winger, and he fits with the overall identity we continue to build here.”

Lombardi has been preaching character, leadership, competitiveness and grit since he arrived in Southern California and Smyth is definitely a skilled winger who has exhibited all of those characteristics throughout his NHL career—he will set a solid example for the young Kings.

Further, Smyth is known for driving hard to the net, parking his butt there, scoring the tough, dirty goals and paying the price to do it, something the young Kings did not do anywhere near enough last season, a deficiency that head coach Terry Murray has pointed to as a problem.

One can only hope that the Kings’ young forwards watch and learn.

“I don’t get the unbelievable-looking goals,” Smyth told “I get the so-called greasy goals, the ones around the goal crease area. I pay the price in front of the net and I battle hard for the team. I drive the net pretty hard.”

“Over the years, that has been one of my strengths,” Smyth added. “I look to continue that as I move forward with my new team.”

Smyth just completed the second year of a five-year contract worth $31.25-million (a $6.25 million annual salary cap hit) that includes a no-trade clause that he waived to join the Kings.

“Everything was handled very well and professionally,” said Smyth. “Colorado and LA had the conversation, and my agent approached me. Colorado said they had an offer on the table and they asked if I would think about it with my wife. We talked it over and got back to [agent Don Meehan]. The process went from there and we are very excited.”

The Avalanche are starting a rebuilding program of their own.

“That was a part of the process between myself and Colorado,” Smyth explained. “They said they were going to rebuild and they were given a green light to get rid of some salary. I just wanted the opportunity to go and play with some good young players. I wanted a chance to make a run.”

“They have great young players,” Smyth elaborated. “I’ve always thought the world of Anze Kopitar since playing against him at the World Championships in Austria where he dominated. To play with him and Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown—these are great young players and I’m excited about that.”

Another big positive from this deal is that Lombardi was able to dump Preissing, who was never able to get untracked under Murray’s new system that stressed defense, and his four-year, $11 million contract. He had two years left on the deal with a $2.75 million salary cap hit in each year.

With the NHL salary cap expected to drop considerably in 2010-11, moving Preissing’s salary off the books gives Lombardi greater fiexibility with his roster and could help him re-sign his own players, such as Drew Doughty, and even bring in an unrestricted free agent, should one or more who are the right fit be available.

So what is the downside to the deal? Easy. Smyth is 33 years old, is on the downside of his career and has a bit of an injury history. In fact, Smyth has played all 82 games just four times in fourteen seasons.

But Smyth’s positives outweigh the negatives and just as July 1 was the time for Lombardi to gamble, Smyth is also worth the risk—this was a very solid trade for Lombardi and the Kings.

One more thing…Smyth also plays rather well in Los Angeles.

“My first game was at the Forum in Inglewood,” said Smyth. “My first NHL shift was against Wayne Gretzky. Overall, I have seemed to play well in LA. I look to continue that now.”

“It is a great transition for my family and myself, and I just want to be a piece of the puzzle,” added Smyth. “I want to contribute to the winning side. I look forward to getting settled in as a family.”

Photo: Ryan Smyth. Courtesy Colorado Avalanche/National Hockey League.

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33 thoughts on “Redemption For Dean Lombardi: LA Kings Acquire Ryan Smyth

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  1. Now just Trade Alexander Frolov for Heatley, Maybe some pick’s to. they’re 2 mil below cap. Would only cost us 4.6 million more to our cap…. JUST DO IT

  2. who dosent play well playing against los angeles in los angeles over the past 40 years ….. but yes good trade since we gave up nothing …. we have plenty of defense … and ive always liked ryan …….. so not that bad of a deal …… but still need heatley …. sorry gann

  3. and lol gann ….. david is not me ….. just a coincidence with the names ,,, but it looks like he agrees with me ….. not sure what hes talking about with 4.6 stuff though because after this year fro will be making 5.5 and heatley 7.5 so it will only cost us 2 mil more ….. i realize it will cost us a lil more this year since fro wont be making that much until 2010 -2011 … fro is probably making like 3.5 this year…. so this year it will cost us 4 mil more but every year after that only 2 mil more …… and if lombardi or you yurself cry no even 2 mil is too much cuz were up against the cap now or somebullcrap then u should have paid 3.4 for a useless stay at home defensemen when we need goals …. so if yur gonna say we cant afford the 2 or 4 mill more then u shouldnt have wasted that exact amount of money on a useless stay at home defensemen we dont even need …… could have used that money for heatley and just give hickey or voinev the last defense spot or even resigned gauthier for 5 bucks or any other crappy d-guy who would play for the league minimum who could be your number 6 guy …….. u see thats how u win ….. not the way dean does it …………. but my way

  4. and not saying scuderi is a number 6 guy …. saying that since we traded quincey and if we didnt get scuderi then we would need a number 6 guy cuz wed only have 5 jj doughty greeene odonnel drewiske …. so we could give the last spot to some crappy dguy for 5 bucks or just go with one of the kids to be the 6 spot guy ,,,, but since we did the whole scuderi thing now were set with 6 guys …. and yes realize scuderi is probably our number 4 guy …… just saying if you gann or lombardi say money is an issue regarding heatley now, then u shouldnt have gone and wasted that money on scuderi when u could have just given the job to hickey or voinev or any crappy dguy for league minimum …….. sorry i would rather have heatley and have an untested guy in our number 6 spot than not have heatley at all ……. and thats assuming we cant afford heatley right now with scuderi …… but i still think even with scuderi we can still afford heatley

  5. No, do not trade for Heatley. Up until this summer I would’ve been all for getting him. But not now after this incident. Do we really need a guy who when asked to play defense and to be accountable by his coach demands a trade? Not only that, but he makes trading him more difficult by trying to dictate what teams he’ll go to. As talented as he is , he’s not someone we need on our team if we want to win.

    Anyway, I like the trade for Smyth. We didn’t really give up anything except for Quincey. And he’s got what Heatley doesn’t – character.

  6. There’s a reason Heatley is still with the Sens and it’s not only because he has a no-trade clause. The word is out about the guy. He’s all about Dany Heatley. He plays for Dany Heatley. He is not a team guy. He’s a cancer in the dressing room. Yeah, he’s capable of scoring 50 goals…when he feels like it. But when push comes to shove, he disappears. Why? All goes back to that character thing, something sorely lacking in his game.

  7. lol when he feels like it …. dude scores 40 goals every year minimum …. whens the last time a king did that …….. not even palffy did that ….. and ziggy was one of my favs ….. personally gaborik is better and younger i believe … but lombardi too much of an idiot he was the best player available … even better than hossa and still young at 27 …. lombardi a fool for not giving him term …. absolute fool …. 5 years at 7.5 is nothing for him .. i was surprised thats all it took … and equally shocked the kings could be so dumb and not sign gaborik , especially for such a reasonable figure , but then again thats why we are the kings …. the clippers of the nhl ……. and lol lets not glaze over the fact that lombardi had signing knuble as a higher priority plan a over gaborik plan b ….. nobody is talking about this . but if eel this is the strongest indictment of what a moron we have running this team ….old washed up knuble over gaborik – a top 5 skill guy in his prime ….. im telling you we have an idiot running this team

  8. Ryan Smyth is the antithesis of Heatley. He should show you how Lombardi feels about Heatley.

  9. This guy’s been a thorn in the Kings’ side for years. It’ll be good to have him on our side for a change. But I sure hate to see Kyle Quincey go.

  10. Why do some of you on here think that Dean Lombardi needs to STILL acquire Heatley from the Senators? Heatley would cause too much friction with the team, like he has been known already with his past three head coaches when with Atlanta and presently with Ottawa, for right now. On top of that if Heatley doesn’t get his minutes played on in or they expect him to take a more signifigant role that he can’t take it. Healtly said it himself about all this when he first requested the trade.

  11. Well I was going by what Hockey buzz had the cap at and Fro Was costing us 2.9 from the cap this year.

    Yeah Heatley could end up being a pain, But let him score 40-50 goals for us and then trade him for?
    After he’s Traded he’s gonna want to prove he can still score and rub it his old teams face. Even for a year then dumb him on someone else’s bench. Dean isn’t as picky as Murray is. So we would something good back, and lose that big contract.
    Or he could grow up and become huge for us.
    Murray isn’t going to get anything near what he wants for him, A 30 goal scorer and a pick gets them going and lowers they’re cap.
    Everyone wants scoring, Problem is if we wait a few more years our young guys will be looking at UFA’s, Money and going to a team that wants to win. We have to start making the playoff’s soon, That means we need one more guy. If it’s Heatley Great, If it’s a another 30 goal scorer on top of what we have, That’s great too.. We just need a lot more scoring if we want to win more games and make the playoff’s.
    I’m sure where ever Heatley goes he might just play the best hockey he’s ever played. And I would mind one year of that. We’ve made a lot worse trades in the past.

  12. Dean knows how to handle that crap. First of he got rid of Cami when he started crap, We just didn’t get enough for him. I knew he was going to score a lot of goals and last year he did. I think this year he’s going to score more. So we buy one year if it gets bad we trade him. With Kopitar, Smyth, And Heatley and who we have now, we’d have 2 tops lines of fire power and tons of goals. I’d say that’s worth one season of testing to see if it works out.

  13. yes david i agree ….. and we wouldnt have to trade him because heatley would be fine …… all these peeps saying all these negative things about him dont know danny heatley…. they are just regurgitating what they hear ….. wouldnt it be interesting to hear heatleys side of the story ….. not some negatively slanted version of his side of things ….. and by the way people, your top 4 wingers are strictly on your team to provide offense, its an offensive postion …. so i agree with heatley if heatly dosent want to play defense …. his job is too score goals ……… centers are the ones that have a 2 way responsibility – not the wingers on the top 2 lines – the centers ………… centers must play offense and defense, thats why center is the hardest position to play in the nhl …. must have tons of endurance ……..3rd and 4th line wingers are not what im talking about they are more of grinder stopper types so yeah they tend to play more defense ……… but in general your defensemen play 90 percent defense ……. your top 2 line wingers play 90 percent offense and your top two line centers must play both ways (hardest job), while your 3rd and 4th line centers tend to concentrate more on defense because they are less talented ………… so anyways if heatley did in fact say he dosent want to play defense … well i agree with him 100 percent… his job is not to play defense… its to score goals ….. so he is right …. your paying otherguys on your team to play defense – he is paid to produce offense ……. now notice i said 90 percent people …. of course there will be a few times a game where heatley or any top two line winger will have to contribute down low in the defensive zone to help out if somebody else like a defensemen had an offense chance at the other end ….. just saying in general 90 percent of the time heatleys job is offense so i agree with him …….. folks this is why craig mactavish lost his job in edmonton ….. he was asking a skilled top 2 line winger in hemsky to play defense …… sorry folks thats not how u do it ….. hemskys job like heatley is to score goals and chip in every once in awhile to cover for somebody like a defensemen who jumps up in the play ….. like i said …. hardly any defense – 10 percent ……. and there only regular defense responsiblitywhen the puck is in our own end is to cover the point shots from the blue line which every winger does, even heatley because thats basic hockey 101 ….. believe me if heatley wasnt doing that and just letting opposing teams defensemen shoot free uncontested slapshots while he ate a sandwich in the corner, then heatley wouldnt even be in the nhl …….. heatley knows his job …. he knows what to do ….. like i said if he was doing stuff like that and guarding the point , then he wouldnt even be playing in the nhl. hed be playing in somebodys backyard .

  14. Dave, I just read your post, then reread it in case I missed something that made sense. Nope, I was right the first time, you spent a lot of time typing and produced nothing intelligent. Sorry but Heatley will never be a King and I’m glad. DL is leading this team in the right direction and I think this will turn out better than the team that was built in the late ’80s and early ’90s. In an insane society the truly sane man appears insane.

  15. Yeah for someone that’s suppose to be so negative in locker room, Why isn’t talking crap in the Papers. I think there is more to what’s going on then we hear. I’m sure he he can be a pain at times in the locker room. But if it was half as bad as Murray is making him out to be, then why wouldn’t he be using the news to fight back? Because if I was him and such an Azz I would. lol
    Anyway I just hope we can lock up one more 30+ goal scorer in the next month, If we end up trading Frolov I hope we get someone that can score 40+

    Smyth was a real good pick up even if he just scores 30 goals that’s 20 + more than last years scoring. He’s a plus to help are youngs guys out. They’ll learn to stay in front of the net watching him.
    Kopitar/Brown/Symth line will each score 30+ this year, I’m hoping Kopitar has his break out year and score 47 goals.

    I’m excited about this season and freaking can’t wait until it starts.

  16. Ok, “Dave” first of all, if anyone is going to take you seriously, please learn to create paragraphs and stay away from the long run ons. Most people wont bother reading what you have to say, even if it’s the most insightful thing on the planet, if you write like that.

    Second, where have you been the past few years? DL has preached the same thing over and over and over again. So why in the world would he want someone like Heatley? Charachter, grit, leadership ability, and if possible, playoff experience is what he wants when he brings in talent from trades/UFAs. He knew the guy he wanted, the pieces were there to get him, and he pulled the trigger. All while not giving up any home grown assets either.

  17. OK…before these remarks go down the road of personal attacks and insults, let me say that this kind of behavior doesn’t fly here and will not be tolerated. I don’t have the time or the patience for that, so play nice or I’ll just start deleting messages before they show up here.

    Thanks in advance!

  18. yeah your right dan …. lombardis terrific …. keep drinking that kool aid hes serving …… how about these moves : mccauley, nagy, pressing, calder, trade for worst goailie in nhl cloutier, labarbera as number 1 guy, sean burke, willsie , 6 million dollar for washed up blake (yes thats right 2 years 12 million …..unbelievably poor use of cap money ) ….. i mean the moves are endless ….. thanks deano for wasting the last 3 years of my life …..its kings fans like u dan that enable lombardi to keep his job….. hes lucky he works out here in la la land where the fans are the dumbest in the league …… (except of course for a few who know whats up) …………………. hey david you seem to be one of the few who agree with me so kudos to you ……. kopitar isnt good enough to score 47 goals though …. i wish he was but hes no where near that …. so far hes a very overrated player …. hes still young so he may improve but the jury is definately still out on him …………. and we will probably be lucky to get 25 goals out of smyth ….. hes aging quickly and hasnt scored 30 in a while …… but still i am glad we traded for him because he will provide some offense and at this point anything can help …….. but yes david like you i agree we still need to add a top sniper to this team badly ….. if not heatley then somebody ….. gaborik would have been perfect for this team …….. everybody will see how foolish lombardi will look when gaborik tears it up for the rangers ……. gaborik isnt your typical overrated free agent of the past like gomez and drury and briere, federov, holik ….etc…. no no no …. gaborik is the real deal in the prime of his career …….. hes one of the top 10 players in the entire nhl ….. watch people you will all be eating crow when hes ripping it up for the rangers

  19. as far as personal attacks gann, they all started it by attacking me so im only defending myself … but from now on i will just ignore them when they do okay ….. we cool gann ….. peace brother

  20. One of the things that’s struck me about this Dany Heatley situation is how silent he’s been since this trade demand surfaced. Perception is that he wants out because he doesn’t like his coach demanding that he play defense and be accountable. I would love to hear his side of the story but so far I haven’t. If what people think about him is false, don’t you think he would have found some sympathetic reporter and told his side of the story? I don’t know if he was considered a cancer before this incident but to me he sure is now.

  21. I stand by my worry that top-tier free agents don’t want to come to this franchise. But I’m very happy to see that Ryan Smyth waived his no-movement clause and chose to come here. Granted, it looks like a choice for Smyth between the beginnings of rebuilding for the Avs and progress along the rebuilding process for the Kings, but it’s still a good thing.

  22. Why was O’Sullivan traded? Sure seems hard to think of DL as brilliant after that. Can someone tell me I am missing?

  23. We’ll see how that trade pans out. I’m skeptical about Williams, but O’Sullvan, so far, is unproven. Has potential, but last season, he wasn’t the player he was the season prior. Not even close.

  24. Dave/David its fans like you that give the LAK a bad name fans. Lets look at your plan, you wish to acquire Heatley at 7.5 a year which is what a player of his stature is worth, throw him on a team with a defensive minded coach (Heatley gets along with those I hear) hope that he score 50+ goals and walks away with a +/- of -15. The way i see it is were not getting 50+ goals were losing more games by a differential of 2 instead of one because he is not a two way player. We arent going to win a cup this year with or without him so why do you want someone who will be crying on April 15th instead of a role model for our team. Ryan Smyth will make everyone better around him whilst Heatley needs players like Alfredson and Spezza to even put up numbers.

  25. joshua …. sorry ….. ryan smyth is washed up …… and so is alfredson …. theres nobody on that senator team that can play except spezza ….. and hes by no means a superstar, just a solid player …. heatley had no help and still scored 40 goals …….. but forget about heatley ….. its obvious this is going to our team with smyth and thats it …. no more trades …. no more anything …. so are we better than last year ….. yes …. but only a little …. smyth is very close to being washed up …. dosent mean he cant have a good year and help us, just saying this move dosent even guarantee us a playoff spot because were only gonna bve a little bit better …. ill take it of course because a washed up smyth is still better than nothing and will at least help our offense a little bit …………… but what i dont understand is if we are willing to pay ryan smyth 6.25 million why couldnt we pay marion gaborik 7.5 …. gaborik was the player i most wanted ……… he is 27, in his prime, and one of the top 10 players in the nhl, whereas smyth is 33 and is very close to being washed up (if he isnt already) ………… not to mention the fact that ryan smyth gets injured about as much as gaborik does ………… with all our cap space, for only 1 million dollars more we could have gotten a superstar, in his prime, with an injury history, but instead we chose an old guy with an injury history ….. i just dont get it ….. lombardi has made one bad move after another ….. he needs to be fired …. and fast

  26. what do u guys think about signing tanguay to fill out the third line with simmonds and handzus …. then we would have three solid lines …. none of them spectacular….. but all 3 solid ……..and also this could provide us with much needed offensive depth in case one of our top two line wingers gets injured which is bound to happen at some point during the season …….. then we could move tanguay up to the top 2 lines where he can definately play and recall moller or someone from the minors to fill the third line void (or promote somebody from the fourth line) ……….then when our injured guy comes back, tanguay could slide back to that third line …………… like i said he could provide a solid 3 line combo as well as much needed depth on offense in case of injury or justin williams dosent pan out …………….. oh well just a thought ………… i know he will cost probably 4 million ……….. question is do the kings want to spend it …… i would because he could be valuable …. but then i again i dont run the team unfortunately so we will see what happens …… im sure they wont sign him, but its just a thought ….. at age 29 he may still have alot to offer, and is a solid 20 goal scorer type ….. if lombardi wants to go the more tough guy gritty route then maybe bertuzzi on a one year deal for like 2.5 million ……. hed be perfect for the third line and for offensive insurance just like tanguay ……. id rather have tanguay because tanguay is way younger but just saying that if dean wanted someone cheaper or grittier then bertuzzi could be the right fit ….. but im sure he will stand pat and sign no one ……. but those are just a few of my thoughts folks ……. take it easy

  27. As far as Tanguay goes I’d rather give Azevedo a shot to come in and be competeive as well as productive. If Justin Williams can return to his form that helped Carolina to a Stanley Cup then perhaps we just might have one spectacular line. Oh and for Gaborik $7.5 million is way too much. He was unhappy playing in a defensive system in Minnesota and that could be a lot of the reason for him being “oft injured.” Now I hated the Sully for Williams deal as much as anyone {I have to get a jersey re-stiched because of it :(} but paying 4ish million to Williams is much better to $7.5 for a Goal scorer. I would pay $5-6 mil for Gabby because of his potential but when NYR comes out with a better team and more money thats something you cant help. and Please NO Bertuzzi, there is a place for dirty players and that’s Anaheim.

  28. sorry … gaborik is the real deal ….. everyone will be eating crow …. especially idiot kings management ………and yes bertuzzi has that edge and thats why i want him …. nobody fears the kings …. theres a reason why the kings are soft and anaheim continuely outplays us in every game (even if we are lucky enough to get the bounces and win a few – like for example if usa held on and beat brazil nobody would have dared said – hey the usa is better than brazil in socccer …. we all know who the better team is ……. just watch the flow of the game ….. same as when the kings and ducks play ….. we got lucky and won the season series last year but all inteligent hockey fans should easily know who the better team is ………. and thats the ducks …. a consistent stanley cup contender every year versus the kings …. the clippers of the nhl) ….. so point being is that bertuzzi and the ducks style of play could help these soft kings …… thats the reason why cammi and sully and lubo were traded ….. all were small and played a very soft game ….. i hate dean lombardi with a passion, but those 3 moves are three i was calling for before they happened …. so i was very glad he made ….. probably the only three moves he has ever made that i have agreed with ………. anyways ……… anybody who thinks a soon to be 34 year old this season, washed up ryan smyth is gonna be a difference maker, needs to have their head examined ….. i always liked ryan smith, but hes too old ….. the kings needed a goal scorer in his prime to make a difference …. not somebody in the twilight of his career …..even if they make the playoffs this year, and i predict they wont again because they did nothing this offseason except for smyth, ….anyways even if they make it this season, what about year 2 with smyth when he is 35 and year 3 when he is 36 …. it will be one and done ……. something lombardi preaches he dosent want to do …….. yet he goes out and signs a washed up guy and parades him around like hes marion gaborik or something or any other guy who would be worthy of such parades like kovalchuk ………… lombardi is a dope ….. leiweke is a dope ….. and that is why we are the clippers of the nhl …….. i mean this organization learns nothing from the past ….. giving huge contracts to washed up guys like smyth , blake and roenick …. all mid thirties guys past their primes …. i mean sure let luc robitaille play for a million bucks like he did the last couple years …. thats fine …….. but to give washed up guys the big money instead of using that big money on superstar types in their prime ….. i mean that is just idiotic ………… i waited these last few months with anticipation to see would the kings finally make an intelligent move and get this goal scorer they are talking about that they so desperately needed ……. i waited and waited …… and guess what …. no gaborik … no heatley… no kovulchuk … hell i would have even settled for hossa who i didnt want because his age is creeping up …………. but instead i get ryan smyth …… washed up ryan smyth ….. a guy on his fourth team in the last 5 years …. and pay him 6.25 million ……… and he has an injury history …… i mean pleaseeeeeeee ….. this franchise is pathetic

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