New York Rangers Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images


Mats Zuccarello is worth how little? Adding Hector Santiago for depth is a disgrace. That and more in this week’s bad takes breakdown.

The bad takes keep coming, and so too do the bad take breakdown, that specific moment in time when we look at the worst takes of the week from fans and media folks.

3: Janikowski Worth The First

Sebastian Janikowski has had a long and successful career in the NFL. He’s played 18 seasons and has made a lot of kicks. But the reality is that other kickers have had similar success without costing their team a first round pick.

However, not everybody appears to see this. Dane Brugler of The Athletic (subscription required) recently did a mock draft, and some discussion about the Raiders pick happened in the comments section. The conversation turned towards the mistake of drafting Janikowski, and that’s when commenter Daniel N. hit readers with this gem.

So, to sum it up, there was nobody in the 2000 NFL Draft that would have been worth that pick over Janikowski. Not Shaun Alexander, who carried the Seahawks offense for six seasons and led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006, and challenged LaDainian Tomlinson as the best running back in the league, while collecting almost 11,000 yards from scrimmage.

Not Laveranues Coles, who the Jets drafted in the third round and who carved out a nine-year career while racking up 8,609 yards and playing a position that has a much larger impact on the game than a kicker does.

And definitely not Tom Brady, who was drafted in 2000 as well. The 14-time Pro Bowler with over 70,000 yards passing and five Super Bowl rings would not have been a better pick than a kicker.

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Never mind that he’s made the playoffs 16 of his 19 seasons in the league while Janikowski spent most of his career as the only bright spot on some awful Raiders teams. As an aside, in two of the three seasons, Brady missed the playoffs he only appeared in one game (2000 when he was a backup and 2008 when he got injured week one and missed the rest of the season).

Janikowski has had a great career and could, probably should find himself in the Hall of Fame. But honestly, there are many players that would have helped the Raiders a lot more than a kicker when drafting in the first round.

Janikowski is a career 80.4 percent kicker. And while he’s kicked the most field goals from over 50 yards, he’s only hit on 55 percent of those kicks. He’s lasted 18 years but for a kicker to last that long isn’t shocking.

Janikowski has been a good kicker and was a great Raider. But quite simply the decision to draft him in the first round was not a good one.

2: Santiago A Disgrace

In case you haven’t noticed, fans of the New York Mets have a slight tendency for overreaction. Picture Tweek Tweak from South Park crossed with Chicken Little and you get a rough idea of what #MetsTwitter is like. I kid. But not really, because the fanbase needs to chill.

New York Mets

For example, the team recently signed Hector Santiago to a minor league contract. He’s a lefty pitcher who moved into a relief role last season. He’s depth and nothing more, and Mets fans don’t like that very much. Exhibit A:

First of all, Santiago has been in the majors since 2011 and has over seven seasons of service time. He spent all of last season in the majors and most of his minor league service since making the majors has been on rehab assignments.

Second of all, he’s a lefty who the team is giving a look at because they need a lefty. He’s insurance in case the team doesn’t land Justin Wilson (who they are interested in signing). That’s what good teams do. They find depth in case they can’t land who they want to get. You plan for all contingencies.

Not to mention, Santiago has a 3.53 ERA as a relief pitcher for his career, suggesting that there’s something that he can build on. This is a no-risk move by the team. Either he impresses and helps the team, or he doesn’t and doesn’t make the team.

Mets fans, I know you don’t want to hear it, but take a page from Dwight and take the chill pill. You’ll be better off for it.

I really don't want to take a chill pill.

1: Weak Zuccarello Return

New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello has had a rough season. He’s struggled with injuries and has scored only 15 points in his first 30 games, which would be his worst point pace since 2011-12, where he produced three points in 10 games.

However, he’s still been a productive player throughout his career, routinely being in the 50 point neighborhood. He has great vision and is a gritty player despite being both skilled and undersized.

It’s known that he will likely be traded, but the question is where and what the return will be. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) names the Colorado Avalanche as a team that could be interested, which makes sense. They need secondary scoring, and Zuccarello can help their second line immensely.

However, he asks a question that makes little sense. He suggests that he could fetch a return that would be rather underwhelming, asking “could the Sens (Ottawa Senators) high third-rounder do it.” (The Avalanche own that pick from a trade with the Senators.

The simple answer to that question is no, it could not do it. Nick Holden nabbed the Rangers a third-round pick last season (plus Rob O’Gara, who was essentially a contract balance). Holden struggled, putting up a Corsi For of 45.5 with the Rangers while being a minus-three (for those who like +/-).

He spent some time as a healthy scratch for the Boston Bruins before injuries forced him into the lineup. If he can land a third-round pick Zuccarello should be able to land more than that. Michael Grabner landed a second-round pick plus Yegor Rykov from the New Jersey Devils, despite only having two 40 point seasons in his career.

Of course, Grabner was in the midst of his second straight 25 goal season, which drove his value higher than it otherwise would have been.

Based on Zuccarello’s history, the return for Grabner should be what the Rangers get – namely a second round pick and a prospect like Rykov, namely somebody who isn’t a household name but has impressed and is rising in prospect depth charts.

Only one day two pick with no second pick or additional prospect is an insultingly low return for a player who has been very productive as a secondary scoring option throughout his career.

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