Question: The terms “buyer” and “seller” are easy to throw around, but they don’t necessarily describe what’s happening before the deadline. Would you say, in terms of talking to GMs, that you’re an aggressor, or that you’re taking more calls than you’re making?
LOMBARDI: “The problem is that everyone is still in it. There aren’t many sellers, period. There are a few out there that are fairly obvious, but not a lot. Nobody in our conference is out of it, and you’ve got a few in the East. Things can shake out a little more as you get to the deadline. Some people might realize, `You know, instead of holding this middle ground, we have to rebuild.’
“So a team that’s technically not out of the playoffs might just face reality (and say), `We’re never going to be any good,’ and stop trying to get stuck in the middle. So they wouldn’t be your classic `seller,’ in the sense that they’re out of the playoffs, but there are two things that are different. One, they realize that they have to go back to the draft table and basically rebuild, and/or they’re concerned about the cap coming down. So you might run into a little of that.
“People might say, `Screw it. It’s not worth it to stay in the playoff race, or give the illusion of staying in it. Let’s see if we can get some of this cash out of here.’ I don’t have any evidence of that yet, but if you’re trying to think about the marketplace, I can see that entering into the equation. Again, I have no evidence of that just yet. It’s just my instincts and some of the chatter, that it might happen.”