NFL Rumors: Players Who Could Fill Team's Biggest Hole
There are typically not as many trades in the NFL as there are in other professional sports leagues. That could change this year under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Teams are going to be more willing to move up on draft day to get a player they like because they will not have to give him a ridiculous rookie contract. That means more players are likely to get a new address on draft day this year than in years past.
Even with that being the case, there still will not be more than a handful of trades made.
This post looks at some trades that should be considered or the one free agent that each team should target to fill their biggest hole.
New England Patriots
While the Patriots are set on offense, hey really need to add a playmaker in the secondary.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a guy they should talk to the Eagles about.
The fact is that the Eagles have a surplus in talent at the corner back position and they need to re-evaluate the way they built the team. They would probably be willing to listen to any offer the Patriots would make.
This is breaking the rules of this post, but there are really not any quarterbacks that are worth acquiring that are going to be available through a trade.
The acquisition of Matt Flynn by the Dolphins is absolutely a no-brainer.
There is no one that Joe Philbin would rather work with than Flynn as they developed good chemistry from their time together in Green Bay.
The Bills need to upgrade every aspect of their defense. Carlos Rogers would be a good place for them to start. Rogers is not the best corner in the league, but he is a solid veteran that will make the Bills defense better than it was in 2011.
Rogers had a really nice year with the 49ers. He ended the season with 6 interceptions and was a vital part of the San Francisco defense that nearly carried the team to a Super Bowl.
New York Jets
LaRon Landry, who will be available via free agency, is a player that could really help the back end of the Jets' defense.
The Jets defense was not as good as was advertised in 2011 and that was largely due to the terrible play of the safeties.
Adding Landry would give them that hard-hitting presence that was missing in 2011. He would automatically give them a little bit of the swagger back that they had in the years prior to 2011.
D'Qwell Jackson is a free agent that the Ravens should absolutely target once that period is open.
The Ravens were still really good on defense in 2011, but their stars are aging on that side of the ball.
Adding Jackson would make them a little bit younger and bring in some friendly competition that could make everyone play at the top of their game.
Carl Nicks is going to be coveted by a lot of teams this offseason. Odds are he will end up back in New Orleans, but the Steelers should make every effort to bring him to Pittsburgh.
The one thing that has hindered the Steelers for the last couple of years has been the offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger does not really help anything by holding the ball for so long, but that does not change the fact that their line is terrible.
Adding Nicks would change that.
Mike Wallace is a restricted free agent that the Steelers will not let walk. They will offer him the best tender they can.
The Bengals should go match that when it happens. They would really benefit from having him opposite A.J. Green and forming maybe the best receiving duo in the NFL.
It would also help them because it would hurt the Steelers, whom they fact twice a year.
Arian Foster is a restricted free agent that the Browns should do whatever it takes to get him away from the Texans.
Foster is arguably the best running back in the NFL right now. Adding him to the Cleveland roster would make everyone much better, including Colt McCoy. There is no reason they should not trade their first round pick for him because they will not be able to get a better player.
The Texans are desperate for a talented receiver to run out there opposite of Andre Johnson. The Jacoby Jones experiment is not going to pan out.
Houston should give the Redskins a call about Santana Moss.
While Moss is nearing the end of his career, he does have a couple of good years left in him. There is no reason for the Redskins to keep him around because they are still a couple of years away from contending.
The Titans desperately need help on the interior of their offensive line and Ben Grubbs would be an immediate upgrade as soon as he walked in the building.
Tennessee has seen a lot of players go to the Ravens to have success. Guys like Derrick Mason, Steve McNair and Chris Carr have all left the Titans and had good years with the Ravens.
It is time that the Titans returned the favor with Grubbs.
The Jaguars are desperate for help at wide receiver as they need to add someone decent for Blaine Gabbert to throw to.
Dwayne Bowe would be a huge upgrade.
He would give Gabbert a little bit of confidence to stand in the pocket and throw the ball.
Bowe is going to be a hot commodity on the market and Jacksonville should be waiting on his doorstep for the moment free agency opens to try and get him in the fold.
The 2012 offseason is all about Andrew Luck for the Colts. They are starting to rebuild, so they are not going to make a huge splash in free agency.
They are also not going to be looking to trade for a lot of players because draft picks are worth their weight in gold in a rebuild.
It is just good news for the Colts that someone else will be handling their drafts now. A big reason they were as bad as they were in 2011 is because they have missed on so many draft picks recently.
The Broncos have no choice but to load up on defense if they are committed to keeping Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback. There is not a lot of point in adding a big name receiver because Tebow cannot throw a forward pass.
Robert Mathis is a guy that might come at a pretty reasonable price because he is entering the twilight of his career. That does not mean, however, that he is done.
Mathis still has a good year or two in the tank and could help a Broncos team that was in the playoffs in 2011.
San Diego Chargers
It is a pretty safe bet that Vincent Jackson will be playing somewhere other than San Diego in the 2012 season. There have just been too many problems between Jackson and the franchise to think they could continue the relationship.
That does not mean that the Chargers should not re-sign him. He is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL. Philip Rivers would truly miss him if he were on another team
And after the year that Rivers had in 2011, it is not a good idea to do anything that is going to hurt him.
The Raiders are not in a good place to make any trades. They have traded most of their 2012 draft picks away for players that did not help them make the playoffs in 2011.
The biggest hole they have is at cornerback and where the Eagles have a surplus of talent. It would be a good idea for the Raiders to at least see if Philadelphia would entertain the thought of sending Asante Samuel to the West Coast.
Samuel would make them an instant contender in 2012.
Kansas City Chiefs
Marques Colston would be the perfect replacement for Dwayne Bowe if the Chiefs are not able to resign him.
While Colston was not as highly touted coming out of college as Bowe, he has become the better NFL receiver.
The Chiefs have quite a few question marks on the offensive side of the ball and would be helped if Matt Cassel to plays to the level they expected when they gave him big money to come over from the Patriots.
New York Giants
There really are not a lot of holes on the Giants right now.
They obviously have one of the best teams in football considering they are playing in the Super Bowl. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders with Eli Manning at the helm.
Their defense is really good up front, but they could use some help at the linebacker spot.
That is where Curtis Lofton comes in.
He could come in and make a defense that is already unstoppable even better.
The Philadelphia Eagles finished the season really strong in 2011 with the only thing that kept them out of the playoffs was their really slow start.
A big reason for the slow start was due to the play of their linebackers—they left gaping holes in the middle of the defense.
Stephen Tulloch would plug the hole in the middle of that defense. While not a dynamic playmaker, you can count on him to play his assignment every single time.
Cortland Finnegan would be a perfect fit for the Dallas Cowboys. He already has that Cowboy air about him.
Finnegan, a free agent, would be the best move for them because then they could spend their first round pick on an offensive lineman to protect Tony Romo.
One way or another, the Cowboys have to add a corner that can cover someone.
The Redskins absolutely have to trade up on draft day to get Robert Griffin III. They cannot afford to go through another season with John Beck and Rex Grossman as their quarterbacks.
Watch for the Mike Shanahan to call his good buddy Jeff Fisher on draft day so he can move up to the second pick in the draft to keep the Browns from being able to pick RG3.
RG3 will be a really good player after a couple of years learning under Shanahan.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers need help all over their defense and the addition of Michael Griffin via agency would help in shoring up the back of their defense.
Griffin, who can be an inconsistent at times, can make some big plays at times. Green Bay would just need him to fill his role and come up with a big play here and there to set up good field position for Aaron Rodgers.
This is one of those moves that will not ever happen, but the Lions should go after Ray Rice. Adding him would make their offense the best in the NFL bar none.
You saw what Detroit was able to do this year in their offense without a rushing game.
Now just picture Matthew Stafford having Ray Rice to turn around and hand the ball off too. There is nothing the defense would be able to do to stop that attack.
The Bears, in desperate need of a wide receiver, should give the Miami Dolphins a call about Brandon Marshall.
Jay Cutler already has a familiarity with Marshall from their time together in Denver.
It would be a good idea for the Dolphins to move Marshall with a new administration coming to town. Marshall has been fairly quiet since he went to Miami, but it is only a matter of time before he causes a problem in the locker room.
Steve Johnson is an interesting character as never really know what he is going to say or do from one minute to the next.
What you do know about him, however, is that he is a really good football player. He has come into his own in the last couple of years as one of the better receivers in the NFL.
The Vikings really need to give Christian Ponder a weapon on the outside to line up opposite Percy Harvin. Johnson would be a perfect fit in that offense.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints need someone who can flat-out get after the quarterback.
They were really bad against the pass last year—partly because their secondary was so bad—largely in part to the poor play of their defensive line.
That is exactly why they need to add Cliff Avril to the mix.
Avril, who had 11 sacks for the Lions last year, would give the Saints someone on their line that opposing coordinators would have to scheme against.
Calais Campbell would be scary in a Falcons uniform. The biggest problem the Falcons had last year on defense was the inability to get pressure on the quarterback as they were really good against the run.
Adding Campbell in free agency would change all of that.
He had eight sacks last season for the Cardinals. That number does not sound very high, but the Falcons would take anyone who is able to get after the quarterback, even a little, at this point.
The Panthers need a lot of help on defense, but the quickest way for the to improve is to load up on offense.
They already have plenty of talent of offense, but adding DeSean Jackson in free agency would really put them over the top.
Teaming Jackson with Steve Smith on the outside would be tough for any defense to stop and allow Carolina to focus on the defense in the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a long way to go before they are back in the hunt. While they barely missed the playoffs in 2010, it is the truth.
They need a lot of help on defense. They could get a little bit of that help by adding David Hawthorne in free agency.
He would fill an immediate hole the Buccaneers have a linebacker and allow them to address other needs in April's draft.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were the most surprising team in football in 2011. They got more out of their talent that any team in the league.
The one thing they are desperate for is a big-play receiver. Robert Meachem has never really had a breakout season with the Saints, but there is no doubt the talent is there for him to be a star in the NFL.
If Jim Harbaugh can make Alex Smith a good NFL quarterback, there is no telling what he can do with Meachem.
The Arizona Cardinals are a lot closer to being a good football team than most people realize. They are pretty good on defense and are loaded with skill players on the offensive side of the ball.
The one thing they desperately need is someone to protect the quarterback. Every good line has a good center and is why Arizona should look to add Nick Hardwick in free agency. His experience would really help the Cardinals be a better team.
The Seahawks are also better than most people realize. Their biggest need is at quarterback and they could be one of the teams that make a play for Peyton Manning if he is released.
The player they should look to add is Lardarius Webb. He is a restricted free agent and is coming off of a really nice year with Ravens.
Webb would upgrade the Seattle pass defense as he had five interceptions and broke up 20 passes in 2011.
St. Louis Rams
Albert Haynesworth was once one of the most dominant defensive players in the league. That was back when he played for Jeff Fisher in Tennessee.
If anyone knows how to motivate him back to that level, it is Fisher.
Haynesworth has obviously under-performed the ridiculous contract he got in Washington. There is only one year left on that deal, and the Buccaneers would be glad to send him to St. Louis.
It would be an absolute steal for Jeff Fisher if he could Albert playing anywhere near his 2008-2009 level.