NFL teams are often loathe to make big, blockbuster trades. As a result, NFL trade deadlines are often quieter than a Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday.
The splashy big-name trades typically come from the NBA and MLB with superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Paul switching teams via a trade.
But the NFL always has a handful of eye-popping trades. A 1987 three-way trade sent Eric Dickerson from the L.A. Rams to the Indianapolis Colts and landed Cornelius Bennett with the Buffalo Bills. In 2004, stud running back Clinton Portis headed to the Washington Redskins from the Denver Broncos in exchange for shut-down cornerback Champ Bailey. A quarterback swap in 2009 between the Chicago Bears and the Broncos finished with Denver landing Kyle Orton and Chicago winding up with Jay Cutler.
Much like these infamous trades, this slideshow will showcase one potential big-name trade for each team in the league. Let's get started.
Larry Fitzgerald is getting lonely being the only legitimate pass-catching option at receiver for the Cardinals.
While the Cardinals could certainly use some help along their offensive line, they would be wise to try to trade for a top-shelf receiver to play opposite Fitzgerald.
If they can't land one of the better free agent receivers out there (Robert Meachem, Mario Manningham or Reggie Wayne) they should target Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson.
Shipping off a "big name" linebacker like Joey Porter for a receiver would make sense for the Cards. They need to get younger and faster at linebacker anyway and a guy like Porter still has some cache around the league.
Trade: Joey Porter (and a 6th or 7th round draft pick) to the Packers for Jordy Nelson
Although John Abraham has been an effective defensive end for the Falcons, he is getting older and needs some help.
If the Falcons aren't able to secure the services of a free agent like the Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis, they should trade for a impact pass-rusher.
The New York Giants' Osi Umenyiora would be the perfect fit.
His motor, size and strength would be a great complement to Abraham and would instantly improve the Falcons' front four.
The Falcons would have to part with their inconsistent (but talented) wide receiver Harry Douglas and a draft pick or two. It would be worth it for the Falcons, since they are stacked at the top at wide receiver with Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Trade: Harry Douglas and a draft pick to the Giants for Osi Umenyiora.
The Baltimore Ravens' defense continues to be able to win games and punish opposing teams' offenses.
They have some nice pieces in place on offense with dual threat Ray Rice at running back, a solid corps of up-and-coming (Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith) and veteran (Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans) wide receivers and a tough offensive line.
What the Ravens have seemed to lack on offense recently, however, is any element of surprise. Getting an option-style quarterback like the Buffalo Bills' Brad Smith would expand offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's playbook. In addition, it would provide some much-needed energy to the offense at key points in the game.
The Ravens may have to part with someone from their talented secondary to pry Smith away from the Bills. A guy who can also return kicks like safety Tom Zbikowski would be coveted by Buffalo.
Trade: The Ravens would send Tom Zbikowski to the Buffalo Bills for Brad Smith.
The offensively-gifted but defensively-challenged Buffalo Bills need a good pass rusher like T-Pain needs Auto-Tune.
At this point, Aaron Schobel is the only truly effective end on the Bills' roster. Getting a veteran sack-specialist like the Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen would provide much-needed leadership and production to the Bills' defense.
Allen is entered the latter stages of his career, but he still has enough moxie to be a game-changer for a team.
The Bills would need to give up No. 2 receiver David Nelson and a draft pick or two to get a guy like Allen, but it would be worth it for the 2012-2013 seasons.
Trade: The Bills send David Nelson and draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings for Jared Allen.
The Panthers showed excellent firepower and ability to score at will with rookie phenom Cam Newton under center.
Now they need to turn their attention to their undermanned secondary.
While their safety situation is also grim, they really could use a good shutdown cornerback. Having to play the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons talented receiving corps twice a year means that they need to have stellar cornerbacks to try to take away at least one of those teams' receivers.
The Panthers should target a young cornerback who can grow with the team like the Indianapolis Colts' Jerraud Powers. In just three years in the league, Powers has become one of the most effective corners in the NFL.
He plays tight coverage and rarely makes mistakes. The Colts love his attitude and his ability to stay with bigger and faster receivers.
The Panthers would need to give away a big name to get Powers. Running back Jonathan Stewart may be a good option. DeAngelo Williams is still performing at a high level and the Colts could use another back to ease the load on Joseph Addai and Donald Brown.
Trade: Jerraud Powers from the Colts for the Panthers' Jonathan Stewart.
At midseason the Bears were on track to secure a playoff spot and looked good enough to make some noise in the post-season. Jay Cutler's season-ending injury cut short what had been a promising year.
With the unproven Caleb Hanie as their backup, the Bears' offense floundered behind indecision, rampant turnovers and inaccuracy.
The Bears need a better option behind Cutler heading into the 2012 season. Guys like the Arizona Cardinals' John Skelton and the Indianapolis Colts' Dan Orlovsky showed last season that they could win games in the NFL.
The Bears could target Skelton and ship a guy like second-string defensive tackle Amobi Okoye to Arizona for him. The Cardinals would love to have extra beef in the middle of their defense and would readily make that trade (especially if they thought that Kevin Kolb was their long-term answer at QB).
Trade: The Cardinals send John Skelton to Chicago for Amobi Okoye.
The surprising Cincinnati Bengals need fresh legs in their backfield. Cedric Benson has been a workhorse for them for years now, but he is starting to lose a step.
The Bengals need a break-away back who is threat to catch the ball in the flat.
The Bengals should target a jack-of-all-trades player like the New Orleans Saints' Darren Sproles or the Miami Dolphins' Reggie Bush. Either of those guys could give the Bengals an exciting dimension on offense and would help young quarterback Andy Dalton avoid compromising 3rd and long plays.
Of the two, it seems most likely that Miami would part with Bush. The Bengals would need to shell out heftily for him, but he would be worth it. Miami could use a big, physical tight end like the Bengals' Jermaine Gresham.
Gresham is a good piece for the Bengals, but a tight end with his skill set are easier to find than a guy with Bush's skills.
Trade: Reggie Bush from the Dolphins for Jermaine Gresham from the Bengals.
The Cleveland Browns desperately need help at wide receiver. While they certainly have other needs across their roster, their startling lack of talent at receiver demands immediate attention.
Mohamed Massaquoi and Greg Little are serviceable, but little more than that. They really are more suited to be No. 2 and No. 3 guys. The Browns would be more than happy to pick up a field-stretching, athletic receiver like the Indianapolis Colts' Pierre Garcon.
If they can't get Garcon in free agency, they should trade for a similar receiver from within their division—the Baltimore Ravens' Torrey Smith.
Smith would add break-away speed and he's still young and raw so he could be had for a reasonable trade. The Ravens might covet a running back like Peyton Hillis or Montario Hardesty and if the Browns could find a decent rookie to take one of those guys' place, they would be wise to pony up for Smith.
Trade: The Browns pick up the Ravens' Torrey Smith for Montario Hardesty.
With stud linebacker Von Miller and talented defensive end Elvis Dumervil pressuring quarterbacks from the ends, the missing piece for the Broncos' defense is in the middle of their line.
Although the Broncos' secondary is filled with veterans, they are still effective. They really need big, mobile bodies at tackle to clog up lanes.
Tough defensive tackles are at a premium in the NFL, but the Broncos would love to secure the services of a impact player like the New England Patriots Vince Wilfork. Pats' head coach Bill Belichick has been known to part with beloved veterans, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Broncos could land Wilfork via a trade.
In what would surely be a headline-grabbing move, the Broncos would have to part ways with quarterback Tim Tebow for Wilfork's services. With Broncos' chief of operations John Elway only having tepid support for Tebow as the starter, if he finds another option at quarterback who is more of a prototypical passer, he could be willing to let Tebow go.
Belichick would love having Tebow as a toy for all sorts of exotic plays and would undoubtedly plug the hole in the line left by Wilfork with a draft pick.
Trade: The Broncos receive Vince Wilfork for Tim Tebow (and legions of Broncos' fans go crazy with rage).
The Dallas Cowboys seem chronically roughed over and beaten down in their secondary. Opposing teams' receivers frequently burn them downfield and they don't often snare interceptions.
The Cowboys would benefit from a tough safety who can help in run support and also make plays against receivers and tight ends.
They would love to pick up the Kansas City Chiefs' young and talented safety Eric Berry. The second-year man didn't play in 2011 due to an injury, but he showed enough in his rookie season to warrant a strong look from the Cowboys.
The Cowboys may have to part with running back Felix Jones to get Berry, but it would be well-worth that loss to do so. With the emergence of DeMarco Murray, Jones is not a go-to guy for the Cowboys any more.
The Chiefs would like to have a steady presence at running back and Jones would fit in nicely.
Trades: The Cowboys get Eric Berry from the Chiefs for Felix Jones.
The Detroit Lions knew that they were hard-up for running backs when they found themselves dredging up the carcass of Kevin Smith to run the rock for them. With Jahvid Best sidelined for most of the year with an injury, the Lions offense struggled running the ball.
Getting a solid and reliable workhorse at running back would be a great move for the Lions. They were 29th in the league at running the ball in 2011 and having a better complimentary piece to their explosive passing attack would enhance the team.
The Lions should target the Houston Texans' Ben Tate. He shined in place of Arian Foster this year and has the size and agility to make defenders miss.
The Texans would appreciate the Lions' tight end Tony Scheffler in return. With Brandon Pettigrew making a name for himself, Scheffler isn't as useful for the Lions.
Trades: The Lions get the Houston Texans' Ben Tate for Tony Scheffler.
The Texans finally turned the mediocre corner to get onto playoff road. After years of underachieving with talented rosters, the Texans were able to pull it together in 2011 to become a dangerous team.
They could use some depth at key spots along their offensive line, however. Their AFC South rivals, the Tennessee Titans, have a sound offensive line that is statistically one of the best in the NFL. Veteran right guard Jake Scott would be a great addition from the Titans for the Texans.
To get Scott, the Texans may have to part with a wide receiver. The Titans need more speed at receiver and would gladly take a guy like Kevin Walter.
Trade: The Texans pick up the Tennessee Titans' guard Jake Scott (and a draft pick) for Kevin Walter.
The Indianapolis Colts' wretched 2011 season saw their secondary crumble due to a severe lack of talent and depth. With Jerraud Powers and Antoine Bethea as the only respectable players on the back end of their defense, the Colts were continually torched down the field.
The Colts will be looking for another cornerback to take the pressure off of Powers. I do realize that I've already dealt Powers to the Panthers for Jonathan Stewart, but in the interest of this fantasy imagine that he's still in Indy.
In that case, the Colts would be wise to try to trade for the Philadelphia Eagles' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers-Cromartie is fantastic in coverage and would be a physical presence that the Colts need.
To get him, the Colts would have to part with tight end Jacob Tamme. After Dallas Clark's season-ending injury in 2009, Tamme showed that he could adequately step in as a pass-catching tight end. Michael Vick would enjoy throwing to him.
Trade: The Colts get the Eagles' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Jacob Tamme and a low draft pick.
The Jaguars' anemic passing offense needs a dose of talent at receiver. They have a big, athletic tight end in Marcedes Lewis and Mike Thomas is a decent receiver.
But they don't have many scary playmakers on offense at this point.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Jeremy Maclin would be a fine addition to the Jags' receiving corps. He has great speed, good hands and would instantly make Jacksonville's passing offense dangerous.
The Jaguars would need to part with linebacker Daryl Smith to make this happen. The Eagles would be thrilled to have a good hitter with nice range at linebacker.
Trade: The Jaguars send Daryl Smith and a low draft pick to Philadelphia for Jeremy Maclin.
The Green Bay Packers stormed to a 15-1 record in 2011 behind the mammoth point totals that their offense racked up.
But their secondary was continually ripped to shreds and landed them at the bottom of the NFL in pass defense statistical category.
Losing safety Nick Collins last season really hurt the Packers and having another solid safety in the fold would make Green Bay's defense much better.
The Packers would love to add a guy like the Oakland Raiders' free safety Michael Huff. He's a rangy safety who is decent in run support and would help to shore up the back-end of the Packers' defense.
To get him, the Packers would need to send wide receiver James Jones to Oakland to be another toy for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Trade: The Packers send James Jones to the Raiders for Michael Huff.
New head coach Romeo Crennel will almost certainly improve the Chiefs' defense in his first year at the helm in Kansas City. He does have some nice players already, not least of whom is dynamic sack-artist Tamba Hali.
The Chiefs would certainly benefit from some solid depth at linebacker, however. To pair with Hali, the Chiefs would love to add Jacksonville Jaguars' strong side linebacker Clint Session.
Session is a hard-hitting linebacker with a good nose for the ball. He's gotten better each year that he's been in the league.
To get Session, the Chiefs would need to part with Kyle Orton and demand a draft pick as extra compensation.
The Jaguars would like to have a veteran quarterback to push Blaine Gabbert and Orton would certainly fill the bill. With Matt Cassel as the likely starter, Orton creates a logjam at quarterback for the Chiefs.
Trade: The Jaguars send Clint Session and a draft pick to the Chiefs for Kyle Orton.
The Miami Dolphins seem to have a good nucleus in place to make a playoff run in the next couple of years.
One hole on the roster is at tight end. Anthony Fasano is a good pass-catcher, but he doesn't approach the elite levels of the bigger, faster tight ends.
The Dolphins would love to score a tight end like the New England Patriots' Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez is still a young player, but his size and cutting ability make him a difficult match-up for smaller defenders. Matt Moore would love to sling the ball to Hernandez.
To score him from the Pats, the Dolphins would need to send them help for their secondary in the form of safety Reshad Jones.
Trade: The Dolphins give up Reshad Jones and a draft pick for Aaron Hernandez.
The Minnesota Vikings would love to add some talent at cornerback.
They were one of the worst teams at defending the pass in 2011, and since they play the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers twice per year, they definitely need to focus on getting some guys to shut down opposing teams' receivers.
One potential target for the Vikings to help in this area would be the San Francisco 49ers' Tarell Brown. He showed in 2011 that he could be a tough corner on the outside and he'd bring a hungry attitude to the staid Viking secondary.
To get Brown, the Vikings would need to say goodbye to running back Toby Gerhart. The 49ers would enjoy having a good backup to Frank Gore and the Vikings would be able to replace Gerhart in the draft.
Trade: The 49ers send Tarell Brown and a draft pick to the Vikes for Toby Gerhart.
The Patriots have a sensational offense and an opportunistic defense. Despite better play from their defense toward the end of the season, they've let their cupboard get a bit barren lately with regards to game-changing pass rushers.
The Patriots would be ecstatic to welcome the Chicago Bears' premier pass rusher Julius Peppers to the fold. With a long history under Bill Belichick of signing older stars, the Patriots would jump at the opportunity to get a dynamic beast like Peppers.
To get Peppers, the Patriots would need to send the Bears the multi-talented Julian Edelman and a draft pick. Edelman would bring his good hands and crisp route-running to a Bears offense that could use another receiving option.
Trade: The Patriots send Julian Edelman and a draft pick to the Bears for Julius Peppers.
The New Orleans Saints' defense typically plays well enough to allow their offense to win the game. Head coach Sean Payton has myriad offensive tricks to put up points and an array of weapons to make it happen.
But his defensive philosophy is bend, not break and while it typically works for him, his linebackers sometimes do a bit too much bending.
To remedy that problem, the Saints should add the New York Giants' Mathias Kiwanuka. Kiwanuka is an energetic strong side linebacker who would give the Saints the physical presence they need at that position.
The Saints would need to send running back Pierre Thomas to the Giants. But with the expected emergence of Mark Ingram and the continued dominance of Darren Sproles, they most likely wouldn't miss Thomas too much.
Trade: The Giants get Pierre Thomas from the Saints' for Mathias Kiwanuka.
Although Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe are a serviceable tight ends, the New York Giants would relish the addition of another tight end.
With a solid stable of receivers and a punishing defense, the reigning NFL champion Giants seem to have few immediate needs. To increase their depth at tight end, a guy like the Washington Redskins' Chris Cooley would certainly help.
The Redskins have been happy with Fred Davis' progression and Cooley may be an expendable piece. The Giants would have to send defensive end Dave Tollefson and a draft pick to the 'Skins, but they'd only be missing out on some depth at that position.
Trade: The Giants get the Redskins' Chris Cooley for Dave Tollefson and a draft pick.
While wide receiver should certainly be a target for the New York Jets this offseason, they'd also benefit from adding a good third-down running back.
LaDainian Tomlinson is a great leader, but he just isn't getting it done as well as he once did in third down situations.
Shonn Greene is still a good feature back for Gang Green. He does need more help, however, in the backfield.
The Jets would covet a guy like the Indianapolis Colts' Joseph Addai. Addai is a fantastic pass-catcher and his blocking skills are excellent.
To get Addai, the Jets would have to part with linebacker Calvin Pace. The Colts need toughness instilled in their sure-to-be-retooled defense and Pace would be a nice veteran addition.
Trade: The Jets add the Colts' Joseph Addai for Calvin Pace.
Richard Seymour continued to be a handful in the middle of the defense for the Raiders. But after him, Oakland got very little pressure from their linemen.
The Raiders could also use help at cornerback. But better pressure on the quarterback would improve the back-end of the defense, so starting with the defensive line seems to make sense.
The Raiders would love to add Trent Cole from the Philadelphia Eagles to supplement their pass rush. Cole has been the model of consistency in Philadelphia. His speed off the edge is impressive and he has the strength to fight through would-be blocks.
The Raiders would need to send linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and a draft pick for Cole. But that would be price that would be well worth it for Oakland.
Trade: The Raiders get the Eagles' Trent Cole for Kamerion Wimbley and a draft pick.
Brent Celek is a solid pass-catching tight end for the Eagles. He provides good hands and big target for Michael Vick in the middle of the field.
If Celek goes down or the Eagles want to experiment with running two tight ends out there (like the New England Patriots), they really don't have another good option at that position.
The Eagles would be excited to welcome a guy like the San Diego Chargers' Randy McMichael. He's a wily veteran who has been playing in Antonio Gates' shadow. He could blossom with the Eagles.
The Eagles wouldn't have to give up much to get him. Maybe just a draft pick.
Trade: The Eagles give up a fourth round draft pick for the Chargers' Randy McMichael.
Brett Keisel has nothing to do with the Steelers' need for cornerbacks, but I'll take any chance to show a picture of this fantasticly hirsute dude.
The Steelers last game of the year against the Denver Broncos left a wretched taste in their mouths. Tim Tebow and the youthful (but dynamic) receiver Demaryius Thomas torched their secondary and had career games against them.
The Steelers would love to add some quality depth at cornerback. To do so, they should look for a guy like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib. Talib is an outspoken but underrated cornerback who would provide good range and cover skills for the Steelers.
To get him, they'd need to send veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery to the Bucs. The Buccaneers would crave his leadership and slot abilities and the Steelers wouldn't be too hard up at receiver without him.
Trade: The Steelers get the Bucs' Aqib Talib for Jerricho Cotchery.
When the Chargers let Darren Sproles sign with the New Orleans Saints last offseason, they may not have realized how much they'd miss him.
Sproles is the kind of hard-working, do-anything back who makes his teammates better. With the inconsistent Ryan Mathews and the steady (but underwhelming) Mike Tolbert as their primary running back options, the Chargers could stand to add another piece to their backfield.
The Broncos' Knowshon Moreno would be a good third down back to add. While he didn't perform up to expectations in Denver, he has talent to spare and would help as a pass-catcher out of the backfield for Philip Rivers.
The Chargers could get him cheaply for a third round draft pick.
Trade: The Chargers get the Broncos' Knowshon Moreno for a third round draft pick.
So at wide receiver the 49ers have Michael Crabtree and Ted Ginn Jr. (kind of) and . . . hmm . . . well, that's about it.
The 49ers clearly have a lack of production and talent at wide receiver. They have a freakishly impressive tight end in Vernon Davis and a stud running back in Frank Gore.
But they are missing good targets at wide receiver for quarterback Alex Smith.
The 49ers would be vastly improved if they could find a way to sneak Austin Collie away from the Indianapolis Colts. Collie runs crisp routes and his hands are softer than the new snow in Vail. He'd be a perfect slot receiver for San Francisco and would provide some extra security for third down situations to Smith.
The Colts would require some defensive help in the form of linebacker NaVorro Bowman. If Bowman had to leave San Fran for Collie, the Colts would probably need to package a draft pick in there as well.
Trade: The 49ers get Austin Collie and a fifth round draft pick from the Colts for NaVorro Bowman.
The Seahawks' passing game suffered from spotty quarterback play in 2011.
Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson have had some nice moments, but aren't really starter-quality players. Without a solid hand under center, the Seahawks will have difficulty rising above their currently mediocre situation.
Of all the backup QBs out there with promise, none have been as impressive as Aaron Rodgers' backup in Green Bay—Matt Flynn.
Flynn's big arm and accuracy would open up Seattle's passing attack.
The Seahawks would need to send a draft pick and tight end John Carlson to the Packers to make that happen. The Packers may lose their No. 1 tight end Jermichael Finley in free agency, so getting the effective Carlson would be a nice addition for them.
Trade: The Seahawks score Matt Flynn from the Packers for John Carlson and a third round draft pick.
The Rams' midseason acquisition of the Denver Broncos' Brandon Lloyd was a great move. They still need more help at receiver for quarterback Sam Bradford, however.
The Rams woeful offense often seemed to bog down when they got themselves into third and long situations. Having a reliable target across the middle of the field in the slot would be a helpful addition for St. Louis.
Nabbing Marc Mariani from the Tennessee Titans would be a great move for the Rams. Mariani is a good kick returner who would help on special teams and he has the potential to develop into a nice slot receiver in the Wes Welker mold.
Tennessee would like a fifth and a seventh round draft pick in return and the Rams would gladly oblige.
Trade: The Rams get Marc Mariani from the Titans for a fifth and a seventh round pick.
Greg Schiano has his work cut out for him as the new head coach for the Buccaneers. With a number of roster holes, he'll need to find impact players at a wide range of positions.
He should start with finding a good pass rusher, however. The Bucs only had 23 sacks on the year and rarely made opposing teams' quarterbacks pay for sticking around in the pocket.
Tampa Bay would be wise to target a speedy end rusher like the Cincinnati Bengals' Robert Geathers. While he hasn't reached his 10.5 sack level of 2006, Geathers is still a nice player at defensive end.
The Bengals would take a third round draft pick for Geathers.
Trade: The Buccaneers get Robert Geathers from the Bengals for a third round draft pick.
With a solid running game in place and a veteran quarterback leading the offense, the Titans could still use a good No. 2 wide receiver to match with Kenny Britt.
The San Diego Chargers' tall receiver Malcolm Floyd would be a dream "get" for the Titans. Matt Hasselbeck will enjoy having a big, fast receiver like Floyd to chuck the ball to.
The Titans would need to come prepared to give up quite a bit to secure Floyd's talents. They may need to part with linebacker Barrett Ruud and a third round draft pick to swing it.
Trade: The Titans get Malcolm Floyd from the Chargers for Barrett Ruud and a third round draft pick.
John Beck and Rex Grossman are only answers if the question is, "Who would be good options to hold a clipboard and wear an earpiece on the sidelines?"
The Redskins were hamstrung throughout the 2011 campaign by mistakes and incompetence at the quarterback position.
Questions about the possibility that Manning's neck will never be the same again may hurt his value, but his potential to regain his All-Pro form make him an amazingly enticing option.
Since Manning would likely be released by the Colts, the Redskins would just need to pony up for his salary to get him. Maybe they could trade Rex Grossman for the Colts' Dan Orlovsky (even up) just for fun, though.