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NFL Rumors: Reviewing the Latest Trade Buzz a Week Away from 2012 NFL Draft

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NFL Rumors: Reviewing the Latest Trade Buzz a Week Away from 2012 NFL Draft
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Heading into the 2012 NFL draft, most of the trade speculation surrounds the two biggest names on the block: Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Mike Wallace and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel.

However, Samuel's contract value and the trade bounty the Steelers would require for Wallace have so far served to deter interested teams from making their move.

Here is the latest trade buzz prior to the draft:

 

Pundits Say Wallace Trade Rumours Make Little Sense

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com believes that there is little merit to the latest trade rumours concerning Wallace. Rosenthal suggests the Steelers should keep Wallace at least a year, rather than trading him now for the same value he would fetch in 2013.

Rosenthal's sentiments have been echoed by Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, who suggests that any team willing to offer first-round value for Wallace will simply sign him as a restricted free agent.

The Wallace rumours are difficult to fathom, given how integral he is to the success of the Steelers offense. As arguably the game's most explosive deep threat, he plays a key role in opening up space underneath for Antonio Brown and also drawing safeties away from the front to aid the running game.

The trade rumours involving Wallace are looking more and more like the machinations of an agent, rather than a real possibility.

 

Are the Eagles Struggling to Find a Trade Partner for Samuel?

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Mike Wallace brings too much to the Steelers' offense to be traded away

Asante Samuel's presence at the first day of the Eagles' offseason workouts on Monday could indicate that his time in Philadelphia is not yet done. Samuel has said that he wants to stay with the Eagles, according to the team's website.

These developments could also be an indication that the Eagles are finding it difficult to find a trade partner for the 31-year-old ball hawk. Samuel is set to earn $9.5 million, and not many teams will be willing or able to pay a veteran that kind of money.

The kind of value teams may be willing to part with now may be at odds with what the Eagles feel would be adequate compensation for a player who has 23 interceptions in the last four seasons.

 

Do the Cleveland Browns Have a Market for the No. 4 Pick?

When the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Browns are looking to trade the No. 4 pick in the first round, the Eagles and St. Louis Rams were mentioned as the prime interested parties.

However, since then, the Eagles' interest has been downplayed by the team, according to CSN Philadelphia via NFL.com. It's difficult to see the Eagles trading so far up, given that they already have a strong core in place. 

The likes of Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon and Ryan Tannehill might be available, but besides Tannehill, none answers an obvious need for the Eagles.

Moving up to fourth just to secure Tannehill as Michael Vick's successor would probably come at too high a price.

The Rams could have more concrete interest if they believe the Browns will beat them to Alabama running back Trent Richardson or Blackmon. However, while the Rams' need for a playmaker on offense is great, they do have other holes to fill and can be quite content about landing an impact player at No. 6.

Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Is Ryan Tannehill enough to convince a team to trade for the Cleveland Browns' fourth overall pick?

With 13 picks already at their disposal, it's unclear why the Browns would move out of the fourth spot despite a host of needs. Teams possibly desperate for Tannehill, such as the Miami Dolphins, are probably more realistic trade partners in any potential deal with the Browns.

 

Rams Trading Steven Jackson May Not Be So Far-Fetched

Sports Illustrated's Peter King speculated that if the St. Louis Rams draft Trent Richardson, they could look to trade star veteran rusher Steven Jackson. While this is pure speculation on the part of King, the scenario may not be that unlikely.

Rumours have been building that the Rams could take Richardson, according to SportingNews.com, and that may not sit well with the league's best running back. Jackson is a workhorse and could be resistant to the idea of sharing a significant portion of the load with Richardson.

The Crimson Tide star is an every-down back, and with Jackson set to turn 29 before the start of the season and carrying a high cap value, the Rams could look to deal.

There are few teams in the league who wouldn't be significantly improved by the presence of Jackson.

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