As we get closer to the official start of NFL training camp, it’s time to analyze which players are currently on the trading block. Is it because of the rising play of a hotshot rookie or simply a team’s decision to cut salary before the start of the regular season? Let’s evaluate each player’s current situation and why they could be leaving.
Here are NFL trade candidates that could be dealt during training camp:
If the Maurice Jones-Drew contract negotiations turn into a major distraction, then the Jacksonville Jaguars will have no other choice than to cut their losses and trade him to the highest bidder.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan has reiterated over and over again that he fully expects MJD to honor the remaining two years on his contract, but Jones-Drew has clearly drawn a line in the sand (h/t Vito Stellino, Jacksonville.com). Simply, MJD wants to be paid what he’s worth. Last season, he led the NFL in rushing despite being partnered with a nonexistent passing attack. Jones-Drew will not play another down in a Jaguar uniform until he receives a significant pay raise.
MJD has been a no-show at all of the team’s offseason workouts, as this situation simply doesn’t have a quick resolution. Ultimately, a perennial playoff contender could just swoop in and acquire him for next to nothing.
The thought was "here we go again," as rumors were rampant in the spring that New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis could hold out during training camp (h/t Kevin Armstrong, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News).
That doesn’t appear to be the case now, as he’s expected to arrive on time. But Revis is entering the final year on his contract, and this will become an issue at some point in the regular season. Guaranteed. But for the moment, his contract dispute will be put on hold.
Revis is too much of a professional to allow his current contract situation affect his play on the field. But the Jets front office must monitor the culture inside the locker room and not let this dispute fester too long with others.
It’s a long shot that Revis will get traded, as the Jets entire defensive scheme is centered around him. He’s very adept at cutting the field in half and shutting down the opposing team’s top receiver.
Heading into training camp, the San Francisco 49ers are expecting a very highly contested battle for all of their running back positions. You have Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon, Brandon Jacobs and Rock Cartwright all fighting for valuable carries. It’s very possible that we’ve seen the last of Frank Gore in a 49er uniform (h/t David Mehrwein, Yahoo! Sports).
If his playing time is decreased, then it might be beneficial for him to prolong his career elsewhere. Yes, he still does have some trade value, and in the right situation, Gore can be an elite running back once again. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh wants a quick resolution to this problem, so to eliminate any potential distraction away from his team.
The writing is on the wall that cornerback Mike Jenkins’ time with the Dallas Cowboys is coming to an end, as they signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a large free-agent contract and then traded up in the NFL draft to select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. In one year’s time, he has gone from being the best corner on the roster to being an outcast.
In a league where a good passing game is mandatory, opposing defenses must have a surplus of quality cornerbacks to combat the aerial attack. But don’t think that Jenkins is the first option off the bench, as the Cowboys have re-signed cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a long-term deal. All of these acquisitions make Jenkins very expendable and available on the trade market.
With training camp right around the corner, the Cleveland Browns have signed, sealed and delivered running back Trent Richardson into their starting lineup. He will become the workhorse of the running game, thus leaving running back Montario Hardesty the odd man out of the offensive equation.
It has been a tough stay in Cleveland for Hardesty, as he was originally brought in to be the Browns “running back of the future,” but a torn ACL ended his rookie season. If Richardson excels as expected, then it will leave little playing time for a backup to be effective.
It’s just time for Hardesty to leave and restart his career elsewhere with a clean slate.