It would seem that the New York Giants would be wise to do nothing at the trade deadline, which is quickly approaching on October 30.
They have won four of their last five games and sit alone atop the NFC East after a dominant victory over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. They also appear to have shored up the weakest units on their team, the secondary and offensive line, in recent weeks.
Against the 49ers, Big Blue picked off the usually mistake-free Alex Smith three times and have not allowed a 300-yard passer since Tony Romo accomplished the feat in Week 1. Not to be outdone, the offensive line has not given up a sack in three games and has helped fuel a rushing attack that's accumulated 392 yards over the last two weeks.
Prosperity, however, should not deter the Giants from exploiting the depth they currently enjoy on offense at the deadline. Here are some trades the Giants can make before Halloween Eve with an eye on the future.
All of a sudden, the Giants have solid depth at the running back position.
Ahmad Bradshaw is coming off a 116-yard rushing effort against the vaunted 49ers defense and a 200-yard outburst the week before versus the Browns. Even David Wilson has looked comfortable running the ball the last two weeks, amassing 79 yards on only nine carries and a touchdown.
Bradshaw and Wilson's recent performances make the flavor of September, Andre Brown, expendable. Sure, Brown has missed most of the last two games after suffering a concussion in the first quarter of the Cleveland game. But he has a chance to return this week against Washington and there are a few teams that could use his services.
The Cardinals are one, having lost Ryan Williams for the season and Beanie Wells until at least November 25. Brown would, at the very least, be able to split carries with Arizona's current lead back William Powell, if not surpass him all together.
The Lions also have a shaky running back situation with the underwhelming Mikel Leshoure and his 3.6 yards per carry leading the pack.
The Giants should look to parlay Brown's early-season success into a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick from either one of these teams.
Similar situation here as the Giants can look to trade a player with a limited sample of success because of the depth they have at wide receiver.
While Barden does bring value to New York's passing game because of his size, he is going to have a hard time getting playing time if Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon are both healthy and playing. Due to this logjam, the Giants can look to trade him to a couple of teams with playoff aspirations who lack playmakers.
The Jets are one of these teams with Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill as their top two wideouts. Yes, you read that correctly. Barden could easily replace one of those two in the starting lineup and would likely become Mark Sanchez's favorite red-zone target within a few games.
The Seahawks is the other, though their situation is a bit better with the highly competent Sidney Rice as the top target. Still, Barden can be competitive with the likes of Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin as one of the other two receivers. He would also give the erratic Russell Wilson a nice big target near the goal line.
Getting a fifth- or sixth-round pick from either one of these teams for the fourth-year veteran is not a stretch.
Why would the Giants even consider trading their second-leading receiver? For starters, Hixon is a major injury risk. He played in only one full game in 2010 and 2011 combined due to two separate tears of the same ACL in his right knee.
The Giants know the odds are against him finishing the season healthy. Now is a great time to trade Hixon when his value is high.
Also if the Jets or Seahawks are willing to overlook Hixon's injury history (he also has two concussions in that history; one this year and one in 2008) he has a much better track record in the NFL than Barden. Besides the 314 receiving yards he has this year, Hixon also accumulated 596 yards on 43 catches in 2008.
It would definitely take guts for Jerry Reese to deal Hixon, given the season he is having. Considering the risk, though, he carries it may be the smarter move compared to trading Barden.