The NFL trade deadline is one week away. Please excuse the excruciatingly loud noise. I just dropped a pin.
Seriously though, has there ever been a quieter NFL trade deadline?
All professional football teams have needs. Some needs are larger than others. Some needs are wants.
And some needs are just because you want Tim Tebow.
For the St. Louis Rams, getting thrown, drug and chased all over the Edward Jones Dome turf last week by the Green Bay Packers has shown that this team still has a long way to go before they are playoff-ready.
Many positions on the roster (quarterback, running back, special teams, defensive line, etc.) are in good hands.
And many other areas have simply been demolished by injuries. You don’t have to look any further than the team’s offensive line and wide receiving corps.
The Rams have a chance to make themselves better, more explosive on offense and get back into the NFC playoff picture.
Here’s my guess as to what an NFL trade deadline list would look like for this year’s Rams squad.
Draft Picks (Lots of them)
If the Jeff Fisher-Les Snead regime has shown us anything, it’s that they love to acquire draft picks. Under the NFL’s new rookie salary cap rules, first-year players are valuable commodities—more valuable than they’ve ever been.
The Rams are certainly doing all they can to add to the impressive pile of draft picks they’ve collected over the last year.
The team’s most obvious assets to move in a trade are the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent—Steven Jackson, Brandon Gibson, Craig Dahl and Bradley Fletcher.
Jackson is probably the only one of the group that can fetch any real value from another team. It seems unthinkable for the Rams to move Jackson, their workhouse for the last decade. But Jackson is dangerously close to the age (30) where running backs’ careers go to die.
I say that if any team offers a third-round pick or better, the Rams would bite.
It would be hard for any playoff-bound team to turn down added depth in the secondary, so don’t be surprised if Fisher-Snead take a late-round pick on one of the pending free agent defensive backs.
Dwayne Bowe, WR
The Rams have a hole at wide receiver that does not seem to be getting filled anytime soon.
Danny Amendola is always on the injured list. Brian Quick and Austin Pettis have shown flashes of promise, but they have not developed as fast as anticipated.
Brandon Gibson and Steve Smith are not long-term answers.
The Rams may very well have their eyes on the Kansas City Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo!, Bowe apparently wants out of KC. He held out from this year’s training camp and after signing his franchise tender, Bowe has not made any efforts to mend that relationship with Chiefs management.
Bowe would be an awesome fit for this Rams team. He’s big (6’2”, 220 pounds), fast (4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash) and has a nose for the end zone (15 touchdowns in 2010).
I’m not sure what it would take to snatch Bowe from Kansas City, but if it’s anything like what the Rams gave up last year for Brandon Lloyd (fifth-round pick) or what the Patriots gave up in 2007 for Randy Moss (fourth round), I say the Rams should make the deal.
Greg Jennings, WR
I’m not the first Rams FC to get a little wide-eyed at the prospect of Greg Jennings lining up on the Rams side of the field.
But it’s not too often that one of the league’s best wide receivers just happens to be a pending free agent.
And just happens to be at a stalemate on contract negotiations. And just happens to play for a team with a thousand other great wide receivers.
And just happens to be a little banged up, missing the Packers last three game.
The price could be just right for the Rams and Green Bay Packers to get Jennings.
Would the Rams consider trading Jackson straight up for Jennings?
Green Bay desperately needs a running back, and I thought I saw Jackson glad-handling it with a few too many Packers in last week’s game!
If any of the Rams injured offensive linemen (Rodger Saffold, Scott Wells) suffers a major setback in the next few days, I could see the Rams looking for a low-risk, low-reward replacement in the trade (or more likely, free agent) market.
How insane would it be for the Rams to ship off Steven Jackson and a couple low-round draft picks, and get Dwayne Bowe and Greg Jennings in return?