Five NFL Trades That Make Sense Before the Deadline
The NFL's trade deadline is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, and there are several teams who would benefit from getting in on the action.
The MLB and NHL usually have a few blockbuster deals as the deadline nears, and the extended NFL deadline should make for a big trade or two.
This list looks at five potential trades that would make sense before the deadline. Though the NFL doesn't have a history of major dealing on the last day, these five trades would be beneficial for teams around the league.
Dwayne Bowe to the Buffalo Bills
Peter Aiken/Getty Images
This may not be Dwayne Bowe's first choice, but a trade to the Buffalo Bills makes sense for Bowe and Buffalo.
Bowe clearly wants out of Kansas City, and the decision to start Brady Quinn won't put the 1-5 Chiefs into playoff position anytime soon. With Bowe under the franchise tag, chances are he will bolt out of Kansas City after the season, putting the Chiefs in a position to trade him to acquire some value.
This is where the Buffalo Bills come in.
Believe it or not, the Bills only trail the New England Patriots by one game for the division league heading into Week 8. Though their defense is a mess, Bowe might be able to put the offense over the top and make a playoff berth a realistic possibility in 2012.
If Bowe went to Buffalo, he would start opposite Stevie Johnson.
Both receivers have never had a talented receiver start across from them, and this duo would put stress on opposing defenses. If one receiver were doubled up, Ryan Fitzpatrick would simply take his chance on Bowe or Johnson in single coverage.
These two wideouts could even open up the middle of the field for tight end Scott Chandler, who can make plays. The talented running game with CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson would even benefit from less defenders loading up on the line of scrimmage.
Coach Chan Gailey knows that he is coaching for his job right now, and the addition of Bowe might be enough to save him. For as bad as the Bills have looked at times, they are still in decent shape to fight for a playoff spot.
The Chiefs would be getting something for Bowe, who will almost surely walk after the season if he isn't dealt. If he goes to Buffalo, their offense suddenly has another stud who can open up a series of possibilities. This trade seems like a win-win for both parties in need of a change of fortune.
LeGarrette Blount to the Green Bay Packers
J. Meric/Getty Images
Coach Greg Schiano has said LeGarrette Blount is the goal line back for Tampa Bay, but his role for the Buccaneers has been a major disappointment.
Through seven games for the Tamps Bay Buccaneers, Blount has only 33 carries for 116 yards and a two touchdowns. For those keeping track at home, that's a 4.7 carries per game average, 16.6 yards per game average and 3.5 yards per carry average. In comparison, rookie Doug Martin has 129 carries for 543 yards and three scores.
Martin's monster game against Minnesota, 135 rushing yards and 79 receiving yards with two scores, reduces Blount's future touches in Tampa. Schiano and Blount have had problems from the get-go.
In March, Schiano called out Blount for his inability to protect the football. He then traded up to select Martin in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft in April.
Schiano dismissed the possibility of hard feelings between he and Blount in the middle of the summer, but his production in 2012 says otherwise.
Wtih Martin being the clear-cut starter and tension between Schiano and Blount, a trade to the Green Bay Packers makes sense for both parties.
Since Cedric Benson went down, the Packers have had to rely on Alex Green and James Starks to pick up the slack in the running game. Green showed brilliance in a loss to the Colts, but since then he has carried the ball 42 times for 100 yards in his two starts.
Starks is not the player he was in Green Bay's Super Bowl run some years ago, making a true running back needed in Green Bay.
Blount is a tough runner who would add another element to the Packers offense in their journey back into playoff contention. Even when Benson returns, the combination of the two backs would be impressive and keep the chains moving.
The Bucs don't seem to need Blount in their offense and the Packers are desperate for a solid back.
Looks like a perfect combination.
Dwight Freeney to the Atlanta Falcons
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Dwight Freeney is one of the best pass-rushing linemen to ever step foot onto an NFL field.
However, in his 11th NFL season, he is playing outside linebacker for the first time. In four starts, Freeney has only four tackles and a sack. The Colts switch to a 3-4 defense is pretty much wasting the talents of Freeney and Robert Mathis, or at least restricting them significantly.
Freeney is also the NFL's most expensive player in 2012 with a salary of $19 million. Financially, it doesn't make sense for Indianapolis to make Freeney the highest paid player in 2012 if he is out of his element and not playing the position that made him feared.
This is where the Atlanta Falcons and their 4-3 defense comes into play.
The Falcons are ready to win and are the league's elite with their 6-0 record. Freeney can replace Ray Edwards on the defensive line and start opposite of Jonathan Abraham, which would make their defensive line one of the best in the NFL.
Playing in a division with Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Josh Freeman makes quality pass rushers necessary. Freeney would simply add another dimension to the impressive Falcons and could very well make Atlanta's defense feared.
The Colts aren't getting the most out of Freeney and it is costing them, literally. Atlanta has its sights set on the playoffs and would love to send Tony Gonzalez off with a ring.
Dealing Freeney makes sense for both teams before the deadline. The rebuilding Colts would open cap space and the veteran Falcons might acquire the difference for their first Lombardi Trophy.
Riley Cooper to the New York Jets
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Riley Cooper is the No. 4 receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, despite showing glimpses of being a quality player in the past. With only two receptions for 18 yards this season, it's clear he doesn't have much of a role with the Eagles.
While he has struggled with injuries, he still has three talented receivers in front of him on the depth chart. The New York Jets are starting to become thin at the wide receiver position and Cooper would be a brilliant fit with Gang Green.
Cooper is the type of football player Rex Ryan dreams of every night. He is 6'3'', fast and extremely tough. He makes his impact known on the field and will give his all to fight for every yard.
He has a big personality and will expose his body to defenders in order to make a play. Without Santonio Holmes, the Jets are relying on a group of receivers to make plays instead of having a home run threat. Cooper's size and toughness makes him an ideal fit for the Jets, who must improve in the passing game.
Cooper is stuck in the depth chart in Philly but might be able to make plays in New York.
His asking price should be relatively low, but his upside is extremely high.
Knowshon Moreno to the Arizona Cardinals
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Knowshon Moreno's days are numbered in Denver, and he knows it.
He has played in only two games this year, with eight carries for 15 yards and a touchdown.
He has done close to nothing in two years with John Fox after his first two seasons showed a lot of promise. The former first-round pick is only 25 and still has NFL seasons inside of him, even if they are not in Denver.
A trade to the Arizona Cardinals makes a lot of sense at this point of the season.
Peyton Manning is starting to heat up into vintage form and Willis McGahee is getting the bulk of the carries in Denver. The Cardinals have lost Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams to injury and can use a quality running back at a low cost.
Moreno's trade value is pretty low right now, even though he has shown flashes of brilliance in the past.
Arizona is trying to save its season after a 4-0 start turned into a 4-3 record. Moreno would be more than capable of taking over the running game and resurrecting his career in the process.
He is a decent back who has run out of opportunities in Denver. The Cardinals are starting to reach desperation mode.
A win is needed very badly.
With their top two running backs gone, trading for Moreno at a low price would benefit both sides.