NFL Trade Rumors and Speculation: Post-Draft Updates for All 32 Teams
Now that the 2013 NFL draft has passed and most of the free agents have signed, the only way to make any dramatic roster changes is via trade. So let's take a trip around the league to see what's buzzing for each team.
To be fair, this is a post-draft report of NFL trade rumors and speculation. What was a jet engine just a week ago has been reduced to a shy person trying to order in a busy restaurant. There isn't much to hear.
So to spice things up, I'll insert some unsourced speculation to keep things interesting when necessary. I'll also admit that some teams are so well stocked that I can't imagine a plausible scenario that improves the team.
Just a heads up, if all the speculation was somehow to start a band, it would be called Branden Albert and the outcasts. Albert's name comes up repeatedly along with a few others who are no longer wanted by their current employers.
So click through to find out what's going on with your favorite team and the rest of the league.
It's getting closer and closer to this one being dead, in my opinion.
Branden Albert wants premier-left-tackle money, and the Arizona Cardinals don't seem willing to give it to him.
The original discussions apparently involved sending this year's second-rounder to the Kansas City Chiefs for the semi-studly tackle. But since the deal didn't go down this year, it seems less likely that the Cardinals would pull the trigger for next year's second.
Plus, Bruce Arians seems okay with his current tackle situation. Like I said, this one is probably dead.
You'll notice from time to time that there will be slides where I don't have much to say. Consider this one of those occasions.
The Atlanta Falcons' front office has been deadly quiet regarding any possible trades. The team is so solid in most areas, especially after the draft, that there doesn't seem to be a move to make.
Seriously, I'm having a hard time even finding anything to speculate about. Unless a talented pass-rusher becomes available, this team will stand pat and make a run at the Super Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens aren't in the same position as the Falcons, but there is only one move that I could see happening.
The Ravens drafted Arthur Brown, but he isn't likely to fill the void left by Ray Lewis. At this point, Jameel McClain will be the other starter on the inside.
That isn't good enough.
The Denver Broncos would love to find a home for linebacker Joe Mays, but I doubt that Ozzie Newsome would give up much, if anything, for Denver's castoff. Still, it remains the best possibility for a trade in Baltimore.
I'm going to break the mold here and do some analysis instead of rumor mongering. Not that I don't enjoy mongering, but we have an actual trade that went down. And if you don't like it, I'll give you my next article for free.
The Buffalo Bills sent linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for linebacker Jerry Hughes.
It's not often that two teams swap out young guys at identical positions, so it would appear this is about the right fit for each team's scheme. Hughes is more of a pass-rusher who will presumably play outside for the Bills, giving them another pocket threat (hopefully) along side Mario Williams.
It's not a blockbuster trade, but the tinkering of a new regime. It’s also a low-cost gamble by both teams since neither were blown away by their young linebackers.
Admit it. You almost just went straight to the comments section based on the picture.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Although it wouldn't be shocking with the way the Carolina Panthers collect running backs if they went after the suddenly available (and expendable) James Starks.
If anything, maybe the Panthers could convince the New England Patriots to part ways with the sixth-string Julian Edelman.
Again, it's pure speculation, but the Panthers aren't overloaded with definite playmakers at the position. Throw Edelman into the mix for a seventh-round pick and see if he can emerge from the scrum.
Considering the Chicago Bears just drafted two linebackers, including stealing Khaseem Greene in the fourth round, they're probably out of the Joe Mays race.
Mays isn't better than Greene or Jonathan Bostic in coverage, and he certainly won't be cheaper. After signing their draft picks, the Bears won't have much left over to pay anyone.
The Bears will likely be quiet. They can't afford to add anybody.
I never thought I'd type these words: the Cincinnati Bengals should just stand pat. They're good enough.
Their entire season is going to hinge on how much Andy Dalton develops. Most of the offense is capable, although Jermaine Gresham needs to take a few steps forward too.
The drafting of Giovanni Bernard shored up their biggest offseason need. And, for the first time in I don't know how long, there aren't any other glaring holes in the Bengals roster.
This might sound crazy, but the Cleveland Browns actually ended the 2012 season with a positive Pro Football Focus grade. I'm serious. They came in at 21.5 (subscription required).
There are fewer holes on the roster than one might realize. What the Browns really need to focus on is the passing attack and pass rush.
Despite the hype, the Browns denied any Ryan Mallet rumors. Since the New England Patriots weren't able to move him for their ridiculous asking price, maybe the door could be opened for something more reasonable.
Lastly, Tim Kavanaugh, of ESPN.com, floated the possibility of the Browns dealing Jabaal Sheard. He's a defensive end who doesn't have a natural position in the team's new 3-4 scheme, so he suggests the Browns see what they could get for the young pass-rusher.
The Dallas Cowboys, long known for splashy moves, won't be partnering up for any trades soon. There isn't any buzz out there regarding a move and none should be coming.
The reason? The Boys don't have any maneuvering room.
They enter the draft-pick signing stage with a little over $5 million left, according to Spotrac.com. How they could fit a Branden Albert, or even a Joe Mays, is beyond me.
The Denver Broncos were surely hoping to reach a deal to unload former starting linebacker Joe Mays prior to or during the 2013 NFL draft, but that didn't happen.
Logic dictates that they would still be interested in moving him prior to starting offseason activities. His presence will be awkward at best, and a distraction at worst.
As for possible landing spots, the Baltimore Ravens have a Ray Lewis sized hole in their linebacking corps. They did draft Arthur Brown, but Mays would be an upgrade of Jameel McClain.
Speaking of needing fresh linebacking blood, the Detroit Lions shouldn't mind acquiring the aforementioned Joe Mays.
Please understand that this is pure speculation. There haven't been any reports of the Lions looking to make any trades.
However, this is an article about trades and general manager Martin Mayhew hasn't been shy to wheel and deal if it suits him. If Mays was willing to take a small pay cut to prove himself for a year, he might be able to supplant Ashlee Palmer in the starting lineup.
Green Bay Packers
What we do know: the Green Bay Packers are looking to unload James Starks.
What we don't know: to whom or for what.
Imagination would lean towards the Packers getting a late-round pick or maybe even a developmental offensive lineman to aid the ongoing effort to protect the richest man in the NFL.
There probably won't be much of a market for Starks' service, but it can't hurt to try.
There isn't much in terms of trade buzz surrounding the Houston Texans.
They had a nice draft and already had the foundation of a contender. There won't be any big moves from the Texans.
However, never say never, so I’ll just say it’s extremely improbable.
As was brought up earlier, the Indianapolis Colts shipped out linebacker Jerry Hughes for Kelvin Sheppard. Let's take a look at what the Colts picked up.
Sheppard, despite being a little lighter than Hughes, is a better run-stopper and tackler. He posted a 0.8 tackle factor compared to Hughes' 0.37, according to wp.AdvancedNFLStats.com. This means that Sheppard makes 80 percent of the tackles expected from his position, while Hughes only makes 37 percent.
For a defense that allowed over five yards per carry, adding a linebacker who can step up against the run is invaluable.
The Jacksonville Jaguars resisted the urge to reach for a "franchise" quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft. So why not pick up someone else's former reach and let him compete with your old mistake?
That's right. I'm suggesting the Jags give up a conditional late-round pick for Mark Sanchez and let him chase Blaine Gabbert. Granted, Sanchez would have to take a huge pay cut, as his current contract is prohibitive.
I have zero basis for this contention. That's why it's fun.
Kansas City Chiefs
The search for Branden Albert's new home continues. The Kansas City Chiefs are still looking for a second-round pick, but they're obviously looking for one in 2014 now.
The price doesn't seem ridiculous. He's a solid starting left tackle, which happens to be the third-most important position on most teams, behind the quarterback and pass-rusher.
However, teams don't seem too willing to part with the pick and then pay Albert a huge sum of cash. Stay tuned.
The Miami Dolphins did address the offensive line in the draft by grabbing Dallas Thomas in the third round. However, Thomas' versatility is one of his strong suits and there's speculation that he might be a guard in the NFL, according to Andy Kent of Dolphins.com.
That leaves the hole at tackle unplugged, meaning general manager Jeff Ireland will look at other options, which brings us back to our old friend, Branden Albert.
There was plenty of chatter prior to the draft that Ireland would swing a deal for the disgruntled Chiefs tackle. And just because the 2013 NFL draft has come and gone, that doesn't mean something can't be worked out using a 2014 pick.
The Minnesota Vikings have an issue at middle linebacker, meaning Joe Mays should be in play here.
There isn't anything concrete linking the two teams together, just pure speculation.
The Vikings are a playoff-caliber team who shouldn't take Adrian Peterson's prime for granted. It's hard to believe the Broncos would hold out for a huge offer, so why not make a move to shore up the middle of the defense?
New England Patriots
As was touched on earlier, the New England Patriots are open to moving their talented backup signal-caller. However, they haven't had anyone bite on Ryan Mallet yet.
That doesn't mean the option is dead though. Plenty of teams could use a young infusion of possibility at the quarterback position.
Note that I didn't bring up Mallet in the Jaguars' slide. I don't think a team with that many holes will want to part with a very high pick for another unknown when they could do their own homework and pick a guy they like next year.
New Orleans Saints
Now that the New Orleans Saints have traded running back Chris Ivory to the New York Jets, we can probably go ahead and remove them from any speculative lists.
The Saints were a scary team in 2011, and have a great chance to return to form now that Sean Payton is back in the saddle. Why would they mess with that?
Plus, they are right up against the cap, with only $3.5 million of cap space left, according to Spotrac.com.
New York Giants
The New York Giants find themselves in a similar position to the New Orleans Saints, with one exception: they have an experienced veteran offensive lineman to shop.
The Giants drafted offensive tackle Justin Pugh, which probably means that David Diehl is out of a starting job. Which also probably means he's out as a member of the Giants.
Diehl only has one year left on his contract with a price just over $3 million. The price isn't that high, but neither is his value. The Giants could try and extract something for him as opposed to a release since $2 million of his salary is "dead money," meaning it will count against the cap if he's cut.
New York Jets
New general manager John Idzik didn't waste any time putting his flavor on the New York Jets' roster. He grabbed the fast-falling Geno Smith near the top of the second round.
That move was as much about the future as the past, signaling the end of the Mark Sanchez era. But that's only the beginning since Idzik must figure out what to do with Sanchez now.
There's been talk of a competition for the starting spot, and it's probably best that Smith doesn't start right away. However, starting Sanchez makes zero sense. If he succeeds, the Jets wasted a second-rounder. If he fails, it kills any trade value he might have.
It's unlikely that the Jets will find anyone to give up anything for Sanchez. That doesn't mean it's entirely impossible.
The Oakland Raiders made the trade they had to make, shipping Carson Palmer off to the Arizona Cardinals.
And now that the draft has ended, it's hard to see where the Raiders could really improve in a meaningful way via a trade.
Branden Albert is unnecessary as Jared Veldheer is the best offensive lineman that you don't know about. He posted an impressive 22.2 grade for the 2012 season, according to ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required).
Lastly, Joe Mays is equally nonessential. The signing of Kaluka Maiava was an under-the-radar move that will earn plenty of praise once play gets underway.
The Philadelphia Eagles have had an offseason of change. From the head coach on down, there is a different feel to this team.
But that doesn't mean there's another move coming from Chip Kelly before the season kicks off. It's just unlikely.
The Eagles already have eight definite new starters, and the other holdovers are either too valuable or not valuable enough for Philly to consider a trade. Here's betting the roster stays mostly intact until after the 2013 season.
The draft passed without the Pittsburgh Steelers being able to find a suitor for Jonathan Dwyer.
There hasn't been any news on whether they've pulled him off the table, but that would seem unlikely considering the Le'Veon Bell pick.
Both players have similar styles with Bell being the more talented of the two. There isn't room in the backfield for both of these guys.
St. Louis Rams
As the St. Louis Rams enter the second year of the Jeff Fisher experience, the roster is settling in nicely.
The Rams pulled the trigger on a nice draft-day trade to grab explosive wide receiver Tavon Austin. That's likely to be the last flashy move of the 2013 offseason for the upward-trending franchise.
There isn't any buzz to speak of out there, and there isn't going to be any moving forward. For the first time in a few years, things seem stable in St. Louis.
San Diego Chargers
Unlike the Rams, the San Diego Chargers' roster is not in a calm state. The former contending franchise is struggling to keep pace with the rest of the AFC.
However, a trade doesn't seem likely. The value just isn't there for the players that we know are available.
The Chargers acquired left tackle King Dunlap via free agency, which should push them out of the Branden Albert sweepstakes. Dunlap is an underrated tackle, having posted a 6.6 PFF grade in only 12 games (subscription required).
Furthermore, James Starks or Joe Mays wouldn't constitute an upgrade over the current roster. Unfortunately for Chargers fans, this is the team you'll enter the 2013 campaign with.
San Francisco 49ers
Remember when we were discussing the Atlanta Falcons and I said there are a few teams that have zero need to trade? The San Francisco 49ers are in that class.
The earlier trade for Anquan Boldin and the draft-day maneuvering that resulted in Eric Reid put this team in as stable of a position as it could possibly be. It's scary how well set up they are for immediate and future success.
Mark it down. The Niners will not be making any trades.
Isn't it crazy that three teams in the NFC West have zero need to make a move?
Just a year ago, the division was easy pickings for jokes. Now, the joke is on the rest of the league.
The Seattle Seahawks had a great offseason. They bolstered the defensive line with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, while also acquiring Percy Harvin to add another element to the offense.
This team is set to contend. Any tinkering beyond this would be messing with something that isn't broken.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the most active teams the last two offseasons. They needed to be.
However, there isn't a lot that needs to be addressed right now, as there are plenty of great pieces that should be given a chance to jell. The tackles are both solid and the woeful secondary welcomes Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson.
Before the draft, it would have been fun to speculate about Ryan Mallett or even Mark Sanchez. But the Mike Glennon pick slams the door shut on those ideas well before they fermented.
The Tennessee Titans are similar to the Bucs, meaning that things have settled down for both squads.
In fact, the only topic of note was Nate Washington, and the Titans shut the door on that option quite quickly.
So what's left?
The offensive line is looking beastly after the draft and the defense is young enough to be given time to develop. The only rational possibility is adding Joe Mays since Colin McCarthy put together a singular positive performance against the Miami Dolphins last year.
Quite frankly, this offseason has been unpleasant for the Washington Redskins. They're dealing with the salary cap sanctions handed down by the NFL due to their non-adherence to some imagined gentlemen's agreement.
The ramifications of the punishment have left the Redskins with under $3 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.com. And that’s before any of the rookies have been signed. That's not going to be enough to bring in any new talent via a trade.
So enjoy the picture of Robert Griffin III, Redskins fans. It's my effort to keep you from continuing to bang your head against the wall.