Power Ranking the 10 Biggest Trading Chips in the NFL
It’s not very often we see NFL teams trading players during the season. This is why looking at some potential trade chips at this point in the offseason makes a ton of sense. Any team looking to make a trade could ensure they have their new player in time for training camp.
Most of the players on this list are here because of contract issues, a change in philosophy or the presence of another player at their position.
No. 10 Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles
Vinny Curry has yet to make much of an impact with the Philadelphia Eagles and is now dealing with a new defensive alignment. The Eagles are looking for Curry to add weight so he can play the five-technique spot along the defensive line.
This is an issue for Curry because he lacks the bulk needed to hold up at this spot. He doesn’t have the lower body strength or anchor to consistently play two-gap football.
While Vinny Curry is gaining weight to move to 3-4 DE, Brandon Graham and Trent Cole are cutting weight for move to 3-4 OLB. #Eagles— Official Eagles Blog (@OfficialEagles_) May 16, 2013
Curry’s best fit is as a defensive end in a 4-3 system. This is where he can make best use of his ability to rush the passer. The problem is that the Eagles might not want to get rid of a young player so early in his career. They are also very unlikely to get the type of value they’re looking for.
However, nobody would benefit from Curry sitting on the sideline.
No. 9 Brent Celek, Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles
Since taking over as head coach, Chip Kelly has added some interesting pieces on the offensive side of the ball. James Casey and Zach Ertz were brought in to create mismatches from the tight end/H-back positions. However, these additions have created a log jam.
Brent Celek figures to be the loser in this situation, as Casey and Ertz will take targets away from him. It’ll be interesting to see if Kelly can keep all three happy and in the mix. If not, Celek seems to be the one who'll be sent packing.
Philadelphia will have no problem finding someone willing to take Celek off its hands. He’s a well-rounded player who possesses the ability to help the passing attack. This is the type of player who provides a security blanket for a quarterback.
No. 8 Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, New England Patriots
Ryan Mallett’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for the past two seasons. His combination of youth, a strong throwing arm and potential makes him an attractive piece. There are more than a few teams who might be willing to give Mallett a chance to lead their franchise.
why would the #Browns add Brian Hoyer when they could just trade a second-round pick for Ryan Mallett?— Alessandro Miglio (@AlexMiglio) May 16, 2013
The issue is that the New England Patriots don’t appear overly motivated to trade Mallett. This could be because they haven’t gotten any realistic offers or because they lack another backup quarterback. If the Patriots moved Mallett they would only have Tom Brady and Mike Kafka at the quarterback spot.
However, the Patriots might need to move Mallett soon if they hope to maximize his value. The longer he sits on the bench without getting opportunities, the more teams will fill their quarterback needs in a different way.
No. 7 Gabe Carimi, Offensive Line, Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears thought they landed a long-term starter when they selected Gabe Carimi in the first round of the 2011 draft. However, he has failed to live up to expectations. Carimi is now facing an uphill battle to earn a starting job.
He began his career at offensive tackle, but struggled so much that the Bears moved him inside to guard. Carimi will need to beat out either Kyle Long or Matt Slausen to open the season as a starter.
So far, his offseason isn’t off to a great start. Carimi is one of the few players who decided to train on his own and skip Chicago’s OTAs.
Emery said the #Bears respect Gabe Carimi's decision not to participate in voluntary OTAs & he would be welcomed back with "open arms."— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) May 16, 2013
It might be time for the Bears to cut their losses and see if they can get anything of value for Carimi.
No. 6 Jared Odrick, Defensive Line, Miami
The Miami Dolphins have misused Jared Odrick for his entire career. He has played defensive end and five-technique for the majority of his time in the league. These positions don’t really allow Odrick to make use of his best attributes.
Odrick excels at quickly getting off the line and penetrating the pocket. He would be a real nightmare for teams to handle if he saw more action in a three-technique role. This position would allow him to get up field and wreak havoc in the backfield.
Miami’s addition of Dion Jordan has provided the team with more depth along the defensive line, which creates an opportunity for the Dolphins to shop Odrick.
No. 5 Jabaal Sheard, Defensive End, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns' decision to hire Ray Horton as their defensive coordinator meant that the team would be switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. Making this type of change forces some players to switch positions and the way they approach the game. Jabaal Sheard is one of those players in Cleveland who will struggle with this adjustment.
Sheard has had a solid career thus far, but his success came as a defensive end in a 4-3 attack. He now faces the challenge of transitioning to outside linebacker. This change means that Sheard will do most of his pass rushing out of a two-point stance and also drop into coverage from time to time. It’s uncertain if he can handle this switch.
Further complicating the situation is Cleveland’s additions of Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo. These are two players who are too talented to sit on the bench. This means that Sheard could have a hard time seeing the field as often as he wants.
No. 4 Mark Sanchez, Quarterback, New York Jets
The New York Jets are in a really tough situation with Mark Sanchez. They are on the hook for a lot of money, drafted Geno Smith to be the quarterback of the future and have to deal with the media attention. The best thing for everyone involved would be for the Jets to orchestrate a trade.
Sanchez may have worn out his welcome in New York, but he’s still a young quarterback with a lot of talent. He has a real shot of turning his career around if he finds a way to land with a team that has a strong offensive coaching staff.
A team like the Cleveland Browns would be a great landing spot for Sanchez. Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner know how to work with young quarterbacks. Also, the pressure in Cleveland would be significantly less than what Sanchez had to deal with in New York.
No. 3 Branden Albert, Offensive Tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have been shopping Branden Albert for most of the offseason. There were rumors that the Miami Dolphins wanted to acquire Albert prior to the draft. However, the two teams weren’t able to agree on a price.
Albert is expendable in Kansas City because the Chiefs use the first pick in the draft to select Eric Fisher. This addition, and the fact Albert is unwilling to play right tackle, creates a potentially negative situation. The Chiefs didn’t use the No. 1 pick on Fisher to have him play right tackle.
It may take a few months, but Albert’s time with the Chiefs is coming to an end.
No. 2 Eugene Monroe, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Jaguars' decision to draft Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 pick in April’s draft created an interesting scenario. Joeckel has all the skills needed to play left tackle in the NFL, but Jacksonville already has Eugene Monroe in that spot.
Monroe is a solid player and would get a lot of attention if the Jaguars decided to move him. The importance of having a good left tackle should allow Jacksonville to pick up some nice pieces by trading Monroe.
It’s possible that Jacksonville will keep both Monroe and Joeckel in the mix. This duo would be one of the best young tackle tandems in the NFL. However, the Jaguars have so many holes on the roster that a trade could end up filling multiple spots.
No. 1 Victor Cruz, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
The New York Giants and Victor Cruz are locked in a really tough contract negotiation. Both sides are struggling to see eye to eye on how much Cruz is worth. Situations like this tend to strain a relationship, which could lead to a split.
Cruz would get some attention on the trade market because he has a knack for generating big plays. His ability to stretch the field and put pressure on a defense is something every NFL team covets. The issue is that New York would need to find a trade partner willing to offer value and also agree to sign Cruz to a long-term deal.
A team like the St. Louis Rams could be an interesting fit for Cruz. They have two first-round picks next year and need more offensive weapons to put around Sam Bradford.