Vincent Jackson and 10 In-Season Moves That Will Change 2010 NFL Season

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2010

Vincent Jackson and 10 In-Season Moves That Will Change 2010 NFL Season

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    Trade rumors continue to swirl around Vincent Jackson Friday, with a potential deal likely to have huge ramifications on the outcome of the NFL season.

    Minnesota is reportedly at the forefront of talks with San Diego to acquire the Pro Bowl wide receiver.

    Already without Sidney Rice, the Vikings could be without Percy Harvin Sunday against the Dolphins as he deals with a hip injury.

    The Redskins are among a handful of teams also rumored to have interest in Jackson's services.

    Here's a look at 10 in-season moves that will shake things up in the NFL.

No. 10: Marcus McNeill Traded To Cowboys

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    San Diego general manager A.J. Smith will not allow himself to be bullied by strong-armed tactics.

    In short, he is not going to give into the demands of Vincent Jackson or Marcus McNeill.

    The Cowboys help on the offensive line in the worst way, and landing a left tackle like McNeill would be a huge step in the right direction.

    Smith's asking price would likely be steep, but Jerry Jones isn't afraid to move picks and overpay for talent.

    If a deal happens, it will probably be soon.

    The Cowboys are happy with the play of starting left tackle Doug Free, but McNeill would certainly be an upgrade and provide Jason Garrett with some flexibility up front.

No. 9: Matt Cassel Benched In Favor of Brodie Croyle

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    The Chiefs' coaching staff spends a lot of time defending quarterback Matt Cassel and did so again after Kansas City beat San Diego in the opener.

    Apparently, 10 completions and 68 yards passing was attributable to an altered game-plan thanks to the weather conditions.


    Even if that is true, there is no denying Cassel might be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of a surprising season by the Chiefs thanks to a soft schedule.

    If Cassel doesn't show improvement, the Chiefs could give injury-prone Brodie Croyle yet another chance under center.

No. 8: Jimmy Clausen Replace Matt Moore As Starter

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    Matt Moore hasn't exactly grabbed the starting quarterback job by the horns in Carolina.

    Moore finished 14-of-33 for 182 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions before leaving the season-opening loss to the Giants with a concussion.

    Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen continues to wait in the wings.

    The Panthers are hoping Moore can simply be a game manager, capable of getting the ball to Steve Smith on occasion and handing it off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart with regularity.

    Game managers aren't supposed to turn the ball over three times, especially in the red zone.

    Clausen's days as a starting quarterback could be right around the corner.

No. 7: Logan Mankins Traded to Chiefs

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    Mankins could be placed on the trading block if hasn't been already, and the Patriots and the Chiefs have worked deals in the past.

    Scott Pioli would likely be willing to pony up and give Mankins the $40-million plus he wants in order to acquire a talented offensive lineman.

    The Chiefs have Pro-Bowler Brian Waters holding things down at left guard, but would likely be able to shift the line to work Mankins into the mix and help open up running lanes for Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster.

    With Kansas City is close to being a contender in the AFC West, a deal for Mankins would be huge.

No. 6: Albert Haynesworth Traded to Jets

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    As if the Jets need more drama...

    One thing they do need is a defensive tackle with Kris Jenkins done for the season with a torn ACL.

    Haynesworth would be able to fill the void along the defensive line and would no longer find himself at the center of attention from the media.

    A change of scenery and a kick in the pants from Rex Ryan might just resurrect Haynesworth's career and help the Jets start living up to the Super Bowl hype.

No. 5: Tim Tebow Starts The Final Three Games of The Season

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    The Broncos are likely to limp through a mediocre season, making them a non-story.

    At least until the quarterback with the golden soul is inserted into the lineup.

    Tebow will be at least somewhat of a factor this season, and by the final three games the Broncos will have nothing to lose by at least giving him a chance to run the show.

    His performance in the final three games won't necessarily come to define his career, but will go a long way in determining if Denver has found itself a capable quarterback.

No. 4: Jets Trade For Chad Pennington, Put More Pressure On Mark Sanchez

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    It would be much easier to believe the Jets would consider yanking Mark Sanchez if the backup quarterback was anyone besides 64-year old Mark Brunell.

    Chad Pennington didn't exactly leave the Jets on good terms, but a return and triumphant run as a game-manager isn't too difficult to imagine.

    The Dolphins would be reluctant to deal Pennington to the Jets, thanks to a contract clause paying him $1.5 million if he is moved.

    It's worth noting Pennington that doesn't have no-trade clause and could be shipped anywhere, even back to his old stomping grounds at the Meadowlands.

    Mark Sanchez doesn't need to do much, but he hasn't shown the ability to run a team consistently and needs to begin exhibiting some improvement before it's too late.

    As presently constructed, Pennington might give the Jets a better chance to win.

No. 3: Packers Trade A.J. Hawk To Bills For Marshawn Lynch

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    The potential trade of A.J. Hawk for Marshawn Lynch just makes so much sense.

    According to, Bills coach Chan Gailey has said the team has no interest in moving one of its three running backs.

    The Packers have been thrilled with the play of the young linebacking corps and could consider moving Hawk, who has never quite lived up to expectations in Green Bay.

    The deal would reunite Lynch with college teammate Aaron Rodgers, who openly endorsed a possible trade according to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

    Even though the Bills are reportedly not interested in moving Lynch, but don't be surprised if a deal involving Lynch and possibly Hawk is consummated after the two teams meet this Sunday in Green Bay.


No. 2: Michael Vick Becomes Full-Time Starter In Philly

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    The Eagles might be starting to regret signing Kevin Kolb to such a lucrative extension.

    Sure, it's only been one game, but things aren't going very well in Philadelphia.  Two starters on the offense are done for the season, and it might take some improvisational work by that unit to contend in the NFC East this season.

    That's where Vick comes in.

    His ability to make plays with his legs gives the Eagles a huge advantage and makes them a difficult opponent.  Vick is never going to be a precise passer, but he is surrounded by more weapons in Philadelphia than he ever was in Atlanta.

    Inserting him into the lineup this season makes sense and would leave the Eagles with a difficult decision to make going forward.

No. 1: Vincent Jackson Traded to Vikings

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    All signs point to the Vikings working out a deal with the Chargers in the very near future.

    The need is there and the willingness to part ways with high draft picks should enable Minnesota to give Brett Favre the help he so desperately needs.

    The arrival of Jackson would once again give the Vikings one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, especially if Sidney Rice returns close to full strength after hip surgery and Percy Harvin avoids concussions and other health issues.

    The Vikings only have Brett Favre for so long, and they might need to sacrifice success later for success now.