2011 NFL trade rumors are starting to rev up as the NFL season has reached its climax.
Yes, we're two weeks away from the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl XLV, and with it the conclusion of the 2010 season.
That means the flurry of activity and associated rumors (or possible lack thereof this offseason) will soon begin. There are a lot of big names who could be on the move or, at the very least, are not guaranteed to return to their current team. Of course, the looming labor negotiations will play a big role in what happens down the line.
These are players who may not end up with their respective teams regardless of what happens. Some of them are players who are just aging and it's time to move on; others haven't lived up to the expectations of their lofty contracts.
Either way, these are 50 players who are on borrowed time.
Cromartie was a very useful piece for the Jets, especially considering the Darrelle Revis holdout at the beginning of the season. However, he was also picked on many times when teams didn't want to throw at Revis.
His contract is up and one has to wonder, especially with Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes needing contracts, if Cromartie will be the odd man out.
Jackson was supposed to be the quarterback of the Buccaneers defense, but instead was suspended indefinitely for breaking the league's substance abuse policy.
He won't be eligible for reinstatement until next September. Will the Buccaneers be willing to wait for him until then, or will he be another team's problem?
With his big body and ability to leap over corners and stretch the field, Edwards has become a trusted target for Mark Sanchez. He is currently a free agent and, from what's being reported, it does not look like the Jets plan to keep both Edwards and Santonio Holmes.
Who they keep remains to be seen, but it looks like Edwards is on the way out.
Let me just state, for the record, that Cutler will be back next season regardless of what injury shows up on his MRI today. That does not mean it will stop all the questions and allegations that he quit on his team, however. Thus, he is included on the list.
Barnett has been a stud in the middle of the Green Bay defense for several years. Unfortunately, when a unit is as loaded as the Packers are right now, eventually everyone gets pushed out.
Barnett's injury opened the door for Desmond Bishop and earned him a four-year extension.
According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, due to his new contract, Bishop will probably take one of the starting spots next season. Which means Barnett could be on the way out.
Pretty much everything that applies to Barnett applies to Hawk.
If Seifert's prediction is correct, then either Hawk or Barnett will be gone. And while Barnett is the older player, he also has the smaller salary. Seifert wrote Barnett is due $6 million next year, while Hawk is owed $10 million.
While it may seem trite, $4 million is still a lot of money, especially in today's market.
Like in Green Bay, a young player's emergence has put the roster spots of two well-established players in jeopardy.
In New Orleans, Christopher Ivory got most of the snaps when Bush and Pierre Thomas were hurt early in the season.
Ivory's performance has possibly opened the door for either Bush or Thomas to be looking for work next season. However, the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote Bush might have a better chance of coming back because of his versatility.
Thomas was one of the Saints' unsung heroes during their Super Bowl run last season. Now, he could very well be on the chopping block (sums up the NFL perfectly, doesn't it).
Thomas might be the better candidate to let go, considering the Saints have Ivory and can also draft a running back for carries, if needed.
Remember back in 2005, when Williams bulldozed his way through the NFC and the Buccaneers won a division title?
Yes, it does seem like a long time ago.
Since then, Williams' career has been marred by injuries and inconsistent play. As a result, he lost his job to LeGarrette Blount last season.
Now the Buccaneers will have to decide whether to bring Williams back in a complementary role (since there's not much behind Blount except moving Earnest Graham back to running back) or let him move on.
Hasselbeck may have revived his career with his performance in the Wild Card game against New Orleans. However, he's still in his mid-30s (not getting any younger), and not surrounded by a great team.
In all likelihood, he's probably back next season. Although, it's not inconceivable the Seahawks could go with Charlie Whitehurst or someone else.
Kreutz has been one of the best centers of the last decade, with six Pro Bowl appearances to prove it.
Unfortunately, he's also entering the twilight of his career and one wonders how much more he has left. The Bears' offensive line played better as the year went on but struggled early.
It may be time for some new blood up front.
If you listen and read some of the reports out of the Pacific Northwest, Trufant has lost a step.
He's getting close to that age when teams start to part ways with their high-priced cornerbacks. That being said, he's still better than anything the Seahawks can throw out there at the corner position.
Clements is a pretty good cornerback, but he's struggled to live up to the expectations of the massive contract he signed with the 49ers. He hasn't been a difference-maker either, as San Francisco hasn't been able to break through.
The 49ers could be in a position where a young corner could be available to them in the first round. That could spell the end for Clements.
Many people forget that Maroney was a first-round pick who showed a lot of promise his rookie season. Since then, he's done very little and when the Patriots shipped him off to Denver a few months ago, he essentially became invisible.
His future is now uncertain, especially since he couldn't make it work in Denver.
Stroud struggled mightily and often looked out of place making the move to end in Buffalo's 3-4 scheme. Like a certain Washington defensive lineman (he's on this list, too), he's a better 4-3 defensive tackle than a 3-4 end.
It appears his chances of landing with a team depends on whether someone wants to take a flyer on him.
Jennings was slated to move into the other starting corner spot after the Seahawks traded Josh Wilson to Baltimore.
He struggled as the rest of the Seahawks' secondary did, however, and now it looks like he's on his way out to make room for Walter Thurmond.
Heading into the season, it was unknown how Hobbs would fare in a starting spot alongside Asante Samuel.
While he was okay this season, he wasn't great. That was before he suffered a season and possibly career-ending injury.
Bailey is perhaps the best cover corner of this century. He's also in his mid-30s, which is ancient by cornerback standards (except for Darrell Green).
Bailey could very well come back (he's the best corner the Broncos have), but eventually they will have to rebuild and go younger.
Now is as good a time as any.
Derek Anderson was nothing short of a bust in Arizona. He was benched, then started, then benched again as part of the Cardinals' quarterback carousel.
Anderson might get a look entering training camp, but he's going to be hard to move. Especially since that 2007 season in Cleveland is looking more and more like a fluke.
Pennington has struggled with injuries and a lack of arm strength. Now he has age against him as well. Although USA Today reported Pennington will attempt to play next season, it all depends on his recovery.
Even if it's not with Miami, someone will take a look at him. He can't be much worse than either quarterback Carolina is trotting out there.
Barber was once one of the better backs in the League. Now, it looks like he's, at best, a complementary player to Felix Jones in Dallas.
Barber can be a very good player in the right system, but it looks like he's not the featured back anymore. He can still get Dallas a good deal in return if they want to move him.
Like Trufant, Newman is starting to lose a step. People are wondering aloud if the Cowboys will use their first-round pick to draft his replacement if either Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara is available.
Newman's still the best cover option the Cowboys have, but perhaps the time is right to think about moving him.
It would be risky for the Redskins to trade their most dependable receiver and one of their biggest deep threats.
However, Moss is getting up there in age. If the Redskins really want to rebuild and finally do things the right way (supposedly it's the fans' team now), then one of the Redskins' most valuable trade assets might be better off somewhere else.
Like Moss, the Redskins might have an interesting decision ahead with Portis. He can still be effective, but he's also injury-prone and aging. What's more, he has been outplayed by Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.
Portis wants to stay in Washington, but he might be most effective somewhere else or as a platoon back.
Brooking would like to come back and play one more year, but the Cowboys also have some young players at linebacker, including Sean Lee.
Brooking has one more year remaining on his contract, and while he's getting older, he's still a serviceable player.
He may be a better fit outside of Dallas, however.
This isn't an indictment of Sanders because is one of the better safeties in the league when he's healthy. To say he's injury-prone, however, would be an understatement.
He's just not durable enough to be reliable and not worth the risk for the Colts anymore.
Sims definitely brings energy and enthusiasm to the Eagles defense and was at least healthy, which is more than could be said for the majority of Philly's defense.
Contrast that with his problems reading offenses and he actually lost playing time by the end of the season.
It comes as no surprise, then, that reports are already coming out that he probably won't be back next year.
Akers has probably been the best kicker the Eagles ever had. He's getting old, though and he missed two huge kicks in the NFC Wild Card loss to the Packers.
If you had a chance to listen to his comments after the game, it sounded like a man who knew in his heart he was done in Philadelphia.
Kiwanuka has been a versatile player during his stay in New York, but the injury that ended his season could hurt his value.
The Giants are backlogged at the defensive end position, but Kiwanuka could come back at the right price. With that in mind, he could be had for a very good price, depending on his rehab.
Channing Crowder was a rising star during his time in Miami. The last two seasons, he's been known more for talking and being (allegedly) spit on than he has for his on-field performance.
He's struggled the last two seasons and it may be time for the Dolphins to think about cutting their losses with Crowder, especially after he only made 39 tackles this past season.
In his Vikings career, Jackson has gone from the "future guy" to "the guy," then the "possible guy," then "not the guy," then the "future guy" again to possibly "not the guy."
If that's confusing, then welcome to the club, you're as perplexed about Jackson as everyone else.
Joe Webb's emergence as the hot trend could also point to Jackson's departure.
Jacobs used to be a force in the Giants backfield, leaving a path of destruction and missed tacklers all over the field in his wake.
Long story short, he was what Ron Dayne was supposed to be.
Now he's lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw. He lost carries, tossed his helmet into the crowd and now gets stopped in the backfield.
He now is Ron Dayne. He can still be a good back, but I don't know if that's in New York.
Porter can still talk the talk, but it's getting harder for him to walk the walk. He struggled in Arizona this season and as an aging 3-4 rushing linebacker, it's going to be harder to make an impact elsewhere.
He's not long for Arizona or the rebuilding Cardinals.
There's still time for Gholston to be a solid player in this league. However, it might come in a 4-3 defense somewhere other than New York.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here, though. First things first, Gholston has to get a sack. Any sack. Something.
Evans has started to fade in Buffalo—it's not completely his fault, he's been riddled by injuries and poor quarterback play.
As young receivers like Stevie Johnson continue to progress, Evans' role with the Bills has diminished. I think that if the Bills want to make a move and rid themselves of Evans, now is the time.
To sum up his 2010: Jackson held out, was franchised, was suspended twice and had to sign a smaller tender just to be able to be a free agent in 2011.
Jackson had a rough year and the Chargers seem to have moved on to other players like Malcom Floyd.
Asomugha is technically a free agent because of the clause in his contract, and you can bet he'll be one of the most pursued free agents of the last few years.
It is possible he returns to Oakland, where he's had a great career for himself, but we're also talking about the Raiders here. The same franchise that fired a coach via Powerpoint.
We really don't know what could happen.
Brown had a tough year, as did most of the Dolphins. Now he's a free agent and the Dolphins will have to decide what to do with Brown long-term.
If they still like the wildcat, they might bring him back if there's no other interest in him.
Judging by the fact most Mock Drafts have the Dolphins taking Mark Ingram, they could be looking in another direction.
No one's ever really been able to figure out what goes on in head Ricky Williams' head. He just goes about what he has to do and really never makes waves (save for retiring in the prime of his career, joining the CFL, taking a sabbatical and wearing his visored helmet during interviews).
Yet, there he was, slamming Dolphins management. That didn't sit too well, and it's pretty much a given he'll be gone.
Maybin might be one of the bigger busts in the NFL today. One reporter went so far as to call Maybin the worst player in the NFL.
Perhaps a change of scenery would be best for Maybin to try and save his career, although what kind of scheme he would fit in is a major question.
Moss became a wandering receiver last season, going from New England to Minnesota to Tennessee and doing little to nothing in each stop.
There's no question that New England and Minnesota played better after Moss left.
One of the better players in the game is nearing the end of his career, and retirement has to be an option.
How many times have we heard that Smith is turning the corner and getting better? How many times have we heard this is the year Smith and the 49ers break through?
Well it's been a few years, and none of those predictions have come true. Now, the 49ers have another coach and are probably looking for another quarterback.
You think they regret passing on Aaron Rodgers?
Smith is still one of the hardest-working receivers in the game, but the injuries and the beating he's taken on that small frame have taken a toll on him.
Adding insult to injury: He hasn't exactly had Dan Marino or Joe Montana throwing to him in Carolina recently.
Smith can still be a good receiver, but he's probably not going to be in Carolina much longer and is probably not a No. 1 anymore.
For all the talk and all the gimmicks that Ocho has put up lately, he's done very little to back it up on the field. Now, I'm not getting on Ochocinco—he was one of the better receivers in his prime.
He's clearly starting to decline, however, and one has to wonder how much longer the Bengals will put up with Ocho's antics.
Palmer's shown flashes of being an elite quarterback, but he's never been the same quarterback since that injury in the 2005 Wild Card.
Since then, he's been injury and mistake-prone.
The Bengals could've parted with him already if they had any other options in their system.
Orton had perhaps his best season as a pro, but yielded to super-rookie and football player extraordinaire Tim Tebow.
The new Broncos regime might be unsold on Tebow, which could keep Orton around for next season, possibly as the starter.
However, coming off the season he had this year, Orton could bring a lot of return for the Broncos.
The Vince Young era is finally over in Tennessee after numerous thrills, a few hair-pulling moments, one walk-out, a finger injury and exactly no playoff wins.
The question is not be what the Titans do with Young, as they've already made their decision by siding with Jeff Fisher. Rather, the question is what will be the next move for both sides now?
Usually the rule is an injured starter doesn't lose their spot because of an injury. Unless the player's replacement throws for more than 3,000 yards and leads one of the best offenses in the NFL. Then it happens.
Kolb could stay in Philly, but the Eagles could also move him to a team desperate for a quarterback.
Of course, it'll all depend on what happens with the Eagles and Mr. Vick.
The Haynesworth saga was better than some of the soap operas going on daytime television this fall, starting with the dastardly daily fitness tests in training camp and ending with the out-of-the-blue suspension and possible trade.
All the while, Haynesworth did his best "defensive tackle with a huge contract" impersonation.
To say that I'd be shocked if the Redskins kept him for next season would be a major understatement.
McNabb ended his last season in Philadelphia watching the Eagles get embarrassed in the NFC Wild Card game in Dallas.
It's possible he ended his only season in Washington on the bench as the No. 3 quarterback, his contract ridiculed and his cardiovascular endurance in question.
Where will Mr. McNabb land next? Odds are he won't be in Washington.