2011 NFL Draft: 10 Draft Day Trade Rumors We're Sure to Hear
There's only one game left in the NFL season.
For the next two weeks, we're going to be bombarded with Super Bowl news, analysis and rumors. For fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, it will be heavenly. For fans of every other team, it's gonna get old real quick, no matter how much of a fan of the sport you are.
Luckily, I'm here today not to talk about the Super Bowl, but to talk about the next NFL topic that's going to get old real quick: the draft. But since I'm ahead of the curve, you're not sick of it yet!
Here are 10 players that are bound to be rumored to be on the move in the next few months leading up to April's 2011 NFL Draft.
10) Devin Hester
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This one might be a stretch, but the fact is that the Bears clearly showed on Sunday that their offense still needs help if they're going to be able to truly compete with the best in the league. Until third-stringer Caleb Hanie caught lighting-in-a-bottle in the fourth quarter, Chicago's offense could do absolutely nothing all game.
In addition, Hester's trade value will probably never be higher, after he re-established himself as one of the most dangerous special teams players in the league with three more return touchdowns in 2010, to give him an NFL record 14 for his career. But despite his clear supremacy in that regard, he's never been able to establish himself as a consistent or reliable receiver on plays from scrimmage.
The Bears would be well served to listen to offers from teams to see if they can use Hester as a chip to upgrade an ailing offense.
9) Donovan McNabb
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McNabb's future was written on the wall when he was benched by the Redskins late in the season in favor of Rex Grossman of all players.
No. 5 has always been a likable guy, and he's shown that, while no longer an All-Pro, he's still capable of playing this game at a high level. But the Redskins continue to be in a rebuilding mode, and McNabb is not the long term solution.
He's asked to be released, but he's more likely to be traded since he does still hold some value. The 'Skins can probably solicit some team to give them a draft pick or two. There are enough teams out there desperate for a quarterback.
8) Reggie Bush
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Bush was originally hailed as a savior when he was drafted out of USC with the second overall pick in 2006. The Heisman winning tailback would re-invigorate the franchise and be a weapon all over the field.
It has never really worked out that way in New Orleans for Bush, however. He's been effective at times, but injuries and inconsistency have limited his explosiveness and he's now used mostly in special teams and as a third-down back.
With the Saints continuing to feature a pass heavy offense centered around quarterback Drew Brees, Bush is expendable. With him being due $11.5 million next season, they wouldn't be averse to getting him off their books.
7) Steve Smith
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Smith has been the face of the Carolina Panthers for nearly a decade, but at 31, he had the worst season of his career in 2010, and the Panthers struggled to a 2-14 record.
With the franchise in rebuilding mode and Smith wanting to play for a contending team, both parties would be well served to explore the trade market for his services this offseason. If the team can land another first round draft pick, in addition to already possessing the No. 1 overall selection, they can restock with top talent and be ready to contend again in a few years.
Smith still has enough value as a playmaker to help a number of teams win.
6) T.J. Houshmandzadeh
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Houshmandzadeh was another veteran star wideout who had a down year in 2010, but his was for different reasons.
T.J. had to contend with a crowded Ravens receiving corps that also featured Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. He was often the odd man out, only starting twice all season. For most of the year he toed the line, saying all the right things because the team was winning, but you could tell he was a bit unhappy with his limited role in the offense.
He also still holds enough value where the Ravens could score a couple of draft picks by parting with him, and they wouldn't be too devastated by losing him.
5) Brandon Jacobs
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Jacobs rebounded nicely down the stretch to eventually re-integrate himself as a valuable member of the Giants offense. But early on he clashed with his coaches and teammates, and made it no secret that he was frustrated over losing the starting running back job to Ahmad Bradshaw.
Bradshaw showed he was up to the task, scampering for 1,235 yards on the ground as well as catching 47 passes for Big Blue. And the Giants have to either resign Bradshaw, who's eligible for free agency, or put their faith back in Jacobs.
With Bradshaw being four years younger, they might look to cut ties with Jacobs' thunder and all his baggage, and stick with the lightning of Bradshaw. They could use the money they save on Jacobs towards bringing Bradshaw back into the fold.
4) Marion Barber
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Barber finds himself in a similar situation in Dallas to the one Jacobs is struggling with in New York.
A Pro Bowler in 2007 when he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards, Barber's role was minimized this past season with the continued emergence of Felix Jones, who followed up a year in which he led the league in rushing average with a 2010 season that established him as the central presence in the Cowboys' running game.
With Jones four years younger than Barber, that leaves the man with the dreads as the odd man out. Count on him receiving lots of trade chatter as we move into the spring.
3) Vince Young
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The decision here has basically already been made.
Young already knows that he's out in Tennessee, with owner Bud Adams publicly acknowledging that he'll cut ties with the enigmatic quarterback. The only questions that remain are when, how and where he'll go.
The Titans would like to be able to get something of value in return for him, but their hands are somewhat tied because other teams know that if they're patient, they might not have to give up anything. Either way, he'll be a hot topic of discussion until the situation is officially resolved one way or another.
2) Kevin Kolb
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Kolb has made it known that he considers himself capable of starting at quarterback for an NFL team, and if the Eagles have no intention of letting him have the job in Philly, he'd like the chance to have the job somewhere else.
So that leaves the Eagles with a choice between their former QB of the future, Kolb, or Michael Vick, who will be a free agent, but played rejuvenated football in 2010 and led the Eagles to a division title. You can't blame Kolb for being frustrated, as he lost the job because of an injury, and was never really given a fair chance to win it back.
The good news for him is that teams will be lining up for his services, as he is probably the most promising signal caller who will be available. Philly should be able to take their pick from a number of offers.
1) Carson Palmer
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Palmer is the newest and most intriguing name to be added to this list, with the story breaking today that he has requested a trade from Cincinnati.
The Bengals have countered by saying that they have no intention of trading him, but that won't stop the rumors from coming fast and furious now. There are a number of reasons he'd want out of Cincy, with yet another disappointing season under the team's belt and the constant drama surrounding the wide receiver duo of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco being among them.
Whether he eventually gets his request or not, add this story as yet another headache that owner Mike Brown has had to deal with in recent years, as his club continues to be the poster child for dysfunctional franchises.