NFL Trades: 1 Player Each Team Should Try to Trade
Acknowledging, discussing, or analyzing the NFL lockout is like eating at Arby’s: I don’t have to and you can’t make me. Jerk.
I’m holding out hope that eventually, probably as close to the witching hour as they can get, the two sides will come together, realize that one and one and one is three, and this bull-spit will get sorted out. Hopefully.
All I know is the whole affair is preposterously greed-driven.
Billionaire Scrooges claiming to be losing money and refusing to prove it by showing their finances, intent on seizing another billion to split 32 ways, no matter the cost; millionaire players who want better post-career health care and…well, that’s reasonable. I forget, why am I supposed to be mad at the players, Roger Goodell?
Either way, these buffoons better sort this out.
Without the NFL, what will I waste time and thought on, my 401(k) and mortgage? Current legislation in congress? This growing purple lump on my neck? My family?
I’d rather die.
Well, not die, that’s a bit extreme. I do enjoy haircuts, and a new season of South Park just started.
How about, I’d rather spend 20 minutes on Chatroulette at four in the morning on a weekend? That might be a fate worse than death, actually. The things you’d see could never be unseen.
But I will waste time and thought on looking forward to 2011 A.L. (After Lockout), when the NFL world will return to normal, and an absolute avalanche of signings and trades should happen.
Reading the free agency tea leaves is too difficult right now, but who should each team look to trade? Ay, that is the question.
Which player needs a change of scenery? What team has a surplus at a position? Should a team look to unload their best player in hopes of a Herschel Walker-light trade? Actually, a Herschel Walker-light trade should heretofore be known as a Julio Jones trade, and a Ricky Williams trade gets you a nickel bag.
A dime bag if you’re tight with the other trader.
Which player should each team look to trade and why? Let’s try and figure that out and forget that the NFL has created the largest pissing match this side of Donald Trump v. reality.
Arizona Cardinals: Joey Porter
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The first slide out of the shoot illustrates why there are so few trades in the NFL; who would want to give up an asset in return for taking the aging, overpaid Porter off the Cardinals hands?
But that's a question for another day and another slideshow. For this one, we're just figuring out who the Cardinals would/should want to trade, and that's Joey Porter.
Porter had only five sacks last season and will be 34 this season. Coach Ken Whisenhunt blamed his lack of production on playing too much—which makes sense and seems contradictory, catch-22 style.
Arizona will probably just cut Porter as soon as they can, but there might be a team out there that wants to take a shot that Porter has one last double-digit sack season in him.
Atlanta Falcons: Michael Jenkins
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If the Falcons were to trade anyone, Jenkins would make the most sense, since he’s taking snaps away from better, younger players (Harry Douglas and now Julio Jones). But Atlanta will keep him for at least this season.
It’s clear they believe their Super Bowl-window has just opened, and as the Jones trade exhibited, Atlanta is going to maximize their window as much as possible.
Baltimore Ravens: Willis McGahee
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The Ravens are looking to release McGahee and sign him to a less-expensive contract, but that seems like a mistake. Next season, McGahee will be looking for a bigger role, and like every good American, more money.
It doesn’t seem likely that he’ll want to re-sign with the Ravens for a cheap backup role.
Baltimore should at least shop him around before going forward with that assuredly doomed plan.
Buffalo Bills: Lee Evans
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Lee Evans, coming off a career-worst season with 37 catches and 578 yards, is no longer the No. 1 option in the Bills' passing game because of Steven Johnson's emergence and is due a roster bonus soon.
Buffalo has too many holes on their team as is and should be looking for as many two-for-one deals and cap space as they can get to replenish their roster (especially their defense).
While the market for a declining, 30-year-old burner who is slowing down might be less than exciting, paying a 30-year-old burner who is slowing down is even less exciting.
Carolina Panthers: Jordan Gross
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I’ll readily admit, this one probably ain’t happening, as with most of these suggestions.
The Panthers are looking at starting a young quarterback who will be learning on the job. Why trade away their blind-side protection at such a tenuous time in either Jimmy Clausen or (probably) Cam Newton’s development?
But after the season, looking to trade Gross, who is still an upper-echelon left tackle at 31 years old, for more picks to fill in the cracks of their roster should be something Carolina considers.
Chicago Bears: Caleb Hanie
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Jay Cutler is the Bears quarterback, even if Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett tweeted, “If I'm on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT."
Hanie became a household name in last year’s NFC championship game, but it’s a small house. But in almost leading the Bears to victory in that game, Hanie showed he has the skills and potential to be a starting quarterback (or at the least, a very good backup), and that is a very precious commodity.
The Bears also just drafted another developmental quarterback in Nathan Enderle, giving more reason to see if Hanie could net them some profit on their initial investment.
Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer
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Carson Palmer has a lot of gall for someone who only had a 61.8 completion percentage, 6.78 yards per attempt, 26 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and an 82.4 rating—while making $10.5 million.
You’re demanding a trade, Carson?
The Bengals just drafted their quarterback of the future in Andy Dalton and coach Marvin Lewis seems resigned to the fact Palmer won’t be there anymore. End the soap opera and give Carson his wish, Cincinnati.
Why keep a petulant, unproductive pouter who doesn’t want to be there?
Cleveland Browns: Sheldon Brown
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The Cleveland Browns had a good draft, but they are going to need to continue to rebuild and replenish their roster.
Process of elimination led me to Sheldon Brown, a corner who is probably better off being a nickelback at this point in his career. It wouldn't be a bad idea trading him to a contender in need of another able-bodied corner and obtaining more picks or assets to help the future.
While the Browns have a suspect secondary and could certainly use Brown this year, they could use the picks he could get them even more.
Dallas Cowboys: Stephen McGee
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McGee showed some of his budding talent last season as he almost led the Cowboys to a victory over the Cardinals while filling in for an injured Jon Kitna and beating the Eagles in the last game of the season (admittedly, a game the Eagles didn’t need to win).
He has some wheels, getting 74 yards on 13 carries and throwing two touchdowns to zero interceptions. McGee is obviously a developmental quarterback still, but with Tony Romo already on the roster, the Cowboys should see if there’s a team out there desperate for a quarterback they could groom for the future.
There usually is.
Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton
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John Elway has said a lot about Tim Tebow this offseason, and Tebow has responded in his usual annoying, impeccably perfect way. It seems Elway wants to believe in Tebow and Tebow has given him every off-the-field reason to believe.
And on the field, Tebow wasn’t so bad for a novice (82.1 rating, five touchdowns to three interceptions, 227 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns; though that 50.0 completion percentage sticks out like a MINI Cooper at a demolition derby).
I think Denver will want to see if Tebow can hack it as soon as possible, leaving Orton as an expendable part that could be moved in order to quicken the rebuilding of Josh McDaniel’s blunder.
Detroit Lions: ?
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I had a whole paragraph about trading Kevin Smith because of the Mikel Leshoure second-round pick. Turns out they didn’t tender Smith, and he’s an unrestricted free agent.
Detroit doesn’t really have any expendable players either, outside of their defensive line, which is a growing strength they rightfully shouldn't touch. If anything, they're looking for players to add and hurry their takeover of the NFL.
That Suh/Fairley combo ain’t right, is it?
Green Bay Packers: Nick Barnett
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Green Bay seemed to do fine without him last season.
While Barnett might've been right about the team photo fiasco last season, he had an ill-conceived way of expressing his ill-timed opinion. It's doubtful he made a good impression on the front office during that either.
Trade Barnett, get more picks for Ted Thompson to hit out of the park and spend the freed Barnett money on players who actually helped them win the Super Bowl.
By the way, I’m just repeating what I’ve heard almost every drunk-off-their-balls-with-joy Packer fan say the past couple months or so.
Houston Texans: Steve Slaton
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The Texans have found themselves flush at the running back position. Ben Tate is returning, Derrick Ward is more than a serviceable backup and Arian Foster is the Big Man on Campus.
Which leaves Steve Slaton on the outside looking in. Last season, he had only 19 carries and three receptions while being relegated to return duties.
But Slaton has the talent to play in the NFL. He was the sixth-leading rusher in the NFL his rookie season with 1,282 yards. Houston will no doubt shop Slaton once they can, and he will probably find a new home soon after.
Indianapolis Colts: Joseph Addai
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Joseph Addai is a free agent, but he is expected to return to the Colts. They should trade him after he does.
Doesn't make sense, I know.
But there isn't another player of substance they could trade without damaging their Super Bowl chances.
Reggie Wayne? Dwight Freeney? That's too much. But with their current running back depth (Donald Brown, Mike Hart and the just-drafted Delonte Carter), the Colts could afford to trade Addai and still be a contender.
If Brown and Hart learn to block blitzers better, that is.
And they re-sign Addai, so they can trade him.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Vince Manuwai
The Jaguars have a young, deep and versatile offensive line, which means starter Vince Manuwai— arguably their best offensive lineman—could be dangled in front of a protection-deprived team for a large sum.
Eben Britton or Guy Whimper (great name, by the way) could fill-in admirably for Manuwai if he were to leave, so his absence wouldn't hurt the Jaguars too much this season. Meanwhile, Manuwai should be a significant upgrade for whichever team obtained him.
Basically, trading Manuwai wouldn't hurt the Jaguars this season while keeping one eye on the future. It's the kind of foresight the Jaguars showed when they traded up to select Blaine Gabbert.
Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Chambers
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This illustrates another reason trades don't happen as often in the NFL as they do in other sports: non-guaranteed contracts.
NFL teams don't have to worry about albatross contracts and unproductive players since they can just cut them and not take it on the chin that much. Good gig if you can get it.
Which is why the Chiefs won't worry too much about finding someone to take the useless Chris Chambers and his nearly $3 million salary off their hands. After taking a cursorily glance at the trade market, they'll probably just cut him.
Que sera, sera.
Miami Dolphins: ?
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I don’t know what’s going on in Miami.
They were pretty blatant about wanting a new coach, shamelessly flirting with Jim Harbaugh in public, before bringing a wounded Tony Sparano back. Then the Dolphins elected to not draft a quarterback and continue the Chad Henne Experiment.
Strange times in Miami. You figure it out.
Minnesota Vikings: Jared Allen
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Minnesota would never get back what they gave up for Jared Allen (a first-round pick and two third-round picks), but they would definitely still get something of worth for the Pro Bowl defensive end.
Allen is clearly a productive player (55.5 sacks the last four seasons) who would entice another team into giving up some valuable assets. But while Allen recorded 11 sacks last season, it was his lowest sack total in four years, in addition to being blocked one-on-one more than ever.
Allen is getting slower and weaker. He’s aging, as are the Vikings.
It wouldn’t hurt them to fast-forward the Christian Ponder Rebuilding Project by trading Allen while his perceived value is still high.
New England Patriots: Brandon Meriweather
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Meriweather has made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons, but that has been on name recognition more than anything (and probably a little residual, "He's a safety from Miami, he has to be great").
Meriweather isn't great (he is a head-hunter who is routinely beat in coverage and didn't even start every game for the Patriots last season), and he's a bit of a headache. He has been involved in a situation with guns twice, five years apart from each other.
He appears to be in the clear with this past incident, but will he find himself in this situation again five years from now? Five months from now?
Cut bait and find another team—there's always another team—that wants to deal with him.
New Orleans Saints: Pierre Thomas
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Chris Ivory is a tough, bruising, young runner and the Saints just drafted Mark Ingram, who is like Chris Ivory with a little extra burst. Reggie Bush might believe he’s the odd man out now, but Sean Payton would be "surprised" if that was the case.
And Bush, while not being Gale Sayers 2.0 in the NFL like he was in college, is still a formidable weapon for the Saints passing, running and returning game.
Which, in my mind, makes the brittle Thomas (despite his recent extension) the odd man out, though it could very well be Ivory.
I think getting rid of Ivory is a bad idea, though.
New York Giants: Sage Rosenfels
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All Sage does is get traded. That’s his real job: getting traded. From the Texans, to the Vikings, to the Giants in the past three seasons, Sage Rosenfels being traded is a sign the NFL season is upon us.
But Sage hasn’t been traded yet. And the season is in doubt.
Need I say more?
New York Jets: Vernon Gholston
There aren’t too many players the two-time consecutive AFC Championship finalists could afford to give up, so the Jets should just hope someone will pick up their trash for them.
Though with only 16 tackles and zero sacks in three seasons, it's hard to imagine another team willing to trade for the former sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft.
EDIT: Thanks to some, uh, intrepid commentators, I see Gholston has been cut. So...don't know. Guess the Jets could dangle one of Shaun Ellis? This is another team that, because of lack of depth, can't really afford to trade anyone.
Oakland Raiders: ?
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I’d sooner invest in American industry before predicting what’s going to happen or what could happen in the Black Hole.
Good God, what's up with Al's fingers? Like they're playing with an invisible slinky.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kevin Kolb
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This is the Matt Schaub/Falcons situation all over again, right down to Michael Vick being the incumbent quarterback while hiding a terrible secret that could imprison and publicly shame him (the secret this time is he bootlegs Cougar Town).
The Eagles are going to be looking for a similar haul (two second-round picks) and whichever team that deals for Kolb—and make no mistake, Kolb is leaving town—is hoping to get another Schaub.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Limas Sweed
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See, New York Jets slide.
San Diego Chargers: Quentin Jammer
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I was going to say they should trade Darren Sproles, but apparently he's a free agent or something. I don't know where anybody is anymore.
Damn you, NFL lockout!
(shakes fist at nothing in particular)
Anyway, Quentin Jammer is a 31-year-old cornerback, a sad creature which usually destroys a team from within. Also, he's only had eight interceptions the past four seasons. The Chargers should look to pawn him off on another team before he breaks down on them.
San Francisco 49ers: Justin Smith
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Justin Smith is coming off a career-high 8.5 sacks and has averaged 6.5 sacks a season over his 10-year career. He is one of the better 3-4 defensive ends in the league, can play in the 4-3 and has not missed a game in the past nine years (he missed one game in his rookie season).
He is a smart, productive, durable player that any team could use.
There really is no reason for the 49ers would want to trade him.
But, if they're looking forward to the time when Colin Kaepernick is under center, Smith is the type of productive veteran who would get them something in return (and wouldn't be around when they think they're going to be contenders).
Also, Smith will be 32 next season and...well, that's the only reason San Francisco wouldn't want him on the roster.
Seattle Seahawks: Justin Forsett
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Seattle just signed Leon Washington to a four-year contract, so the change-of-pace/third down/return position is filled. Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett are both free agents after the season, and I doubt Seattle is looking to get rid of Lynch.
Much like with New Orleans or Houston, there is a glut of running back and an odd man out. Seattle would be wise to look at trading Forsett while they can, even if the current NFL edict says every team needs four to seven running backs..
St. Louis Rams: James Hall
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The 34-year-old Hall is coming off arguably his best season as a pro with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles, and since Hall is incredibly unlikely to duplicate those stats (it was the most sacks he’d had in six seasons and only the second time he’d had double-digit sacks), now is the time to strike.
The Rams just drafted defensive end Robert Quinn, as well and will continue to build for the future around Sam Bradford. If St.Louis could convince another team the aging Hall can replicate last season and obtain more rebuilding blocks and picks in the process, it would be a coup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib
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Brilliant, brilliant defense strategy. A jury is going to love him.
Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty like everyone in America (except people from Wall Street, who are innocent FOR-EV-VER), but people are already beginning to say Tampa Bay should cut ties with Talib. Coach Raheem Morris has said no decision has been made, while others have claimed Talib is as good as gone.
It's easy to see why the Buccaneers would be wary of getting rid of Talib. He has 15 interceptions in his three-year career, including six last season, which was fifth-most in the NFL. Talib is a talented, young, productive corner, and NFL teams will continue to give players like that a chance (see, Pac-Man Jones).
If Tampa Bay really doesn't want to deal with Talib anymore, there will be a line of teams ready to give him another opportunity and give the Buccaneers something in return.
Tennesse Titans: Chris Johnson
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Next season, the Titans will have a new coach for the first time in 17 years and will begin the Jake Locker era. So it stands to reason that trading their best player and 2,000-yard rusher would be a good idea, right?
Obviously not. It's lunacy.
Johnson will be a free agent in two seasons and looking for a deservedly astronomical payday. Meanwhile, Jake Locker might not even be the starter. It stands to reason that Johnson might not be part of the Titans long-term plans, either by his or the team's choice.
Trading Johnson right now wouldn't get the Titans what the Cowboys got from the Vikings for Herschel Walker (five players and six draft picks). But, even if NFL running backs are treated like sanitary wipes these days, it would still get Tennessee an incredible bounty.
The kind of bounty that, if probably used, could set a team up for years.
Washington Redskins: Santana Moss
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The rebuilding Redskins are in need of speed, size and youth up and down the roster. There is unrest in the locker room and fan base. Quarterback is a position in flux.
It's exactly the way Dan Snyder wants it, if the past decade has been any indication.
Many would say Albert Haynesworth should be the player here, but that ship has sailed. He is going to cut if anything. I simply can't envision a world where another NFL team would trade for Haynesworth, his contract and his attitude.
Moss is coming off one of his better seasons and has proven himself to be a productive, durable receiver: 80 catches and 1,020 yards per season the past three years while not missing a game.
He isn't the deep-speed threat he was in his prime, but Moss would still be a capable underneath receiver for any team. The Redskins also used two early draft picks on receivers, indicating they are looking to get younger at the position.
In addition, trading Moss would help them tank the season for Andrew Luck. Though, at least 12 teams should be looking to tank the season for Andrew Luck.