NFL Trade Speculation: 5 Trades That Would've Happened Without the Lockout
This year, the Green Bay Packers proved that drafting a homegrown roster is the new blueprint for success in the NFL.
As teams try more and more to build rosters from scratch, it can't be ignored that offseason trading is integral when it comes to getting rid of those disgruntled superstars or acquiring the final piece to a Super Bowl contender.
Last offseason, the Jets made some serious noise, trading for Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie, among others.
Holmes and Cromartie were invaluable in the Jets' run to the AFC Championship game, and now, we are left to speculate what big trades could have gone down if not for the lockout.
Kevin Kolb to ARZ
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Trade: PHI trades QB Kevin Kolb to ARZ for 2011 first- and third-round draft picks
If Kevin Kolb were in the 2011 draft class, he'd undoubtedly be a top-five pick.
Kolb has a vote of confidence from Larry Fitzgerald, and would have been (still would be) a perfect fit in Arizona.
The Cardinals basically trade two draft picks for their franchise quarterback, and make a deal in line with what Houston gave for Matt Schaub a few years back (two second rounders and a swap of first-round picks).
On the flip side, Andy Reid gets two more draft picks to work with, and the Eagles are able to add another talented, young player to the fold.
Steve Smith to SD
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Trade: CAR trades WR Steve Smith to SD for a 2011 third-round draft pick
CBS recently reported that both sides (Smith and the Chargers) have a mutual interest, while the Panthers are obviously keeping mum on the issue to keep Smith's trade value reasonably high.
The Chargers need a 5'10", 180-lb vertical threat to round out their receiving corps, and the speedy Panther would add a dangerous element to the Chargers offense.
Smith would be more content listening to an established professional like Philip Rivers in the huddle than Jimmy Clausen, and the veteran receiver would be motivated to play hard for another shot at a Super Bowl.
On the other side, the Panthers probably want the unhappy Smith gone, and Cam Newton would benefit from having a group of receivers that are all-in for the team.
Donovan McNabb to MIN
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Trade: WAS trades QB Donovan McNabb to MIN for a 2011 fifth-round draft pick
Donovan McNabb is out in Washington and has a limited number of options on where he could play ball in 2011—one of those options was Minnesota.
Looking back, the Vikings could have traded a late round pick for McNabb and drafted a defensive end instead of Christian Ponder with the 12th pick.
The Redskins would have gotten rid of McNabb for a later-round draft choice, and would have been able to start fresh at the quarterback position.
The Vikings, by contrast, would have acquired the quarterback to lead their talented roster deep into the playoffs, and both sides would come out better for the trade.
Chad Ochocinco to NE
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Trade: CIN trades Chad Ochocinco to NE for a 2011 third-round draft pick
Chad Ochocinco's time is undoubtedly up in Cincinnati, and the former star is looking for a new home.
In an odd way, Ochocinco and the New England Patriots are a perfect fit.
The Patriots would take on a new attitude project in Chad Ochocinco, and Tom Brady would utilize the Oregon State graduate like a rejuvenated Randy Moss.
The Patriots need a No. 1 receiver, and Chad Ochocinco needs a fresh start somewhere.
For the Bengals, Marvin Lewis gets rid of a headache for a mid-round draft pick, and moves on without the me-first pass-catcher.
Aqib Talib to NYJ
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Trade: TB trades Aqib Talib to NYJ for 2011 third-round draft pick
The New York Jets would do something like this.
With Antonio Cromartie up for a new contract, the Jets could have flipped their third-round pick for the embattled Buccaneers cornerback.
Talib brings similar attributes to the table when comparing him and Cromartie, except that Talib is better.
The Jets took a gamble with their third-round pick anyway, picking Kenrick Ellis, a DT facing up to 20 years in prison—they would have been well served to have traded the pick for the more talented Talib, who is in the same position.
The game-breaking defensive back plays with intensity and would be able to gamble even more on passes with better safety help behind him.
For the Buccaneers, they get a mid-round draft pick and move on from the distracting Talib.