NFL Trade Speculation the Best Player Each NFC North Team Could Acquire
This is the first in a eight-part series, exploring who the best player each team could hope to acquire via a trade once a collective agreement is put in place. When determining which player a team would target,
I'm taking two pieces of data into consideration. First, the biggest need each team has post-draft. Obviously, some of those needs will be addressed when free agency is able to take place. Second is the trade pieces each team has available to them.
For example, Atlanta is going to be less likely to give up a 2012 draft pick, because they have already given up their first and fourth-round picks.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, but have some holes they'll need to fill if they are going to contend for another title in 2011.
The biggest area of need is another pass rusher. The pass rusher could be a linebacker or a defensive end. For the Pack, I think there are two players they should be kicking the tires on.
First (the best) is Osi Umenyiora. Umenyiora fell out of favor with the Giants coaching staff last year, and could be available. It would probably take a minimum of a fourth-rounder, and a second-rounder might be more likely. While this may seem like a low price for a proven player, rarely do players get traded for high-round picks.
The second is LB Rocky McIntosh of the Washington Redskins. McIntosh has been a solid linebacker, who has been asked to spend more time dropping into coverage than rushing the quarterback. If the Packers decide to stick with Frank Zombo, opposite Clay Matthews, adding McIntosh would provide a solid tackler who is good in pass coverage and against the run. McIntosh is upset with the Redskins and that may facilitate his trade.
Why would the Panthers give up Smith?
They have a lot of needs, and Cam Newton isn't going to be ready to be an effective quarterback right away, so trading Smith while his value is high makes long-term sense. The price would probably be fairly high, possibly a package of picks, second and sixth maybe. Smith would give Jay Cutler the most explosive target he's had while in Chicago.
The Lions upgraded their defensive line and offensive skill positions in the draft, but still have major holes in the back seven. I think one of the best players the Lions could target is Washington Redskins linebacker Rocky McIntosh. McIntosh has great sideline-to-sideline speed and is a good tackler, and is good in coverage. The cost would probably be a fourth-round pick or possibly Drew Stanton and a later draft pick.
The Vikings got the guy they believe will be their future at quarterback with Christian Ponder. The biggest needs the Vikings have are along the lines. However, I think they will look for a veteran quarterback to help mentor Ponder, and to provide a viable starting option while Ponder learns the offense.
I think the team the Vikings are most likely to work out a deal with is the Washington Redskins. Donovan McNabb appears to be unwanted and appears to want out of Washington, as well. In Minnesota, McNabb would probably be the starter for the next season or two. The other benefit for Minnesota is McNabb's asking price will probably be reasonable, my guess is a fourth or fifth-round pick.