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NFL Trade Rumors: The 10 Most Interesting Players on the NFL Trading Block

Tom DohertyCorrespondent IJune 16, 2011

NFL Trade Rumors: The 10 Most Interesting Players on the NFL Trading Block

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    It's been a boring offseason for NFL fans. 

    The labor situation has frozen any possible movement of free agents, disgruntled veterans and undrafted rookies alike. This void of activity in America's top sport forces diehards and media outlets to analyze every "what if" and rumor through the NFL grapevine.

    There are plenty of intriguing players on the supposed NFL trading block. The lockout will end eventually, re-opening the market for players. For all we know, there could be trades that are already done, but need to wait for the lockout to end.

    We as fans are still free to speculate, regardless of the labor situation. Without further ado, here are the 10 most interesting players on the NFL trading block.

10. Jimmy Clausen

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    Jimmy Clausen's 2010 was rough from start to finish. 

    He slipped out of the first round in the 2010 draft despite being pegged by Mel Kiper, Jr. as the top quarterback prospect available. While his rookie counterparts Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy enjoyed successes in their rookie seasons, Clausen struggled mightily with Carolina and the league's most anemic offense. 

    By drafting Cam Newton with the first overall pick in 2011, the Panthers have sent a strong message to Clausen. One way or another, Newton will find himself on the field this upcoming season, and the young Clausen will be out of a job.

    Clausen's poor rookie season was partly due to a major lack of receiving options. He's an interesting piece of trade bait because he clearly has all the physical tools to be a successful quarterback in the league. Given a better situation to succeed then the mess he inherited in Carolina, it's possible that Clausen could live up to his hype.

    He's young enough where he could still turn his career around.

9. Chad Ochocinco

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    Chad Ochocinco has always been one of the most colorful, entertaining players in the NFL. But just like anyone who spends more than five years with the Bengals, Ochocinco appears to have had enough of the malarky.

    Now I'm well aware of Bengals' team owner Mike Brown's policy on trading players, but this is a situation that simply cannot be repaired. The truth is that amidst a subpar season for the prolific receiver, Chad Ochocinco still managed to tally 831 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Not too bad when you consider the team was 4-12.

    You have to wonder what a rejuvenated Ochocinco would be like on a contending football team. Say what you will about his antics, but the man works hard and plays quality football. 

    He'd be a welcome addition on a team looking to add a veteran receiver will some good football left in him.

8. Kyle Orton

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    No matter what Kyle Orton does, nobody seems to want him for too long.

    Orton battled through an abrupt coaching change, a team with virtually no defense and an injured offensive line to pass for 3,653 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2010. His play was "rewarded" with an end of the season benching to the team's future quarterback, Tim Tebow.

    Tebow is far from a complete player, but there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on John Fox to play the young quarterback in 2011. Odds are the team won't be very good, and it's imperative that the team find out whether or not Tebow can make it in the NFL.

    This is good news for teams like Seattle and San Francisco, among others. While Orton may never be a franchise quarterback, he can play just about any system pretty well and serve as a very good stop gap while you search for a long-term franchise option.

    He's only 28 years old and playing his best football. He's had success everywhere he has been, and with good talent around him, he can get the job done.

7. Donovan McNabb

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    I don't think anyone would have predicted that Donovan McNabb would be holding a clipboard to Rex Grossman when the Washington Redskins traded for him last offseason.

    For whatever reason, the McNabb-Mike Shanahan marriage was very short-lived in Washington, and it appears that John Beck is going to start for the foreseeable future. The main question with McNabb is, how much does he have left in the tank?

    At 34 years old, he's coming off of his worst season in a few years. But the Redskins aren't exactly bursting with offensive talent, either. McNabb still passed for well over 3,000 yards and showed flashes of his Pro Bowl form in a few games.

    Sure, he's not the player he used to be. But I think given the right situation, McNabb could give a team on the brink of contention one more solid season behind center. He's a borderline Hall of Fame player with nothing to lose.

    In a league starving for quarterbacks, there aren't too many that can beat the resume of Donovan McNabb.

6. Steve Smith

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    For a while, Carolina's Steve Smith was one of the most exciting players in the NFL. Now, he's not even the best Steve Smith in his own conference.

    Smith had a major drop-off this past season, ending a streak of five consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. But injuries and down-right horrendous quarterback play drowned out a lot of opportunities for the Pro-Bowl caliber receiver.

    I'm not ready to write off Steve Smith just yet. He's another guy who, given a change of scenery, could find some new legs and march right back to another 1,000 yard season.

    He's still as explosive as shifty as he has always been, and paired up with good quarterback and maybe even another wide receiver (which he has never had), 2011 could be a bounce-back season for the 11-year veteran.

5. Vincent Jackson

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    Vincent Jackson was dead serious about getting a new contract last season. So serious, in fact, that he sat out the team's first ten games in protest. 

    How did he respond when he finally suited up in Week 10? He scored three touchdowns in his second game back.

    Before 2010, Jackson was statistically the best deep threat receiver in the league with a career average of 17.2 yards per catch. He's got great size for the position (6'5", 230 pounds), and he is QB Philip Rivers' go-to target over the top.

    But he's clearly not happy with his contract situation in San Diego. But quite frankly, there just aren't too many guys like Vincent Jackson available all the time, and you can bet there will be a fair share of teams calling up Chargers GM A.J. Smith the minute the lockout ends.

    He's a number one receiver who instantly upgrades your quarterback's value and your team's passing game. 

4. Carson Palmer

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    Read Carson Palmer's lips: "I will never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again."

    Not even Bengals owner Mike Brown and his no-trade policy can stop this from happening. Former number one overall pick Carson Palmer wants out of Cincinnati so bad he would rather not play football ever again than play one more snap in the orange and black.

    The good news for Palmer is that quarterbacks of his talent almost always have their demands met, and the market is certainly there for the 31-year old. Almost every NFC West team will try to attain Palmer's services once the lockout is lifted.

    While Palmer has the propensity to throw a lot of interceptions, he certainly can light up the scoreboard even with a struggling team, as evidenced by last year's nearly 4,000 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.

    He's no longer on the cusp of elite quarterback status, but he's still got good years in him. It would be interesting to see Carson Palmer playing outside of snakebitten Cincinnati in 2011.

3. Kevin Kolb

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    The saga of Kevin Kolb is one of the most riveting stories in football today.

    Drafted in the second draft of the 2006 NFL Draft, many thought that he could replace the incumbent Donovan McNabb within one or two seasons. McNabb ended up flourishing for three seasons before he was unceremoniously traded in 2010. Kolb was pegged the opening day starter and seemed poised to take over the franchise.

    Then along comes Michael Vick, the greatest comeback story in NFL lore, who steals the job from Kolb all the way to the Pro Bowl, and just like that, Kevin Kolb became expendable.

    Most people forget that Kolb has utilized his limited opportunities (seven NFL starts) to pass for 2,082 yards and 11 touchdowns.

    At 26 years old, Kolb is entering his prime and well versed in the Andy Reid school of quarterbacking after warming the bench for four seasons. He'll get a chance to start somewhere in 2011, and the league will wait and see whether Kolb can be the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be. 

2. Vince Young

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    Vince Young has had quite a roller coaster NFL career.

    From a Pro Bowl appearance his rookie year to a rumored suicide attempt from too much criticism, the highly celebrated quarterback from Texas can't seem to find some consistency in his career. 

    Say what you will about Young's middling NFL statisitics, but the 28-year-old has found ways to win at the game's highest level. He amassed a 26-13 record from 2006-2009, including 11 come from behind victories.

    Any NFL team looking for a winner and great physical talent should look no further than Vince Young. If he is willing to grow up and be a mature leader for a franchise, he could be the player that puts a middle of the road team over the top into playoff contention.

1. Albert Haynesworth

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    Love him or hate him, there's no question Albert Haynesworth is the most interesting player on this season's NFL trading block.

    Who else receives prime coverage on SportsCenter for running (or not running) sprints at training camp? It's quite an accomplishment to be considered the worst free agent signing in Redskins history after only two seasons.

    He's been an abysmal failure in Washington, but everyone wants to know if he can still play. It wasn't too long ago that Haynesworth was the most dominant defensive tackle in all of football.

    The Eagles are rumored to be interested, and even his former team the Titans made a few phone calls last season. One thing is certain: He won't be with the Redskins in 2011.

    But it will intrigue the entire league if this ego-centric mammoth can put his childish antics aside and dominate NFL offensive lines once again with a new team in the upcoming season.

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