NFL Trade Speculation: 8 NFL Players With the Highest 2011 Trade Value
Even with the lockout in full effect, trade rumors continue to swirl around the league. Some players are mentioned regularly in these rumors, while others fade in and out of them.
No matter the case, there are some big names that are being thrown into trade talks, and they each carry a great deal of value.
There are always factors that will ultimately alter a player's value depending on the team making the offer, but high value players are going to be traded no matter the risk.
Here are some of the players that have the highest trade value this offseason.
Kevin Kolb, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
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Kevin Kolb has essentially been on the trading block since Donovan McNabb was traded to the Redskins last offseason. Andy Reid said the Eagles had no intention of giving up any of their three quarterbacks, and did the exact opposite the next week. Kolb was supposed to be the next franchise quarterback in Philadelphia, then Michael Vick had his second coming and put an end to Kolb's future in Philly.
Kolb is arguably the best quarterback on the market this offseason, and plenty of teams will be throwing player and draft-pick packages at the Eagles to get him.
Though his 11 touchdown and 14 interception career may paint the picture of a future backup, Kolb has done enough to garner interest from a number of teams since before last season. Last season was statistically his most productive, but 1,197 yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 76.1 quarterback rating aren't stellar numbers.
The Cardinals, Vikings, Seahawks and Redskins all need quarterbacks, and Kolb would be a welcome addition to their respective causes.
Even though Kolb was essentially benched in favor of Vick last season, it hasn't hurt his trade value. Too many teams see what the Eagles once saw in him, and that is enough to make him the hottest trade commodity among quarterbacks.
Brandon Jacobs, Running Back, New York Giants
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Brandon Jacobs is a bruising running back headed for the dreaded 30 years of age. He has two years left on a $25 million contract he signed in 2009 but isn't making franchise running back money despite being a workhorse for the New York Giants.
Jacobs doesn't rely on speed to gain his yards and isn't going to lose 40 lbs. in the next year, meaning he'll be an effecting running back for the remainder of his contract and beyond.
Last season, Jacobs tallied 147 carries compared to 224 carries in 2009. Even with the decreased workload, he still rushed for 823 yards and nine touchdowns in 2010 compared to 835 yards and five touchdowns in 2009.
The Giants have their franchise running back in Ahmad Bradshaw, who is four years younger, a more dynamic rusher and competent receiver out of the backfield than Jacobs.
Jacobs has a good five years left, and that is more than enough to benefit a team in need of a back who can both shoulder the load of a franchise running back and be an integral part of a running back by committee scenario.
Steve Smith, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
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What started as a rumor has become a compelling trade possibility, and for good reason. Steve Smith has seen his numbers drop off in the last two years, though mostly due to the turmoil at quarterback. Even with Cam Newton coming in to save the Panthers, Smith is an older receiver and Carolina is rebuilding whether they admit it or not.
Smith has the ability to play in the slot or be a big play receiver, but he isn't going to be in a position to win with the Panthers.
Though he has tried to quiet the rumors of desiring a trade, Smith has made it clear that he wants to win and the Panthers do not look like they are going to be doing much winning over the next few years. Smith is a game-changing receiver that could be the missing piece in a few playoff teams' formulas.
Teams like Baltimore and San Diego are on Smith's wishlist, but there are bound to be more teams inquiring the Panthers on his availability.
Kyle Orton, Quarterback, Denver Broncos
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Kyle Orton's status is difficult to pin down with John Elway calling the shots in Denver. The previous regime was confident that Tim Tebow was the future of the franchise at quarterback. With Elway at the helm, and John Fox as head coach, the general consensus is that Orton may be the team's best bet at quarterback.
Whether it is a smokescreen or a genuine dilemma, Orton is going to be a hot commodity once the lockout ends.
After four underwhelming years spent with the Chicago Bears, Orton has been great for the Broncos. He has completed 60-percent of his passes for 7,400 yards, 41 touchdowns and 21 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 87.2. Next to Kevin Kolb, Orton is the best available quarterback on the trading block.
Recent reports say that Denver is unlikely to deal Orton because he gives the team the best chance to win right away. Still, Denver is likely to hear a lot of offers for Orton, many of which could be too juicy to pass on.
Reggie Bush, Running Back, New Orleans Saints
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Reggie Bush may never live up to his draft status, but he has a little bit of everything for the New Orleans Saints. He isn't the best at running between the tackles, but can get big yards in open space, return punts and make big plays in the receiving game.
The Saints drafted running back Mark Ingram in the first round, which diminishes Bush's role on offense.
When healthy, Bush is still a dynamic triple-threat player that would be a boost on offense and special teams.
The issue with Bush is his own perceived value, which could scare some teams away if they aren't willing to make a long-term commitment. Bush would be best suited for a team with an established running back in need of a change of pace back.
However, Bush himself may not feel comfortable in a secondary role even though it has been the story of his career to this point.
Whatever baggage Bush comes with is secondary to the impact he can have on a game with the ball in his hands. Teams could be lining up to take Bush off of New Orleans' hands.
Osi Umenyiora, Defensive End, New York Giants
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The New York Giants have used a regular rotation of defensive linemen in order to keep everyone fresh and put each player in the best position to succeed and produce. Osi Umenyiora was once the best of those linemen, but the success of the rotation has made him expendable.
Umenyiora is in the final year of his contract but is already clamoring for a new deal that is likely too rich for the Giants to give him.
Having produced 60 sacks in his seven-year career shows his consistency and adds to his inherent value. Umenyiora has the ability to be a force coming off the edge and would be a huge addition to any defense in need of pass rush help. Umenyiora's career-high 10 forced fumbles are an added bonus, and only increase his value.
There are a lot of defenses that could use a pass-rusher like Umenyiora to either establish the defense or complement an existing pass rusher.
Chad Ochocinco, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals,
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Say what you want about his name change, his big mouth, or his bull-riding ability, Chad Ochocinco can flat out play. He has produced over 1,000 yards in all but three of his 10 seasons and remains a big play threat despite being 33.
The Bengals may have made their first move towards rebuilding when they drafted quarterback Andy Dalton, and the next move could be getting some value out of Ochocinco while they still can.
With Carson Palmer either retiring or being traded, Ochocinco may be better suited for a more competitive team.
Most of the teams that could use Ochocinco are already in playoff contention, and need a big play receiver or a second receiver to reach the next level. Ochocinco is a receiver who can go deep, run short, go over the middle and make big plays any given week. He may be considered a distraction but is a good enough player to make teams overlook that fact.
The Bengals can't go looking for a first round pick for Ochocinco, and may have to settle for a third or fourth rounder. Either way, Cincinnati isn't in the Ochocinco business in the post-lockout season and Ochocinco has plenty left to offer to a team in need of a quality receiver.
Vincent Jackson, Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers
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Vincent Jackson fought the Chargers tooth and nail for a long-term contract, but ultimately gave in to their final decision to franchise tag him for the coming season. Jackson has shown no desire to play elsewhere per se but would certainly like a deal that he feels is proper compensation for his services.
While the Chargers would be better off with Jackson, it is clear that they aren't willing to give him the number he is asking for contract wise.
Jackson is a big target with two 1,000-yard season under his belt, and at 28 years of age, he has at least five more years of great production. His size makes him a great redzone threat, but he became a go-to receiver in 2008 and 2009.
Any team looking to trade for Jackson will have to give up a lot in terms of players and/or draft picks. Even so, elite receivers don't get put on the trading block every day and Jackson is a game-changer.