NFL Trade Speculation: The 12 Most Costly Trade Targets on the Block
Once the NFL finally settles its lockout, teams will be quick to solve any problems that they didn't address during the draft with free agency.
While this year's free-agent class may not be a great one—depending on how the CBA shakes out—there are still teams with gaping holes to fill.
The Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans may all need starting quarterbacks.
The San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers have very unhappy wide receivers.
The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots have no clear plan at running back.
Every team has a need to fill, and here are 12 guys who may be on the market once the season begins.
12. Jimmy Clausen
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When the Panthers drafted Jimmy Clausen, it's unlikely they envisioned having Matt Moore go down and Clausen immediately having to step in.
Clausen performed far worse than expected, throwing three touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Some of this can be blamed on John Fox's lame-duck coaching, some of it on injuries, and still some more on the Panthers inexperience.
Clausen should not be discarded as damaged goods just yet—given the right situation, he may be able to find a starting job.
The Panthers may be willing to give Clausen away right now, but it might be costly in the long run to try and salvage Jimmy Clausen's career and ego.
11. Chad Ochocinco
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Chad Ochocinco/Johnson has spent his free time this summer exploring different ways to make a living. Johnson is a fame whore—he loves seeing his name in the news and loves drawing attention to himself.
The Bengals, Marvin Lewis in particular, may have had enough.
With the Bengals having some young receiving talent and likely a new quarterback next season, it may be time for the Bengals to start their offense from scratch in the mold of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ochocinco will probably not cost a team a lot in terms of compensation, but he will likely be more of a headache than anything else.
10. Donovan McNabb
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The Donovan McNabb-Redskins romance was a short one. For some reason Mike Shanahan and McNabb are not meshing.
McNabb was nowhere near as effective as the Redskins had hoped, but the talent surrounding surrounding him wasn't all that great either.
Even though the Eagles felt it was good business to move on to a younger, cheaper quarterback, the Redskins don't have that same luxury, so benching McNabb and possibly trading him doesn't make much sense.
There are several teams who could use a bridge quarterback, and McNabb has enough left in him for a year or two.
The Redskins might want too much back in compensation to make this deal happen and may end up releasing McNabb rather than getting anything.
9. Reggie Bush
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The Reggie Bush era never really was in New Orleans.
After the Texans drafted Mario Williams, they were panned for not taking an all-world talent like Bush, but Bush might have been a success due to the talent at USC rather than his own merit.
Bush never lived up to the hype despite being part of the explosive Saints offense, perhaps because he was never featured and his talents were not utilized properly.
The Saints may had the luxury of having too many weapons to need to make Bush a feature back.
With the drafting of Mark Ingram, Bush will likely see his tenure in New Orleans end. The Saints are not stupid, and Bush is talented enough to warrant solid compensation.
8. Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie
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With the addition of Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals could have a truly scary secondary to throw against.
The addition of Peterson may also make DRC expendable—but only at the right price.
The Cardinals need a quarterback. Last year, they rotated quarterbacks like it was going out of style, and that led to inconsistency across the board.
As trade bait for a quarterback, DRC would be a huge asset.
7. Aqib Talib
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Aqib Talib is a young, talented corner who unfortunately has had some trouble with the law. Raheem Morris does not seem like the type of coach who is going to tolerate poor character in his locker room, and that might mean Talib is on his way out of Tampa Bay.
There are several teams—like the Raiders after Nnamdi Asomugha leaves via free agency—who might be looking to upgrade their secondaries. Known to take risks, Al Davis has his name written all over this deal.
With his off-the-field troubles though, could Talib find himself down the path of Adam "Pacman" Jones?
The Buccaneers might be smart to sell before they find out.
6. Kyle Orton
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Kyle Orton is a starting quarterback in the NFL.
That is both a statement of fact and a prediction for next year—Orton has proven he has what it takes to be a productive quarterback.
With Tim Tebow and Tebow-maina coming up on Orton, it really is only a matter of time before he is unseated as the starter in Denver.
With so many teams needing quarterbacks, the Broncos will likely be fielding calls once the season starts about Orton and his availability.
The Broncos can stand pat and wait until the right offer comes along since having two quarterbacks is always better than one.
5. Kevin Kolb
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The way people talk, it is almost a forgone conclusion that seeing Kolb in an Eagles uniform is something that won't occur in Week 1 this season.
Kolb has been fodder for trade talk all year, and with so many teams needing help at quarterback and so few quarterbacks being available, the Eagles will be able to name their price.
Kolb will have a high price tag, and it wouldn't be a shock if he were the last quarterback to change teams this offseason, which would really drive up his price.
4. Vincent Jackson
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Vincent Jackson doesn't like the contract situation in San Diego. The Chargers don't want to meet Jackson's steep price.
The only real solution is a trade.
Jackson feels disrespected, and without a long term guarantee, that will be hard to fix. He sat out a majority of last year as a result of these hard feelings, and it can only be assumed that Jackson would do the same if he really felt he needed to force the issue.
Jackson will likely fill a hole at receiver for some team not in Southern California next year.
3. Steve Smith
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Smith and Cam Newton have played nice in public, recently. Smith even showed up at a Panthers offseason workout.
That doesn't mean he will be a Panther next year.
Smith did not like having a rookie quarterback last year, and it's unlikely he wants to deal with that again. The Panthers are in full-blown rebuild mode, and Smith doesn't have the time left in his career to wait for the rebuilding to be finished.
Regardless of the warm and fuzzy feelings in Carolina right now, Smith will likely line up elsewhere next year.
2. Carson Palmer
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Mike Brown and Carson Palmer are probably not Facebook friends.
Palmer has asked to be traded in light of the Bengals perpetual rebuilding mode. Brown has flatly refused to give in and has basically let Palmer know that he will not be told what to do by his employees.
Neither is budging.
Brown might be smart to keep up the act for now but eventually cave. The quarterback market will dry up quickly, so some teams will be scrambling for signal callers, meaning Brown can cash in.
With a young team, Brown would be smart to add to it with a few more draft picks.
1. Albert Haynesworth
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Albert Haynesworth is not working out as the Redskins had hoped.
Maybe Haynesworth is right, and it's the system. Maybe he played up to his contract year and then planned on coasting. Maybe he doesn't get along with Mike Shanahan, and it bothers him so much he can't focus on playing football.
Whatever the reason, Haynesworth is no longer worth his bloated contract.
The Redskins would be smart to put him out there to see if someone will take a swipe at him. With the CBA hopefully being finalized soon, we will shortly find out if anyone will be able to afford to take on Mr. Haynesworth.