NFL free agency began with a bang the past couple of days after the end of a long and frustrating lockout which lasted over 100 days. The result of the lockout ending so close to the preseason is that teams must rush to sign and trade for players in a very short timeframe.
This offseason will only be a few weeks, so teams across the league must not waste any time building the team that they want to compete in the 2011 season.
Big names like Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Matt Hasselbeck, and Paul Posluszny have all signed deals, but where does that leave teams that missed out on these players? Free agency costs a lot of money for teams but trades are another way to add key pieces to the team without having to get into a bidding war to acquire the player that they desire.
We have heard rumblings all around the league about possible quarterback trades and other talented players possibly being moved. Here are the five hottest trade rumors currently floating around in the NFL.
The Donovan McNabb to Minnesota trade is almost a done deal. It is a trade that many have speculated would happen ever since Brett Favre retired and McNabb became the backup in Washington. The trade between Washington and Minnesota is not final but it is highly likely that the rumor will become a certainty within the next couple of hours.
McNabb was unhappy at Washington but now he has a chance to become the starting quarterback for an offense consisting of Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, and Visanthe Shiancoe. His experience and veteran presence would definitely help first round draft pick Christian Ponder become accustomed to the NFL.
The trade depends on the quarterback’s salary as he would have to restructure a deal that would pay him less than the $14.75 million he could make if he stays in Washington. The tentative agreement makes a lot of sense for both sides.
A veteran presence in Minnesota will help, and dumping McNabb’s outrageous contract would certainly do wonders for owner Daniel Snyder and the rest of the Redskins front-office.
Kevin Kolb was the starter for Philadelphia at the beginning of the season but an injury opened the door for Michael Vick to shine. Kolb was drafted as McNabb’s long-term replacement and so when the Eagles sent Donovan to Washington, the offense was handed over to Kolb.
Not many actually believed that Vick would start as many games as he did last season but when he impressed everyone with his retro Michael Vick style of play, Kolb became expendable. There is simply no need for two talented quarterbacks on a roster.
Arizona seems to be the place that Philadelphia will trade him to. Rumors have been floating around for a long time about the Cardinals acquiring the young quarterback. Arizona could not replace the retired Kurt Warner, thus resulting in a poor 2010 season. With Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver, a talented quarterback like Kolb can take the Cards back to the playoffs.
The trade is nearing with rumors of Arizona sending Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick swirling around. Whether or not the Eagles get the deal that they want, Kolb will likely be dealt sooner rather than later.
The emergence of Tim Tebow has spelled trouble for Kyle Orton, whose future in Denver looks to be coming to an end. Orton has been linked with the Miami Dolphins who have quarterback issues in the very competitive AFC East.
Miami has lost faith in Chad Henne and needs an established quarterback who can manage the offense efficiently. While he might not be the best quarterback in the league, Orton is a leader and has proven he can be trusted upon to win games.
The current Broncos quarterback played with Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall in Denver. A reunion for both in Miami would definitely help the confidence and the chemistry for both players. You may recall the quarterback-wide receiver duo set an NFL record with Marshall catching 21 passes in one game in December of 2009.
Marshall would benefit from playing with him again in Miami as he recorded his career-high 10 touchdown season while catching passed thrown by Kyle Orton. The trade would make a lot of sense for both teams.
The deal should be worked out soon, leaving Tim Tebow as the starter in Denver and Kyle Orton the starter in Miami.
The Carson Palmer saga has taken yet another turn. After requesting a trade last season and being denied an escape route out of Cincinnati, Palmer has reportedly retired. His refusal to play for the Bengals has put the team in a bit of a difficult situation.
Cincinnati drafted quarterback Andy Dalton out of TCU but the rookie is not the top choice to start for the Bengals in 2011. The team is looking into Bruce Gradkowski who played his college ball in the state of Ohio with Toledo as he will likely be the mentor to Dalton while leading the offense this season.
If the Bengals aren’t satisfied with this quarterback situation, they will look to trade retired Carson Palmer. While firm on their refusal to trade the former Pro Bowl quarterback, you have to believe that Cincinnati will look to get something in return for a player that will not contribute anything to the team.
Palmer is just 31 years old with years of football still left in him. Many teams throughout the league are in desperate need for a quarterback, and Palmer is a name that will surely attract a lot of interest in the trade market.
With Santonio Holmes off the board, the depth of the 2011 free agent class at the wide receiver just leveled off a little. There are still wide outs like Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, Plaxico Burress, and the Giants Steve Smith, but another possibility at the wide out position is trading for the Carolina Panthers Steve Smith.
The former Pro Bowler was linked in various trade rumors recently as the team will be in a rebuilding process under number one draft pick Cam Newton.
Smith’s value has dropped off a bit after injuries have brought down his numbers. There is no doubt that he still has a lot left in the tank if he goes to a winning team with a good quarterback. The speculation of whether or not he asked for a trade is still floating around as teams might look to fill their needs at wide receiver by trading for him.
He still has the speed and the hands to be a top 10 receiver in the league but unfortunately weak quarterback play in Carolina the past few years has his hurt Smith’s stats. Do not look at the stats though. The four-time Pro Bowler can still help out a lot of teams at this point in his career.
He might be available and if he is, teams will definitely be interested in a trade with the Panthers.