The NFL preseason is a good time to observe potential position battles and veterans that may or may not have lost a step. The NFL can be a brutal league where players with years of dedicated service to a team can be traded or released in favor of a younger and healthier player.
The NFL free-agency period may be winding down, but that doesn't mean trade rumors do not continue to swirl about some of the game's better players. One team's trash may be another team's treasure.
Here are six NFL players most likely to leave town.
John Mullin of CSN Chicago reported way back in February that the Chicago Bears planned on releasing RB Chester Taylor. The NFL lockout may have saved Taylor for a few months, but the fact that he does not contribute much on special teams really hurts the 10-year veteran.
Marion Barber looks to be the backup to Matt Forte, and Kahlil Bell and Harvey Unga will be able to contribute in a variety of ways because they can play special teams. Tim Kavanaugh of ESPN.com reports that even if Taylor is moved to another team, there will be a lot of interest in him as he still can be a productive third-down back.
The Philadelphia Eagles secondary has gone from a glaring weakness to arguably the best in the league (on paper) in the entire NFL. Asante Samuel is now joined by fellow Pro Bowlers Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Philadelphia to form one of the most dominant shut-down groups in recent memory.
Do the Eagles really intend on spending about one-sixth of their team salary on two cornerbacks (Samuel and Asomugha)? Steve Wyche of NFL.com reported via Twitter that Eagles president Joe Banner is entertaining trade offers for Asante Samuel.
The Eagles are in a position to shut down teams like the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, who have won the last two Super Bowls and love to spread the field with three and four wide receivers. The Eagles are obviously looking for an impact middle linebacker and a first-round pick for Samuel. If that happens they may have to make the trade.
As a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I sure hope they hold onto fan-favorite Asante Samuel.
The Carson Palmer circus in Cincinnati is still going strong as Business Insider reported that Palmer has put his house up for sale and is still planning on retiring if not traded. Palmer is only 31 years old and the Bengals are clearly trying to call his bluff.
That didn't stop the team from picking up some insurance in TCU QB Andy Dalton and backup-plan Bruce Gradkowski. ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports that the Bengals can be a bit stubborn with their own players. They turned down two first-round picks for Chad Ochocinco a few years ago, and then traded him to the New England Patriots for a fifth and sixth-round pick.
There are plenty of teams across the NFL who would love to have Carson Palmer as their starting QB, and would give up a high draft pick to do so. The Bengals need to move Palmer while his value is still high.
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Green Bay Packer Matt Flynn is the best backup QB in the entire NFL. The former LSU standout showed in 2010 that he has all of the tools needed to be a starting quarterback in this league.
The National Football Post's Dan Pompei has reported that several NFL teams have expressed interest in Matt Flynn.
Flynn's contract is set to expire after the 2011 season and the Packers could risk losing him. Flynn was only a seventh-round pick, but he would certainly garner a higher pick in return now.
His showing against the New England Patriots in 2010 has to be worth something.
ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reported that the Denver Broncos have named Kyle Orton their starting quarterback for the 2011 season. Tim Tebow was clearly a Josh McDaniels guy and has not been welcomed the same way under new the coaching regime.
According to Josina Anderson of FOX31 and the Denver Post, Brady Quinn has moved in front of Tebow on the depth chart and looks to be the Broncos backup QB. Tebow has already shown enough to the league that he is at the very least a backup QB in the NFL.
He may not be your prototypical quarterback in any way, shape or form, but the guy wins games and isn't that what really matters?
According to MSF, ESPN"s Tim MacMahon reported that he believes Dallas Cowboys RB Tashard Choice is at risk of losing his job as the team's third back. Felix Jones is poised to become a star and there is a great chance that DeMarco Murray can do the same, but Lonyae Miller may be a better fit in Dallas than Choice.
Miller is a much better blocker than Choice and he can contribute on special teams. Choice can still be a productive player in this league and could be a valuable pickup for a team needing a backup RB.