1 Player Each NFL Team Should Put on the Trade Block This Preseason

Alex KayContributor IAugust 15, 2022

1 Player Each NFL Team Should Put on the Trade Block This Preseason

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    The 2022 NFL preseason has officially begun, the first in a series of contests that will be critical toward determining depth chart orders and roster spots for every team.

    Many clubs still have holes to patch in the remaining weeks before the regular season kicks off. Others will be looking to clear positional logjams or offload disappointing talents who no longer have a role with the team. Cap space could be a factor in some roster decisions as well.

    These situations will naturally lead to trades. While there may not be many blockbuster deals left in the pipeline, there could be plenty of transactions involving early-round draft busts looking for a fresh start or intriguing talents buried on depth charts who will get a chance to shine elsewhere.

    With that in mind, here’s a look at one player each team should put on the block this preseason.

Arizona Cardinals: WR Andy Isabella

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    Andy Isabella hasn’t lived up to expectations during his first three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

    After the receiver was almost completely phased out of the offense last year—he saw just 30 snaps and caught a single pass—it’s clearly time to move on from the 2019 second-rounder.

    Isabella’s agent confirmed that Arizona granted his client permission to seek a trade in March. The club also reportedly attempted to shop the wideout around ahead of the 2022 draft to no avail.

    While there hasn’t been much interest in the 25-year-old’s services, that could change during the preseason as teams seek to bolster receiving corps that have suffered injuries and poor play. Isabella offers upside as an athletic slot receiver who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine.

    He may not have found a role with the Cardinals, but there’s still a chance he could catch on and be a contributor in another system that desperately needs a speedy playmaker.

Atlanta Falcons: LB Deion Jones

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    Deion Jones has been considered a trade candidate ever since the Atlanta Falcons made it readily apparent that they were entering a rebuilding stage.

    The linebacker is coming off an impressive campaign in which he racked up 137 tackles—one off his career high—and recorded six pass defenses and a pair of sacks.

    Outside of an injury-plagued 2018 season, Jones has been largely healthy throughout his career and has established himself as an excellent coverage linebacker.

    Despite his talents, the 27-year-old may be best served as a trading chip for the Falcons.

    Dealing Jones—who has two seasons left on a four-year, $57 million contract—could save up to $14.7 million in 2022 alone. The Falcons also added Rashaan Evans, Nick Kwiatkoski and rookie Troy Andersen this offseason, giving them depth in their linebacking corps.

    Jones may be one of Atlanta’s best players when healthy, but he offers potential to return some much-needed draft capital to a franchise that still seems a few years away from contending again.

Baltimore Ravens: OG Ben Powers

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    The Baltimore Ravens have a logjam at several positions right now. One of those is at guard, where several players are competing to earn the two starting jobs during training camp.

    Ben Powers could be one of the odd men out in a competition that will see Ben Cleveland, Kahlil McKenzie, Patrick Mekari, Tyre Phillips and Kevin Zeitler battling to top the depth chart.

    The latter is a shoo-in starter, while Cleveland offers the most upside and Mekari and Phillips—who is looking like a starter right now—both provide insurance at other positions because of their versatility.

    Powers had a chance to cinch up a feature role last year but allowed three sacks and was flagged for three penalties while earning a pedestrian 66.3 PFF grade across 844 offensive snaps.

    With Baltimore showing a propensity to deal offensive linemen in the past—they traded both Ben Bredeson and Greg Mancz last year—there’s a good chance the club will place Powers on the block and move him if he continues to get outperformed by Phillips in camp.

Buffalo Bills: WR Jamison Crowder

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    Jamison Crowder may currently be fighting to earn the Buffalo Bills’ slot receiver job, but he could be expendable and end up on the trade block soon.

    While Crowder has experience and a history of steady production on his side, the seven-year veteran has been plagued with injuries the last few seasons—missing a total of nine games since the start of 2020—and was sidelined for plenty of valuable practice time this offseason.

    The 29-year-old will have to make up for lost time if he’s going to beat out Isaiah McKenzie, who showed breakout potential at the end of last season. Filling in for an injured Cole Beasley, McKenzie went off for 125 yards and a score on 11 catches in a key Week 16 matchup against the rival New England Patriots.

    McKenzie signed a two-year deal to remain with the Bills this offseason. He has the advantage of familiarity that Crowder—who signed in Buffalo this spring after spending the last three years with the New York Jets—simply lacks.

    The development of fifth-round rookie Khalil Shakir—who may be the team’s future in the slot—may make it even easier for Buffalo to move on. Crowder could be packing his bags before ever playing a single regular-season game for the club.

Carolina Panthers: QB Sam Darnold

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    The Carolina Panthers kicked the tires on Sam Darnold last year after the young quarterback failed to pan out for the New York Jets. Although they gave up several draft picks—including a 2022 second-rounder—to get him, the team looks ready to move on already this offseason.

    Darnold will be fighting an uphill battle to get his starting job back after the Panthers swung a trade for Baker Mayfield. Mayfield was named the starter for Carolina’s first preseason game and seems to be well on his way to usurping the incumbent QB1.

    While Darnold could be on his way out, there is some upside remaining for the No. 3 overall pick in 2018.

    The USC product is still only 25—over two years younger than Mayfield, the player taken two spots ahead of him four years ago—and had a promising start to the 2021 campaign.

    Darnold completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,189 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions and ran for another five scores during a 3-1 run to open last season.

    If Darnold gets dealt to a team that can maximize his talents and can stay healthy—the signal-caller has yet to play a full NFL season—there’s still a chance he turns his flailing career around.

Chicago Bears: LB Roquan Smith

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    Roquan Smith has been one of the few bright spots for the Chicago Bears in recent years, but the star linebacker publicly demanded a trade last week after the organization failed to offer him a suitable contract extension.

    If the Bears aren’t willing to meet Smith’s demands—general manager Ryan Poles stated the team wishes to keep Smith but thus far hasn’t put an offer on the table that the linebacker believes is fair—the best move would be to deal him before he can become a distraction.

    Smith has been a tackling machine since coming into the league as the No. 8 overall pick four years ago. He’s amassed an impressive 524 tackles in that span while chipping in 17 pass defenses, 14 sacks and five interceptions.

    While he hasn’t made any Pro Bowl appearances, the 25-year-old has earned a second-team All-Pro nod in each of the last two seasons. He’s going into the final year of his rookie deal—worth $9.7 million—and is due for a major raise.

    It’s hard to fault the Bears for not wanting to commit upward of $20 million per year to an off-ball linebacker right now. The rebuilding club has needs across the roster that must be addressed, which is why officially putting Smith on the block might be the best move for both sides.

Cincinnati Bengals: S Jessie Bates III

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    The Cincinnati Bengals failed to come to terms on a long-term deal with Jessie Bates III this offseason. While the team did extend him a franchise tag, the star safety has thus far declined to sign the $12.9 million deal.

    Bates was open about his desire for an extension and stated he had no interest in playing the 2022 campaign on the tag. Unfortunately, the deadline for teams to reach a long-term agreement with franchise-tagged talent was last month, making this a tricky situation that has no resolution in sight.

    With Bates absent from training camp, the Bengals may eventually opt to deal Bates—the only player in the league who hasn’t reported—rather than have his holdout extend into the regular season.

    If Cincinnati puts Bates on the block, there should be plenty of interest in a 25-year-old safety who has started 63 games since coming into the league as a second-round pick in 2018. Bates has notched 408 tackles, 35 pass defenses, 10 interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles and fumble recoveries in that span.

    Although Bates technically has until Week 10 to sign and still be eligible to play this coming season, it would be hard to fault the Bengals for wanting to quickly end what has become an extremely messy situation.

Cleveland Browns: RB Kareem Hunt

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    Kareem Hunt has been an integral part of a Cleveland Browns backfield that has ranked as a top-five rushing unit in back-to-back seasons. Despite Hunt’s successes during his three-year stint with the club, the 27-year-old requested a trade last week.

    Hunt is set to go into the final season of the two-year, $12 million contract and is disappointed that the Browns failed to extend him this offseason. ESPN reported that Cleveland privately denied Hunt’s ask, putting the star running back in a rather awkward situation.

    If the Browns aren’t planning to retain Hunt beyond this season, the team might be wise to deal the veteran. The move would allow them to get something for Hunt rather than lose him for nothing in free agency.

    Cleveland’s backfield has the personnel to overcome the loss of Hunt.

    Nick Chubb will remain the starter in 2022 following his fourth consecutive season with 996 or more rushing yards. He’s locked in as the team’s top RB with plenty of depth behind him.

    D’Ernest Johnson proved quite competent as a feature rusher when given the opportunity. The third-stringer tallied up 245 yards on 41 carries in two starts last year, performances that should allow the Browns to feel comfortable moving on from Hunt.

    The club also drafted Jerome Ford in the fifth round, giving the team a promising rookie who represents the future at the position.

    With these players in place, Cleveland’s best move could be to reverse course and grant Hunt’s wish by placing him on the block.

Dallas Cowboys: DT Trysten Hill

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    One player the Dallas Cowboys could move on from before the new campaign begins is defensive tackle Trysten Hill.

    The 2019 second-rounder has been a major disappointment for the club, participating in a mere 18 games and making only five starts since he was drafted.

    Hill has recorded just 27 tackles and 0.5 sacks since entering the league but could benefit from a change of scenery. Cowboys insider Clarence Hill Jr. noted that the 24-year-old is likely to land on the block after he’s impressed thus far in training camp.

    Dealing Hill to a team that could return Dallas a wideout for its depleted receiving corps would be ideal. The Cowboys recently lost James Washington for an extended period, pushing him to the sidelines to recover along with Michael Gallup.

    With Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. also out of the picture, the situation within the Dallas receiving room is rather dire. Hill might not return the club a superstar, but at this point, getting a depth option in exchange for him would be a win for the Cowboys.

Denver Broncos: OG Dalton Risner

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    The Denver Broncos may have found the superstar quarterback they have long coveted, but the team might not be tinkering with its offense this preseason.

    One player who could be on the move this offseason is guard Dalton Risner. The 27-year-old has been a regular starter for the club since being drafted in the second round three years ago but may lose his job in training camp.

    According to NFL.com’s Eric Edholm, Risner’s outlook “seems a little murky” because of Denver’s decision to switch to a zone-blocking system. That move, along with guard Netane Muti seeing first-string reps in practice, could result in the incumbent starting left guard being dealt.

    Risner is owed $2.8 million for the upcoming campaign, the last on his rookie deal. With no contract extension in place, the Broncos could opt to forge ahead with the younger Muti taking over as the starter and Risner on the block.

    There are several clubs still looking to reinforce the interior of the offensive trenches. Risner has been a steady, reliable starter to open his career and could return the Broncos a rather respectable haul if they opt to deal him this preseason.

Detroit Lions: WR Quintez Cephus

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    Quintez Cephus didn’t get a chance to impress last year after a shoulder injury limited him to five games.

    While he looked good early in 2021—catching 15 passes for 204 yards and a pair of scores before landing on IR—the Detroit Lions could part ways with Cephus before he plays another meaningful snap for the club.

    Cephus will have his work cut out attempting to carve out a role on this up-and-coming offense. The team added two strong wideouts this offseason, picking up a reliable veteran in D.J. Chark in free agency and drafting potential superstar in Jameson Williams at No. 12 overall.

    Those talents, coupled with breakout rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown gearing up for year two, could leave little in the way of targets for Cephus.

    Cephus is still just 24 years old and has some promising upside that Detroit could dangle as trade bait. The 2020 fifth-rounder has displayed strong hands, athleticism and work ethic in his limited professional snaps and could flourish with a team that has less competition at the wideout spot.

Green Bay Packers: QB Jordan Love

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    The Green Bay Packers made the controversial choice to draft Jordan Love with their first-round pick three years ago, a decision they can finally move on from by dealing the backup quarterback this preseason.

    With Aaron Rodgers locked up on a three-year, $150.8 million extension, the Packers have a reigning back-to-back MVP under contract through the 2026 season. Love’s rookie deal is set to expire after the 2023 campaign unless the team opts to pick up what will be a costly fifth-year option.

    Although Rodgers could retire before his current contract expires, Love likely wants to get a real opportunity to start soon and the Packers aren’t going to want to pay big bucks for a backup. Dealing the 23-year-old while his value is still high is looking like the best option for each party.

    Putting Love on the block and asking for a ready-to-go contributor in exchange for the young signal-caller would best benefit Green Bay during the few years remaining in this Super Bowl window. The team only seems to have a few years tops before Rodgers calls it a career, making draft capital less important right now.

    Landing an impact wideout to help make up for the loss of Davante Adams would be ideal, given the Packers failed to land any truly impressive talents at the position in free agency.

Houston Texans: WR Brandin Cooks

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    The Houston Texans have more question marks on their roster than most teams heading into the 2022 campaign. While the receiver’s room is one of the team’s stronger areas thanks to Brandin Cooks, the rebuilding Texans could decide that the veteran is worth more to them in a trade than on the field.

    Cooks has been one of the league’s steadiest performers despite being constantly moved throughout his career. He’s been with four different organizations over his first eight NFL seasons and succeeded at every stop.

    The 28-year-old has racked up nearly 8,000 yards and 46 touchdowns on 573 receptions in that span. He was one of the only Texans players to thrive during last year’s trying campaign, amassing 1,037 yards and six scores on a career-high 90 catches.

    With only one year left on his contract, Houston’s brass needs to decide if Cooks is getting an extension or getting dealt. Either option is better than the alternative of losing him for nothing on the open market after the season.

    If the Texans elect to go the former route, there are already several clubs interested in acquiring the veteran wideout. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Houston has taken “multiple calls with interest in Cooks” and it seems that a second-round pick is currently the asking price for his services.

    Given Houston still doesn’t have a clear-cut franchise quarterback and plenty of holes to fill during this ongoing rebuild, flipping Cooks may be the best path forward, even if it sets the Texans back slightly in 2022.

Indianapolis Colts: QB Sam Ehlinger

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    The Indianapolis Colts narrowly missed out on a postseason appearance last year. The poor play of Carson Wentz down the stretch led the club to part ways with the quarterback before bringing in a pair of veterans to replace him.

    With Matt Ryan taking over as the QB1 and Nick Foles backing him up, the team has a tough choice to make with promising young backup Sam Ehlinger.

    Ehlinger is currently competing with undrafted rookie Jack Coan for the third-string role. While Ehlinger has the inside track because of his familiarity with the offense, the 2021 sixth-rounder could end up on the practice squad if the club doesn’t opt to keep three active QBs on the 53-man roster.

    With Ehlinger’s upside, there is a decent chance another team poaches him if Indy attempts to demote him off the active roster. Rather than let that happen, the Colts could instead try to recoup a bit of value for the 23-year-old and deal him during the preseason.

    The market for Ehlinger won’t be red-hot, but there are several squads in need of a promising depth option to develop in the QB room.

    If Indianapolis is going to go with only two active signal-callers this season—something the team has done the last few years—taking a Day 3 pick for Ehlinger would be preferable to him getting poached off the practice squad.

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

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    After using the No. 1 overall pick on Trevor Lawrence in 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been working relentlessly to surround their young quarterback with weapons.

    That approach led the squad to sign Christian Kirk to a huge contract this offseason while also bringing in Zay Jones to serve as a likely starter at wide receiver. Those moves, coupled with veterans Marvin Jones Jr. and Laquon Treadwell returning to the fold, could render Laviska Shenault Jr. expendable.

    It wasn’t long ago that Shenault was considered one of the league’s more promising receiver prospects. The 2020 second-rounder opened his NFL career with 58 catches for 600 yards and five scores, but he failed to build on that potential last year by catching 63 passes for 619 yards and zero touchdowns.

    While Shenault has the elite athleticism to be a playmaker in this league, he hasn’t shown any drastic improvement when it comes to drops—he had three as a rookie and eight last year—or his raw receiving skills.

    With opportunities for Shenault to change his career’s trajectory diminishing, the Jaguars should try to recoup some of the WR’s value now rather than let it further slip with an unproductive 2022 campaign.

Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Mike Danna

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    The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t exactly loaded on the edge, but the presence of three-time Pro Bowler Frank Clark and first-round rookie George Karlaftis has the position in decent shape heading into the new season.

    With those starters set, Kansas City could place backup defensive lineman Mike Danna on the block and attempt to get a mid-round pick for his services.

    Danna was a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft. He’s been a decent depth option during his first two NFL seasons, recording 51 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 30 games.

    The 24-year-old has intriguing upside and could potentially show out in a bigger role, one he likely won’t get an opportunity to take on with the talent ahead of him in Kansas City. Danna has only seen 868 defensive snaps over his first two seasons and could see his playing time diminish with Karlaftis now in the fold.

    If the Chiefs get a strong offer for Danna—and there are plenty of teams desperate for pass-rushing help—they may benefit more from it than keeping a rotational edge-rusher on their roster.

Las Vegas Raiders: Edge Clelin Ferrell

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    The Las Vegas Raiders raised some eyebrows when they selected Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall in 2019. Unfortunately, the edge-rusher hasn’t done much to reward the Raiders’ confidence or prove those doubters wrong over the last three years.

    Ferrell is not a fit in Vegas’ scheme, and it’s time to put him on the trade block.

    The 6’4”, 265-pound defender has only recorded 79 tackles—12 for a loss—and eight sacks across his first 42 games. After drawing 26 starts and playing approximately two-thirds of the defensive snaps across his first two seasons, Ferrell failed to earn a single start and saw his snap count decrease to a mere 24 percent in 2021.

    With the 25-year-old falling out of favor and a new regime taking over that has no ties to the past one, the Raiders could try to get something for Ferrell by trading him now rather than let him walk after his rookie contract expires following the 2022 campaign.

    Although Las Vegas won’t get anything near the early first-rounder it spent to initially get Ferrell, a Day 3 draft pick and some freed up cap space would be an ideal way to end this failed experiment.

Los Angeles Chargers: DE Jerry Tillery

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    Jerry Tillery never panned out the way the Los Angeles Chargers had hoped when they picked him in the first round in 2019.

    The hulking defensive end has been starting for the past two seasons because of the lack of competition on the edge but has only recorded 98 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 47 career games. With the Bolts bringing in a slew of defensive line talent this offseason, the team won’t be forced to rely on Tillery’s ho-hum production as much going forward.

    Tillery wasn’t likely to stick around past the expiration of his rookie contract regardless. That became readily apparent when Los Angeles’ brass declined to exercise his fifth-year option back in May, making the 2022 season his final before hitting free agency.

    There’s a chance Tillery doesn’t even get a final opportunity to prove himself to the Chargers. The Athletic’s Daniel Popper called it a “realistic scenario” for the defensive end to get dealt toward the end of training camp.

    Tillery’s far from a lock to even make the 53-man roster given how deep the Bolts are in the defensive trenches. If the Chargers can get something for the 25-year-old before final cuts are due in, that would clearly be a preferable choice over outright releasing him.

Los Angeles Rams: OL Bobby Evans

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    The Los Angeles Rams offensive line has undergone several changes from last year’s Super Bowl-winning unit.

    With left tackle Andrew Whitworth retiring and right guard Austin Corbett now with the Carolina Panthers, the team has some tough decisions to make on replacements. Joseph Noteboom appears to be the heir to Whitworth’s post, but the guard spot left vacant by Corbett’s departure is still up for grabs.

    Head coach Sean McVay claimed that Coleman Shelton is “really starting to separate himself” in the preseason competition for that role. Logan Bruss, a third-round rookie, has also been competing strongly for the role.

    This means veteran Bobby Evans could be a potential third-stringer to open the year. The third-year man out of Oklahoma has plenty of experience in the offense—he’s participated in 23 games, including starting seven as a rookie—but has been outclassed in training camp by the competition.

    Rather than let him languish deep on the bench, the Rams could opt to put Evans on the block. The 2019 third-round pick is only 25 years old and has some upside remaining, making him an intriguing pickup for a club in need of offensive line talent.

Miami Dolphins: WR Preston Williams

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    The Miami Dolphins have a litany of talent in their receiving corps. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle set to dominate the touches, there won’t be much room for the depth wideouts to shine.

    Preston Williams is one of the players most negatively impacted by Miami’s offseason acquisitions of Hill and Cedrick Wilson Jr. The 6’5”, 224-pound wideout oozes potential but has been struggling to stay on the field during the first three years of his career.

    After coming aboard as an undrafted free agent in 2019, Williams impressed by catching 32 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns in eight contests. His rookie year was unfortunately cut short by a torn ACL.

    Upon recovering in 2020, the Colorado State product lasted just eight games before landing on IR again with a foot injury. Williams’ 2021 season was also an abbreviated one even though the receiver managed to stay healthy. He was inactive for seven games and didn’t play in two others he was dressed for.

    SI.com’s Albert Breer reported that the Dolphins have engaged in trade talks surrounding Williams, an unsurprising move given the logjam at the WR spot and how he fell out of favor last season.

    It’d be a surprise if the Dolphins can get much in exchange for the 25-year-old, but the lengthy, skilled pass-catcher might intrigue some teams for the low cost of a late-round pick.

Minnesota Vikings: S Harrison Smith

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    Harrison Smith has been one of the most consistent performers on the Minnesota Vikings roster for the last 10 seasons. The star safety continues to be a force at the age of 33, one of the reasons the Vikings could elect to trade Smith while his value is high this offseason.

    Smith is on a reasonable contract for a player of his caliber—counting for just $7.4 million against the cap after signing a four-year, $64 million extension last season—and could conceivably fill a safety hole on plenty of contending squads.

    Minnesota’s first-round selection of safety Lewis Cine could ease the transition away from the six-time Pro Bowler. Cine said that Smith has been tutoring him, passing down knowledge earned over a decade of playing in the NFL at a high level.

    Cine and Camryn Bynum, a fourth-round pick last year, would rank among the league’s youngest starting safeties, but their presence would give the Vikings secondary a foundation to build upon for years to come.

    If Minnesota can land a respectable draft pick for Smith and successfully transition to a new set of defensive backs, the team will have made the right move by putting the veteran on the block.

New England Patriots: WR Nelson Agholor

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    The New England Patriots may not have any truly game-breaking talents in their receiving corps right now, but there are plenty of solid pass-catchers for second-year quarterback Mac Jones to target.

    With second-round pick Tyquan Thornton and DeVante Parker recently joining a unit that already had Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor, it would make sense for New England to deal at least one of these veteran talents away before the season begins.

    Agholor could be the odd man out after he failed to impress in his first season with the Patriots. He signed a two-year, $22 million deal with the club in wake of a 48-catch, 896-yard, eight-touchdown campaign with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

    The 29-year-old failed to replicate that performance in New England, catching just 37 passes for 473 yards and three scores last season.

    There should still be a market for Agholor despite the regression. He’s a quality deep threat with good athleticism and decent size at 6'0", 198 pounds. Moving him for some draft capital or a player who can bolster an area of greater need would be a wise choice for the Patriots.

New Orleans Saints: WR Marquez Callaway

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    Marquez Callaway had ample opportunity to establish himself as a key member of the New Orleans Saints offense last year. He opened the season as the top wideout on the roster but only finished with 46 catches for 698 yards and six scores in 17 games.

    While the loss of starting QB Jameis Winston stung a team that would go on to have the league’s worst-ranked passing offense, Callaway showed he’s not the right player to shoulder a significant load in this aerial attack.

    With Michael Thomas returning from injury, Jarvis Landry coming aboard in free agency and rookie Chris Olave set to play a big role after getting drafted No. 11 overall, Callaway could be on his way out during the preseason.

    The Saints already have several quality depth options behind their top three wideouts. Tre’Quan Smith offers tremendous blocking ability, and Deonte Harty is a key contributor in the return game, assets that make Callaway the most sensible receiver to put on the block.

    Although Callaway isn’t a great fit in the Big Easy anymore, he’s still a worthwhile pickup for a club in need of a quality WR2 or WR3. Given his status as an undrafted free agent, the Saints could get a nice haul in exchange for developing him these last two seasons.

New York Giants: RB Saquon Barkley

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    The New York Giants are set to enter a new era with head coach Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen at the helm. Moving on from one of the biggest blunders of the previous regime could help get this group off to a better start.

    Saquon Barkley was drafted No. 2 overall in 2018 and initially seemed to be worth the lofty selection. He dominated as a rookie, amassing over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 15 total touchdowns. He followed that up with a decent sophomore outing, but injuries and poor play have taken a toll in the years since.

    The Penn State product missed all but two games in 2020 with a torn ACL and looked like a shell of his former self upon returning this past year. Barkley participated in 13 contests but averaged a pedestrian 3.7 yards per carry and scored just two rushing touchdowns all season.

    The Giants owe Barkley $7.2 million this year—the last season on his rookie deal—after picking up his fifth-year option. With his contract set to expire and a chance for a fresh start looming in free agency, Big Blue could opt to move on from Barkley early rather than lose him for nothing in March.

    It may take some time for a suitor to emerge, but getting him on the block now, opening discussions and eventually moving him during the season when a contender direly needs a capable running back could maximize the G-Men’s return for the 25-year-old.

New York Jets: DT Sheldon Rankins

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    The New York Jets struck out with their free-agency acquisition of Sheldon Rankins last year.

    Rankins was supposed to greatly bolster the interior of the defensive trenches after signing a two-year, $11 million contract, but he largely struggled to live up to those expectations. PFF graded the defensive tackle’s performance out at a concerning 46.1, the lowest mark of his six-year career.

    The 28-year-old contributed four sacks as an interior pass-rusher and was an absolute liability in the run game. Rankins played a concerning 57 percent of the defensive snaps in the 16 games he was active for, a concerning stat for a player who performed so poorly.

    Fortunately, the Jets could simply cut Rankins and only take a $750,000 dead cap hit this offseason. While that will remain an option, trying to unearth a trade partner first would be the shrewder move.

    With Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers shoring up the defensive tackle position, Gang Green should take what it can get for this disappointing free-agent pickup.

    If a club is willing to offer a seventh-round pick, New York should jump at the opportunity to get Rankins off the roster and add a bit of capital in the process.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jalen Reagor

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    Few first-round picks have struggled more than Jalen Reagor has during his first two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    The No. 21 overall selection in the 2020 draft has already earned the bust label for his abysmal performances over the first 28 games of his career. The Eagles have given him every opportunity to succeed because of their lack of depth in the receiving corps, but Reagor has only managed to catch 64 of his 111 targets, taking them for 695 yards and three scores.

    With A.J. Brown coming over in a draft-day trade, DeVonta Smith showing superstar potential as a rookie and Quez Watkins proving he can be a decent depth receiver, the Eagles can finally cast aside Reagor and forge ahead with these players as their top pass-catching options.

    It remains to be seen if any suitors will show interest in Reagor’s services.

    It helps that the wideout is only 23 years old, but his tape leaves much to be desired. There may be a team desperate enough to roll the dice on the failed wideout, however, and Philadelphia should capitalize immediately if one emerges.

Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers have a three-way quarterback competition on their hands as they look to find a new starter in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.

    The club drafted Kenny Pickett at No. 20 overall to compete with free-agent pickup Mitchell Trubisky and incumbent backup Mason Rudolph in training camp. Rudolph may have the most experience with this offense, but he could be the odd man out as the Steelers attempt to identify their top two signal-callers for 2022.

    While Rudolph could conceivably still win the starting job, it’s more realistic that Trubisky ends up claiming the role with Pickett learning behind him and preparing to take over in the future.

    The 27-year-old spent four years backing up Roethlisberger after being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft. He saw some limited action during that span, going 5-4-1 as a starter while completing 61.5 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards and 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

    Speculation has been swirling throughout the offseason that Pittsburgh would deal Rudolph for a low price. There hasn’t been much interest so far, but that could change as preseason injuries mount and opportunities become available.

San Francisco 49ers: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

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    It’s no secret that the San Francisco 49ers want to put an end to the Jimmy Garoppolo era and forge ahead with Trey Lance as their starting quarterback.

    Unfortunately for the Niners, they’ve yet to receive a suitable offer for their expensive signal-caller. Not only is Garoppolo due an exorbitant $24.2 million for the final season of his five-year, $137.5 million contract, but he underwent a surprise procedure on his throwing shoulder following the team’s NFC Championship Game defeat.

    Garoppolo missed team activities during his rehabilitation process, but footage did emerge recently of the veteran quarterback throwing at training camp. If he’s healthy and back to full strength—hitting the mid-August deadline that agent Don Yee projected—there could be a renewed interest in his services.

    There is a chance that San Francisco elects to hang on to Garoppolo for the 2022 season. He represents a strong insurance policy in case Lance struggles or gets hurt, but it would be one of the more expensive decisions the cash-strapped club could make.

    The 49ers are less than $1 million under the cap right now, giving them almost no financial flexibility to add talent. Trading Garoppolo would open a plethora of options to improve the roster, a far better choice for a squad hoping to remain in contention after transitioning to a new starting QB.

Seattle Seahawks: Edge L.j. Collier

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    The Seattle Seahawks entered a full-blown rebuilding stage by trading away Russell Wilson this offseason. While the team is nearly sure to struggle in 2022, there is still a good chance the disappointing L.J. Collier won’t see the field much this year.

    Collier was a first-round pick in 2019 but has only notched 33 tackles and three sacks since entering the league.

    Most of that production came in 2020 when the Seahawks had Collier start all 16 games, a job he lost last year. The 26-year-old was demoted to a rotational role, seeing just 30 percent of the defensive snaps in the 10 games he was active for, down from a 49 percent snap share the season prior.

    On the heels of scoring a career-low 47.1 PFF grade, it’s time Seattle tries to move on from this abysmal edge-rusher. The club has promising talents in Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu to start and depth behind them in rookie Boye Mafe and Tyreke Smith.

    While Collier won’t net the team much of value, he’s already a cut candidate. Simply clearing his roster spot in exchange for any serviceable veteran or seventh-round pick would be a win for the Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Scotty Miller

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not make supporters happy by putting fan-favorite wideout Scotty Miller on the block, but the franchise is loaded with wide receiver depth and could get the best haul of any backup by dealing him.

    Although the club was hamstrung by injuries to the receiving corps during last year’s playoff run, the Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage locked in as their top three options. Julio Jones could play a sizable role as well after signing in late July.

    Behind those four, Miller would be battling with the likes of Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson Jr. and Breshad Perriman to round out the roster.

    Miller is best remembered for his strong sophomore season in 2020. He contributed on 41 percent of the offensive snaps across all 16 regular-season games—racking up a career-high 33 receptions for 501 yards and three touchdowns—and scored in the NFC Championship Game preceding the team’s Super Bowl victory.

    The 2019 sixth-rounder battled injuries last year that limited him to nine active games. He would catch just five passes for 38 yards across 135 snaps in those contests, a disappointing regression and a usage rate that is unlikely to improve with so much talent ahead of him in 2022.

    Miller could return some draft capital that will assist the team in preparing for life without quarterback Tom Brady. The club was ill-prepared to lose the future Hall of Famer during his brief retirement this year and could better position itself to replace him by having more assets going forward.

Tennessee Titans: TE Geoff Swaim

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    The Tennessee Titans haven’t failed to get notable production from the tight end spot after losing Jonnu Smith in free agency last year.

    After Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim combined for a meager 501 yards and five touchdowns on 65 catches, the club went out and added Austin Hooper in free agency. The veteran adds a quality pass-catcher into the mix, one who has scored at least three touchdowns in each of his six NFL seasons.

    Tennessee also injected some youth into the position by drafting Chigoziem Okonkwo in the fourth round. The Maryland product is a raw but explosive athlete with a high ceiling and could be a major part of the club’s TE plans going forward.

    The two new faces could push the remaining incumbent out as Firkser already signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent. Swaim could find himself in a new uniform soon as well if Tennessee is happy with Hooper as its TE1 and Okonkwo’s development behind him.

Washington Commanders: DT Daron Payne

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    Daron Payne has tantalized the Washington Commanders with his potential over the last four seasons. The 2018 first-rounder has started 58 of the 64 games he’s been active for over that stretch, but his production has been inconsistent at times.

    Payne has tallied up 227 tackles and 14.5 sacks in his career while seeing the field for at least 72 percent of the defensive snaps each season. The DT has undoubtedly been a major part of the defensive game plan, but he’s never earned a PFF grade above a 68.2 and posted a career-worst 63.9 mark last season.

    The Commanders elected to take the fifth-year option on Payne’s rookie deal, but he’s set to hit the market as a free agent after this season. Unless the club plans to offer an extension, it may be ideal to start talking shop with competing organizations this preseason.

    The Athletic’s Ben Standig reported that teams have been calling to check on Payne’s availability but have thus far been rebuffed by Washington’s brass.

    Head coach Ron Rivera claimed that there was a “tremendous interest” in keeping both Payne and Terry McLaurin around on a long-term deal, but the club hasn’t reached an extension with its defensive tackle after locking down the star wideout for the next three seasons.

    If a new deal doesn’t get done soon, the Commanders should give serious consideration to cashing Payne in for some picks.

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