2022 NFL Trade-Block Big Board Entering Week 2
Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season was a wild one, complete with stunning upsets, heart-pounding finishes, overtime action and even a tie. Deficiencies were uncovered for multiple teams, and of course, the injury bug bit hard.
We saw key players like Dak Prescott, T.J. Watt, Derek Barnett and Elijah Mitchell go down in Week 1, and their respective teams will be scrambling for reinforcements.
As injuries occur and teams identify weaknesses, many franchises will look to the trade market, at least until the Nov. 1 deadline. Each week until then, we'll examine the top 10 trade targets based on each team's on-field and salary-cap situations, projected player roles, any relevant buzz and a little bit of logic.
We'll also examine prime landing spots based on factors like team needs, positional value and cap/contract situations.
The Selection Process
To create our top 10 list, we have gathered 15 names that are likely to be on the trade block based on the aforementioned rankings criteria.
New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims, for example, was the subject of trade buzz during the preseason. He was also inactive for New York's Week 1 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Logic suggests that he can be easily obtained with an enticing offer.
Once we established the top 15, we ranked players on their talent level, positional value and their likelihood of being dealt. For this exercise, we're looking at both player value and obtainability.
This week's honorable mentions, in no particular order, are:
- Sidney Jones, CB, Seattle Seahawks
- Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
- Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Mason Rudolph, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Deion Jones, LB, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones moves up to the top 10 after Week 1 because of his potential value. He's on injured reserve after offseason shoulder surgery, but Atlanta waited until after the Aug. 30 roster cuts to place him there. This means that he is eligible to return after four weeks.
According to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, the Falcons tried to trade Jones during the offseason but failed.
Jones, who racked up 137 tackles and two sacks last season, would be a logical fit for a couple of teams. The Dallas Cowboys, who surrendered 152 rushing yards in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are one.
Dallas could use help in the run-defending department and has some ties to Jones. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was his head coach in Atlanta for five seasons (2016-20)
The Green Bay Packers should also be interested in Jones once he's healthy enough to play. Linebacker Krys Barnes suffered a lower-leg injury in Week 1 and could miss a significant amount of time.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Barnes is "believed" to have suffered a high-ankle sprain and calf injury and is likely to miss multiple weeks. Green Bay would have to wait a few weeks to add Jones, but Jones returned to practice before landing on IR and could be ready to return long before Barnes is.
Best Fits: Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers
9. Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots
There was also some trade speculation surrounding New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor over the offseason.
"A source close to the situation expects one of the Patriots' veteran wide receivers to be traded or released, and that source believes Agholor is the prime candidate," Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus wrote in early August.
Moving Agholor would make sense from a financial standpoint, as trading him would clear at least $4.9 million off the cap. New England could save more if a team agreed to take on some of his dead money.
Agholor, who had just three catches for 28 yards in Week 1, doesn't have much long-term value for New England.
The Packers should be near the top of the list of teams willing to take a flier on the 29-year-old. Their receiving corps was underwhelming during the Week 1 blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers only went 22-of-34 passing for 195 yards and an interception.
The Falcons could also be interested. They have little proven depth behind rookie Drake London and were eyeing the receiver market at the roster cutdown deadline. Both Atlanta and Green Bay were interested in acquiring Laviska Shenault Jr. from the Jacksonville Jaguars before he was dealt to the Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano.
Agholor, who logged 896 yards and eight touchdowns with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, could be far more productive with a team that isn't New England.
Best Fits: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers
8. Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders decided to keep 2019 fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell as depth behind Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones this season. However, it's clear that the Clemson product isn't in line for a big role as long as both Crosby and Jones are healthy.
Ferrell played a mere 28 percent of the defensive snaps in Week 1. He finished with one tackle and one quarterback pressure.
If the Raiders don't see a resurgence from Ferrell, who did have 4.5 sacks and 15 quarterback pressures as a rookie, they may look to flip him for draft capital and/or a player who will actually contribute.
However, Ferrell's draft pedigree and upside may interest a team in need of pass-rushing help. The Philadelphia Eagles should be at the top of the list after losing Derek Barnett to a season-ending ACL tear in a three-point win over the Detroit Lions.
"Obviously, that's a big blow for us," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said, per Sage Hurley of the team's official website.
The Los Angeles Rams should also have some interest. They lost Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills in free agency and struggled to generate a quality pass rush against Buffalo in Week 1. Bills quarterback Josh Allen was only under pressure on 5.3 percent of his dropbacks.
The Rams, who haven't been shy about adding veteran talent during the season, should at least be interested in what Ferrell can do.
Best Fits: Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams
7. D'Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson replaces teammate Kareem Hunt on the list proper this week. While Hunt could still be dealt if the season begins to spiral for Cleveland—he did request a trade during the offseason—he was a huge piece of the offensive puzzle in Week 1.
Against the Carolina Panthers, he logged 46 rushing yards, 24 receiving yards and two total touchdowns. Johnson, meanwhile, did not play.
As the No. 3 back behind Hunt and Nick Chubb, Johnson may not see the field often for Cleveland this season. However, he could be enticing to running-back needy teams. Despite only making two starts last year, Johnson tallied 534 rushing yards, 137 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.
The San Francisco 49ers should be interested after losing starting back Elijah Mitchell to a sprained MCL.
"We're estimating about two months, eight weeks, give or take a few," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Mitchell's recovery timeline, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.
The Rams could also use running back help. Cam Akers barely saw the field in Week 1, and Darrell Henderson Jr. was largely ineffective. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry, while Los Angeles finished with a mere 52 yards on the ground.
Best Fits: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams
6. Chuck Clark, S, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark would be near the top of our list if it was based on talent alone. He's been a reliable starter in Baltimore over the past three seasons. However, the drafting of Kyle Hamilton in the first round and the addition of Marcus Williams did prompt an offseason trade request from Clark.
Clark, though, eventually bought into playing for the Ravens this season. He started and played well in Week 1 against the New York Jets, finishing with nine tackles and a forced fumble.
"Chuck played an excellent football game; pass defense, run game, organizing us. Excellent game," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the contest.
Clark falls three spots from Week 1 because Baltimore clearly views him as a defensive centerpiece. However, with Williams and Hamilton on the roster, he could still be had for a price. If he is available, expect multiple contenders to show interest.
The 49ers could also be interested. Starting safety Jimmie Ward will be out through at least Week 4 after going on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Tashaun Gipson was elevated from the practice squad for Week 1, but San Francisco could eye more of a long-term solution.
The Raiders should also have some interest after getting picked apart by Justin Herbert and the AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. Safety Johnathan Abram allowed an opposing passer rating of 111.5 in the opener.
Best Fits: San Francisco 49ers, Las Vegas Raiders
5. Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers
The first big quarterback domino fell when Dallas Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott exited Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a thumb injury.
"Prescott had surgery on his right thumb Monday afternoon, and sources continue to believe he will miss six to eight weeks as he goes through rehabilitation," ESPN's Todd Archer wrote.
According to Pelissero, Prescott might be able to return in as few as four weeks.
As quarterbacks continue to hit the injury list, expendable quarterbacks like Sam Darnold will see increasing trade value. The Panthers signal-caller is on injured reserve with an ankle sprain but will be eligible to return in three weeks.
Darnold isn't a high-end quarterback, but he does have 49 starts on his resume. The Panthers, meanwhile, are rolling with 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield as their starter and P.J. Walker as his backup.
Darnold's $18.9 million salary is guaranteed in 2022, and if the Panthers can find a team to take on any of that money, they'll seize the opportunity.
Right now, Dallas is the only team desperate for a quarterback—and its interest will hinge on Prescott's recovery timeline. However, it could be worth keeping an eye on Cleveland. Backup Jacoby Brissett (18-of-34 for 147 yards and a TD) was underwhelming in Week 1 despite getting the win over Carolina.
Browns starter Deshaun Watson is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. Twenty-five women filed lawsuits against Watson accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct during massage therapy sessions. Watson has settled 23 of the 24 remaining suits. One lawsuit was dropped after the woman decided not to have her name on the petition.
If the Browns continue to win but have poor quarterback play, they could look to make a change.
Best Fits: Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo was No. 2 on our list last week for a couple of reasons. For one, he plays the game's most important position and has helped take San Francisco to two NFC title games.
Secondly, his reworked contract—which is worth $7 million for 2022—is something the 49ers should be able to move.
However, after watching Trey Lance (13-of-28, 164 yards, 1 INT) struggle to pass against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, San Francisco may not be eager to dump his understudy. If Lance can't rebound in the coming weeks, the 49ers may strongly consider a quarterback change.
This doesn't mean that Garoppolo is off-limits just yet. Shanahan was asked if the 49ers would consider trading Jimmy G to the Cowboys in the wake of Prescott's injury.
"Just like all players, we'll listen to anybody on anything," Shanahan said, per David Bonilla of 49ers Webzone. "That never changes for any player or coach. We'll always listen to anybody."
Expect Garoppolo's spot on our list to fluctuate greatly depending on Lance's performance in the coming weeks. If the second-year quarterback plays well, Garoppolo will move back to the top. If he flops and Garoppolo regains the starting job, Jimmy G will likely fall off the list entirely—at least until/unless the 49ers fall out of contention.
Dallas and Cleveland are the top two landing spots for the same reasons they could show interest in Darnold.
Best Fits: Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns
3. Denzel Mims, WR, New York Jets
After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Mims moves up our list (from No. 6) because of his likely availability.
According to SNY's Connor Hughes, the Jets fielded multiple calls on Mims before the season but wanted a fourth-round pick in return. Teams weren't willing to offer that. However, the longer Mims continues to be a non-factor in the New York offense, the lower the asking price is likely to be.
It makes little sense for the Jets to turn down offers for a player who can't make the game-day roster each week.
New York isn't likely to get a ton in return for Mims either. Through two seasons, he has made only 11 starts and caught 31 passes for 490 yards and no touchdowns. Still, he has some intriguing potential, which is why he was a second-round pick in 2020.
The Packers would be a logical suitor given their receiving struggles in Week 1. Rookie Christian Watson dropped a would-be 75-yard touchdown on Green Bay's opening drive, and a score there would have changed the early complexion of the game.
Could Mims be a more reliable target for Aaron Rodgers? It's worth a late-round draft pick to find out.
According to Hughes, the Cowboys were among the teams that called about Mims, and Dallas is another sensible destination. Michael Gallup is still working his way back from a torn ACL, and Dallas' receiving corps was also underwhelming in Week 1.
Noah Brown led all Dallas players with 68 receiving yards against Tampa. No other Cowboys wide receiver reached 30 yards.
Best Fits: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys
2. Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants
Like Mims, New York Giants receiver Darius Slayton was a healthy scratch in Week 1. Also like Mims, Slayton has been the topic of trade buzz.
"Just because Slayton hasn’t been traded yet doesn't mean he won't be, eventually," Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media wrote following the Aug. 30 cuts. "It could take some time for a trade to materialize."
The Giants convinced Slayton to take a pay cut to stay with the team, but they may have only kept him as a trade chip. The 25-year-old ranks higher than Mims because he has shown more as a pro, including an impressive 740-yard, eight-touchdown 2019 campaign.
While the Cowboys could also be interested in Slayton, the asking price is likely higher because of his resume. With a more pressing need at quarterback, Dallas could be out on the receiver.
The Packers, however, should be in, along with the Rams.
We've discussed Green Bay's shortcomings at receiver. The Rams, though, have their own issues. Cooper Kupp is clearly one of the best offensive players in the game at any position, but the receiver depth behind him is questionable.
Van Jefferson missed Week 1 and continues to rehab following August knee surgery. Ben Skowronek was the only Rams wideout to catch multiple passes from Matthew Stafford last Thursday aside from Kupp.
L.A. general manager Les Snead has been aggressive before when pursuing veterans. He traded for Miller and signed Odell Beckham Jr. in-season last year. This makes the Rams a realistic destination for just about any trade candidate who could address a need. Slayton is likely available and could help right away.
Best Fits: Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams
1. Robert Quinn, Edge, Chicago Bears
Bears pass-rusher Robert Quinn remains at the top of our big board because of his value. With a whopping 18.5 sacks in 2021, he can be an elite-level playmaker, and he's the most enticing player on our list.
During the offseason, Quinn reportedly mulled the idea of playing elsewhere.
"I continue to hear that Quinn wants out of Chicago—and who could blame him?—and there are a host of interested teams," CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote in May.
However, Quinn never tried forcing his way out of Chicago via a trade request, and the Bears won't be inclined to move him for as long as it makes sense. With a surprise win over San Francisco in Week 1, keeping Quinn very much makes sense.
If the Bears keep winning, Quinn will tumble down our rankings and may become unobtainable altogether. But one victory against an inexperienced quarterback won't precipitate that move just yet.
With Derek Barnett out, the Eagles should be high atop the list of Quinn's suitors. The Eagles struggled to put away the Lions in Week 1, but they're 1-0 and have a solid chance to make another playoff run this year. Quinn wouldn't just be a viable replacement for Barnett, but he'd also be an upgrade.
The Rams should also seriously consider bringing back Quinn. He played for L.A. in 2016 and 2017. The Los Angeles pass rush was putrid against Buffalo and needs a quick fix if the Rams are to stay in Super Bowl contention.
It wouldn't be a shock to see Snead make a midseason move for Quinn as he did for Miller last season.
Best Fits: Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams