Every NFL Team's Top Trade Commodity for 2015

Russell S. Baxter@@BaxFootballGuruContributor IFebruary 12, 2015

Every NFL Team's Top Trade Commodity for 2015

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    Will Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins finally be on the move this offseason?
    Will Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins finally be on the move this offseason?USA TODAY Sports

    We are going to attempt to have a little offseason fun here.

    In a league where there is not an abundance of trades involving players, we will speculate on which player would be each NFL team's best option for a deal.

    Keep in mind that we are being realistic, so we don’t have the Houston Texans dealing J.J. Watt and the Green Bay Packers shipping Aaron Rodgers to another team this offseason.

    It’s worth noting that we have our share of veterans who may be on their teams' financial bubble right now. And we realize that teams may cut some of these players loose because of the cap, but for now, they are members of their respective teams. But we are not necessarily taking into account the financial ramifications of a trade. This is more about football and less about finance.

    Please note that you can’t trade a player who is not under contract by the team. For instance, once free agency starts on March 10, the Detroit Lions could not deal defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh unless he re-signs with the team. It is worth noting that there are a few players on this list who are restricted free agents. Hence, we are assuming that they will sign their tenders and eventually be dealt.

    Most importantly, we aren’t saying that these players will be traded or should be dealt. It’s just an exercise showing each club’s most valuable commodity when it comes to making such a move and the odds (maximum 25-1) that it could actually happen.

    So sit back, relax and contemplate on whether any of these deals could actually happen.

Arizona Cardinals: RB Stepfan Taylor

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    After the season that the Arizona Cardinals just went through in terms of injuries, you would think they are not in a position to trade anyone.

    But our suggestion for Bruce Arians’ resourceful team is running back Stepfan Taylor, who has played just two seasons but could command some attention on the open market. There’s no doubt that Andre Ellington is the team’s main threat out of the backfield, and the Cards had to like what they saw when Kerwynn Williams took the field.

    Odds of Trade: 15-1

Atlanta Falcons: WR Harry Douglas

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    There’s a new coaching regime in town in Atlanta, and there is no doubt that changes are coming for the Falcons.

    Dan Quinn comes over from the Seattle Seahawks, and the first priority has to be upgrading the league’s 32nd-ranked defense.

    With a team that boasts the likes of wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and certainly got help from free-agent pickup Devin Hester a year ago, Harry Douglas could be a player dealt to a team for more defensive help—maybe even to a team that’s looking for some more help at wideout.

    Could you imagine Douglas being dealt to the Seahawks for one of Quinn’s former defenders? That’s certainly not a scenario that is unrealistic.

    Odds of Trade: 10-1

Baltimore Ravens: DT Haloti Ngata

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    There has been a lot of talk about defensive tackle Haloti Ngata’s future with the Baltimore Ravens.

    More specifically, does he have one? Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com discusses the pluses and minuses of Ngata being a part of Baltimore’s roster in 2015.

    Still, let’s say the team can get something for the five-time Pro Bowler instead of cutting him loose. The nine-year veteran was suspended the final four games of 2014 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but that shouldn’t scare off any possible buyers. This is a player still performing on a high level. Still, it’s hard to see Ngata in anything different than a Ravens uniform.

    Odds of Trade: 25-1

Buffalo Bills: DT Marcell Dareus

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Could they actually break up that pass-rushing gang in Orchard Park this offseason?

    There’s a new head coach at the helm of the Buffalo Bills in the form of Rex Ryan. The team also has a decision to make in re-signing potential-free-agent defensive end Jerry Hughes, who tied with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for second on the team with 10 sacks.

    As for Dareus, ESPN Insider Andrew Healy suggested that the massive defender be dealt for a future pick that could help the offense down the road, which Brandon Katz of Headlines and Global News reiterated.

    Is it realistic? Never say never when it comes to Ryan and most notably the Bills.

    Odds of Trade: 18-1

Carolina Panthers: DE Charles Johnson

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Now that we have a somewhat better idea of what the future could hold for Greg Hardy, could the Carolina Panthers be getting ready to make some major decisions regarding both of their standout defensive ends?

    On Monday, Michael Gordon, Joe Person and Mark Washburn of the Charlotte Observer all reported that the domestic abuse case against Hardy had been dropped when his accuser was a no-show at the trial. We don’t know what that means in terms of the team’s plans for Hardy, who is slated for free agency in March.

    We also know that defensive end Charles Johnson is an eight-year veteran who has totaled 62.5 sacks the last seven years, but he also is not coming cheaply. Could the Panthers opt to reload him and start from scratch at defensive end? It’s an interesting time for this club, but it’s hard to believe if the team doesn’t bring back Hardy, it would part ways with Johnson.

    Odds of Trade: 20-1

Chicago Bears: DE/OLB Shea McClellin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    In three seasons and 40 games with the Chicago Bears, 2012 first-round selection Shea McClellin has totaled a mere 7.5 sacks. It’s safe to say that the team was expecting a lot more from the 19th overall pick in the draft three years ago.

    Could the Bears with new general manager Ryan Pace, new head coach John Fox and new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio all be looking to overhaul a unit that has been a disaster each of the last two years? That’s far from an understatement.

    It’s also safe to say that someone out there thinks they could turn McClellin, who’s played both defensive end and linebacker, into a decent situational pass-rusher.

    Odds of Trade: 8-1

Cincinnati Bengals: CB Leon Hall

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Cincinnati Bengals are not a team devoid of talent. However, they are lacking in postseason success, having not won a playoff game since 1990.

    They also have their share of solid players at the cornerback position. While veteran Terence Newman is slated for free agency in March, up-and-coming Dre Kirkpatrick, 2014 first-rounder Darqueze Dennard and always-interesting Adam Jones are under contract.

    Veteran Leon Hall remains as well as he prepares to get ready for his ninth NFL season. The Bengals have had tremendous success in the draft. Could they package the talented Hall for a pick or player who could help elsewhere?

    Odds of Trade: 15-1

Cleveland Browns: WR Travis Benjamin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Josh Gordon is not available for the 2015 season, and last year’s free-agent addition, Miles Austin, is due to become an unrestricted free agent. So why put versatile Travis Benjamin on this list?

    That’s because he gives a team so many options as not only a receiver but also a runner and a return artist. And remember, this is a team (as of now) that has at least 10 draft picks this spring, including a pair of first-round selections.

    In 2014, Benjamin totaled 698 total combined yards and scored three touchdowns while touching the ball only 48 times.

    Odds of Trade: 18-1

Dallas Cowboys: CB Brandon Carr

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most successful season since 2009, which was also the last time the team won the NFC East as well as a playoff game.

    But can Jason Garrett’s team take the next step? There’s work to be done when it comes to free agency in case you haven’t heard (see Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray).

    And while the defense is still in need of some help, could the team deal one of its veteran performers to perhaps get some more draft choices and aid the rebuilding process?

    Brandon Carr has never missed a game in seven seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cowboys. But he also comes off a year in which he failed to total a takeaway for the first time in his career.

    Is Carr on the downside? Not necessarily—coming up with opponents’ turnovers can indeed be very unpredictable. But could a cornerback-starved team make a move for a used Carr?

    Odds of Trade: 12-1

Denver Broncos: WR Andre Caldwell

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It proved to be yet another disappointing season for the Denver Broncos. And this time, for a number of reasons, it was more due to the offense than the defense.

    While we await Peyton Manning’s decision on his future, the team has some question marks at wide receiver. More so, they are dollar signs as the team must decide how to get Demaryius Thomas under contract (re-sign or franchise tag) so he doesn’t head elsewhere. Of course, Wes Welker’s football future is also up in the air after dealing with concussion issues the last two seasons.

    We’re sure Thomas will be back, and he’ll rejoin Emmanuel Sanders and young Cody Latimer. It would probably be a surprise if Andre Caldwell wasn’t back as well, but we’re just giving some food for thought.

    Odds of Trade: 15-1

Detroit Lions: WR Ryan Broyles

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    In three seasons with the Detroit Lions, wide receiver Ryan Broyles has played in 21 games. He totaled just 32 receptions, two for touchdowns.

    So why haven’t we seen more of Broyles? There have been numerous reasons when it comes to the former second-round pick. But last season, it seemed that the team just had an abundance of talent at the position.

    "I would have loved to have seen him get out on the field and play for us,” said Lions general manager Martin Mayhew in January to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press. “Unfortunately, there were guys ahead of him, and they stayed relatively healthy for the most part.”

    So could we see Broyles in a different uniform this fall? It would be far from a shock.

    Odds of Trade: 11-1

Green Bay Packers: RB James Starks

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    In two seasons, running back Eddie Lacy has certainly done his duty when it comes to the Green Bay Packers ground game.

    So where does that leave five-year pro James Starks, who as a rookie in 2010 was a key part of the team’s Super Bowl XLV championship season?

    Starks continues to fill a valuable role spelling Lacy when needed. But could he be a full-time player with another franchise? If the team opts to re-sign running back DuJuan Harris and then picks up a running back the week of the draft, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the former University of Buffalo product elsewhere.

    Odds of Trade: 8-1

Houston Texans: TE Garrett Graham

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    No, the Houston Texans are not getting ready to permanently convert defensive end J.J. Watt into a tight end.

    This past season, Garrett Graham caught just 18 passes for 197 yards and one score in 11 games. This was after he totaled a career-high 49 catches for 545 yards and five touchdowns in 2013.

    The Texans do have C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin on the roster. Each caught as many touchdown passes as Graham in 2014. And Watt caught three passes for four yards and three scores.

    Odds of Trade: 16-1

Indianapolis Colts: RB Dan Herron

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    So why on earth would the Indianapolis Colts deal running back Dan Herron given their current running back situation?

    Trent Richardson hasn’t panned out. And that’s quite a statement even though he led the team in rushing yards this past season.

    Elsewhere, veteran Ahmad Bradshaw could hit the free-agent market in March, and injuries have limited Vick Ballard (the team’s leading rusher back in 2012) to just one game the last two seasons combined.

    Yes, Herron is a restricted free agent and would have to sign his tender to be dealt. However, don’t be surprised if Bradshaw is back, Ballard stays healthy and the team invests a pick in a running back.

    Odds of Trade: 20-1

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Ace Sanders

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It wasn’t long ago that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starting wide receivers were Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders. Now the former is slated for free agency, and we’re suggesting the latter might be headed elsewhere.

    A year ago, the team used a pair of second-round picks on wideouts Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, who combined for 85 catches and three touchdowns. Jacksonville has plenty of money to spend, meaning it could bring back Shorts. There’s also Allen Hurns to consider, he of a team-high 677 receiving yards and six touchdown catches in 2014.

    So common sense says that this Ace will be dealt…perhaps to the Cards?

    Odds of Trade: 13-1

Kansas City Chiefs: OLB Tamba Hali

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    With fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston getting ready to break the bank one way or another, is there still room in Kansas City for Tamba Hali?

    More importantly, can the organization pick up a substantial draft choice or player by dealing the four-time Pro Bowler, who is preparing for his 10th NFL season?

    Hali has totaled 79.5 career sacks in nine seasons, including six in 2014. But rushing the passer has not been a problem for the Chiefs, who ranked 22nd in run defense in 2013 and fell to 28th in the NFL this past season.

    This team could alleviate a little salary and perhaps the rest of its defense with such a deal.

    Odds of Trade: 6-1

Miami Dolphins: WR Mike Wallace

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    At the very least, it has been a subject of discussion.

    In 2013, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace signed a five-year $60 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.

    In two seasons, the speedy performer has been more underwhelming than overwhelming. There’s been talk that the Dolphins could cut the former Pro Bowler loose.

    But is there a trade market for Wallace? As James Walker of ESPN.com discusses, Andrew Healy of Football Outsiders says the team could deal the talented pass-catcher for perhaps a mid-round draft choice.

    While Walker points out that such a selection may not be worth it to Miami, it should be noted that the Steelers found Wallace in the third round in 2009.

    Odds of Trade: 4-1

Minnesota Vikings: DE Brian Robison

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    We will continue the youth movement in Minnesota.

    This past season, general manager Rick Spielman as well as new head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff did a tremendous job of restoring some order with the Minnesota Vikings. A defensive unit that gave up the second-most yards in the league the previous year finished 14th in the NFL in that same category in 2014.

    The Vikings also totaled 41 sacks and managed to do that without the likes of Jared Allen (Chicago Bears) and Kevin Williams (Seattle Seahawks), who weren’t re-signed and chose other teams.

    Now could veteran defensive end Brian Robison be headed elsewhere? He finished tied for third on the team with 4.5 sacks, eight fewer than Everson Griffen. Still, he’s a valuable performer who could find success elsewhere as the team grooms a player such a 2014 third-round pick Scott Crichton.

    Odds of Trade: 12-1

New England Patriots: CB Malcolm Butler

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Well, that was quick.

    Are we really getting ready to show Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler the door? Not necessarily, but the New England Patriots have remained a contender for a decade and a half because they look at the big picture.

    Might a team want to obtain Butler, whose timely interception saved New England’s goose against the Seattle Seahawks?  It is not out of the question that the Pats and head coach Bill Belichick could move the Grammy-presenting cornerback.

    And if the former undrafted free agent does indeed get moved, you can bet his preferred transportation would be truck (courtesy of Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report), rather than say a plane, train or automobile.

    Odds of Trade: 6-1

New Orleans Saints: RB Pierre Thomas

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    USA TODAY Sports

    He may be the most underrated running back in the league.

    Seemingly every time that Pierre Thomas has the football, something positive happens. The veteran performer is a solid runner and deceptively effective on screen passes.

    However, the New Orleans Saints have their share of running backs, including Mark Ingram (who could become a free agent in March), Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet. Could Thomas be the odd-man out in the Big Easy while some other team reaps the benefit of his presence?

    Odds of Trade: 5-1

New York Giants: WR Rueben Randle

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Once Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the scenes for the New York Giants last season there seemed to be a highlight catch each week.

    And the anticipation of teaming the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year with the salsa-dancing Victor Cruz has Big Blue fans not feeling so blue.

    But could the defensively strapped Giants now deal wideout Rueben Randle to another team for some help? Don’t rule it out. Last season, he finished second on the club with 71 receptions, good for 938 yards and three scores. In 2013, he totaled only 41 catches but led the Giants with six touchdown grabs.

    Odds of Trade: 20-1

New York Jets: T D'Brickashaw Ferguson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Back in 2006, the New York Jets used a pair of first-round picks on securing a foundation for their offensive line.

    And for the most part, left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold have upheld their end of the bargain.

    But as the team embarks on yet another new start with changes at general manager (Mike Maccagnan) and head coach (Todd Bowles), could there be some surprises along the way?

    Ferguson is a quality player who, via Pro Football Focus, struggled with ru -blocking this past season but is still capable of handling pass-rushers, allowing only one sack in 2014. He could be a good fit for a team looking for some pass-blocking help at left tackle.

    Odds of Trade: 15-1

Oakland Raiders: WR Andre Holmes

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    USA TODAY Sports

    When you rank dead-last in the NFL in total offense, the idea that you would deal any player on that side of the football may be a little ludicrous.

    It’s especially far-fetched when the Oakland Raiders still have to get wide receiver Denarius Moore re-signed.

    But we will take a flier on saying that the club could put Andre Holmes on the market. Yes, he's a restricted free agent and would have to agree to sign his tender. But we have seen players dealt in similar situations before.

    The team has other options at wide receiver and with money to spend, it could go after a Randall Cobb or an Eddie Royal to pair with James Jones. In 2014, Holmes finished third on the team with 47 catches, but his 693 receiving yards led the Silver and Black.

    Odds of Trade: 16-1

Philadelphia Eagles: CB Brandon Boykin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Despite a 10-6 season that resulted in coming up just short of a second straight playoff appearance, the Philadelphia Eagles continued to have their issues on defense—especially when it came to pass defense.

    Cornerback Bradley Fletcher became a four-letter word in the City of Brotherly Love as he was seemingly responsible for all 30 touchdown passes allowed by the team in 2014.

    So why deal promising cornerback Brandon Boykin when the team needs help in that area? He may hold the best value in terms of a trade commodity. And who knows what kind of deal these Birds could work on? Meanwhile, the team must invest at least two draft choices on young cornerbacks that can be developed.

    Odds of Trade: 20-1

Pittsburgh Steelers: ILB Vince Williams

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Pittsburgh Steelers always seem to have an abundance of linebackers, and it appears that’s no exception these days. At the inside spots, they added Ryan Shazier in the draft last spring and teamed him with Pro Bowler Lawrence Timmons.

    After battling injuries his first two seasons, Sean Spence made his presence felt as well. So could the team get something for inside linebacker Vince Williams, who in two years in the Steel City was a solid player when called upon? It’s not out of the question for a team that always seems to restock the position with good players.

    Odds of Trade: 14-1

St. Louis Rams: C Scott Wells

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Is there a market out there for an 11-year center? It’s more likely than you think.

    Veteran offensive linemen know the tricks of the trade, and former Pro Bowler Scott Wells has been a steady performer for both the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams.

    But the Rams do have a potential replacement in two-year pro Barrett Jones, a fourth-round pick in 2013. Could he take over while Jeff Fisher’s club deals Wells to a team looking for a missing piece up front?

    Odds of Trade: 15-1

San Diego Chargers: TE Ladarius Green

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    Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    We keep waiting for that breakout year from San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green. And it has yet to transpire.

    On the other hand, we also keep waiting for Antonio Gates to show his age and he hasn’t as well. The veteran performer led San Diego with 12 touchdowns this past season. Gates also finished second on the team in catches (69) and receiving yards (821).

    We could see the Bolts dealing Green to a club looking for a starting tight end, especially given the fact that the team still has John Phillips and David Johnson on the roster.

    Odds of Trade: 17-1

San Francisco 49ers: OLB Aldon Smith

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Would a change of scenery benefit troubled outside linebacker Aldon Smith?

    When on the field for the San Francisco 49ers, the former Pro Bowler has been impressive. Away from football has been a different story for the talented pass-rusher.

    It proved to be a lost season for the Niners in 2014 as injuries and suspensions limited playing time Smith and fellow linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.

    A new home for Smith could be a plus for both sides as he could command a decent draft choice or two.

    Odds of Trade: 12-1

Seattle Seahawks: WR Chris Matthews

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Just as in the case of New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, you have to strike while the iron is hot.

    Wide receiver Chris Matthews made a name for himself during the Seattle Seahawks’ postseason run in 2014. He recovered a key onside kick in the NFC title game, and in Super Bowl XLIX against the Patriots he caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

    So could the defending NFC champions actually deal such a young player with potential? As we have seen over the years, put nothing past this organization in an attempt to get better. And there’s little doubt that some team may have fell in love with Matthews watching him on Super Sunday.

    Odds of Trade: 6-1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Bobby Rainey

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    USA TODAY Sports

    While running back Doug Martin has not looked the same since his rookie season due to injuries, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have Mike James on the roster and Charles Sims waiting in the wings.

    This past season, Bobby Rainey was the team’s second-leading rusher with 406 yards, third-leading receiver with 33 catches, scored two touchdowns from scrimmage and returned punts and kickoffs as well. He also led the Buccaneers in rushing in 2013 after Martin went down.

    Odds of Trade: 10-1

Tennessee Titans: FS Michael Griffin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    He’s been one of the team’s best players, and that’s saying something.

    The Tennessee Titans haven’t been to the playoffs since 2008, and last year the club fell hard, dropping to 2-14. It was the franchise’s worst finish since the Houston Oilers won two games in 1994.

    Safety Michael Griffin has been a leader for the team but can the franchise get something for the eight-year veteran as it looks to retool its defense? The Titans need to put an emphasis on youth and resist the temptation to rebuild via free agency.

    If youth is to be served, having Griffin around would be a big plus. Hence despite his talents, we don’t see him really going anywhere.

    Odds of Trade: 20-1

Washington Redskins: QB Kirk Cousins

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    We are all getting ready for the fourth installment of “As the Quarterback Turns,” a Washington Redskins production. It appears, for now, that Robert Griffin III will be the man this season, but that’s hardly set in stone. Kirk Cousins, drafted the same year as Griffin, enter his fourth year as well. The team saw the young duo as well as Colt McCoy all start games this past season.

    So what’s the plan? Griffin remains, the Redskins re-sign McCoy and the team deals Cousins (finally) for some much-needed defensive help.

    Odds of Trade: 2-1


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