NFL Trade Deadline: One Player Who Should Be Traded from Every Team

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystOctober 18, 2017

NFL Trade Deadline: One Player Who Should Be Traded from Every Team

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    One NFL team's trash is another's treasure.

    The league's Oct. 31 trade deadline is approaching. While the NFL usually doesn't feature a flurry of moves like the NBA, the NHL or MLB, multiple deals will be reached.

    Most of these agreements will include players on the lowers rungs of rosters. However, significant transactions have materialized in the past.

    Last season, the New England Patriots dealt Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns before the deadline.

    Organizations are always making calls to inquire who may or may not be available for the right price. Each team has at least one significant target worthy of being on the trade block.

Arizona Cardinals: RB Andre Ellington

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    Adrian Peterson surprised with a 134-yard performance during his Arizona Cardinals debut after being traded by the New Orleans Saints. Peterson is now the team's lead back, which leaves far fewer opportunities for others.

    Andre Ellington has already spent most of the season trying to find a niche as either a running back or a wide receiver. Neither seemed to work.

    With Peterson in the lineup, Ellington only played 17 percent of the snaps Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per NFL Fantasy Football's Alex Gelhar. The 28-year-old didn't carry the ball or catch a pass.

    Teams that need a versatile third-down back/slot receiver could do worse than asking about Ellington.

Atlanta Falcons: DE Adrian Clayborn

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    Depth is a luxury in the NFL. But the Atlanta Falcons have quality depth among their edge-defenders.

    Sack master Vic Beasley may be an outside linebacker in name, but he's really a defensive end. Brooks Reed made the transition back to his natural position. Derrick Shelby is a valuable part of the rotation. First-round rookie Takkarist McKinley will play more as the season progresses. Plus, Courtney Upshaw can play on the edge and interior.

    Adrian Clayborn has been a valuable part of the team's rotation, but his role has diminished. He's started only one game this season, and the 29-year-old is in the last year of his contract.

    Other franchises with defensive end issues should look to mine the Falcons roster.

Baltimore Ravens: TE Maxx Williams

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    The Baltimore Ravens roster requires multiple upgrades. One way to address that issue would be to leverage positions of strength. Even after Crockett Gillmore's season-ending knee injury, the Ravens still go three deep at tight end.

    Benjamin Watson and Nick Boyle are the team's top two options, and 2015 second-round pick Maxx Williams garners few opportunities.

    Williams was the first tight end drafted in 2015, but he's failed to live up to expectations. In three seasons, the Minnesota product has caught 38 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown. A knee injury derailed his 2016 campaign, and the 23-year-old has struggled to work his way back into the rotation.

    Coaches always believe they can get the most out of a former top talent. Williams may be best served in a new situation where more opportunities exist.

Buffalo Bills: DT Marcell Dareus

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    The Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus is one of the NFL's premier interior defenders...when he's motivated. That hasn't always been the case, though.

    According to's Matthew Fairburn, the two-time Pro Bowler has played only 28 percent of the team's defensive snaps this season.

    "He got as many opportunities as the others guys at the position," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "We still have confidence in Marcell for sure, as evidenced by the fact that he's getting playing time."

    Because of Dareus' history of suspensions and inconsistent play, the Bills may want to move on despite his obvious talent. That will be far more difficult than it seems since another franchise must be willing to take on the rest of his six-year, $96.6 million contract—of which he's only in the second year.

Carolina Panthers: RB Jonathan Stewart

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Let the Christian McCaffrey era begin in earnest. Jonathan Stewart's presence in the Carolina Panthers lineup is only delaying the inevitable.

    The veteran is holding the offense back on two fronts. First, he's averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Second, he no longer fits what the team expects from its running backs.

    Carolina used its first two selections in April's draft to acquire versatile weapons who could be just as effective at receiving as carrying the football. The additions of McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel created more opportunities, particularly in the short passing game, for quarterback Cam Newton.

    Stewart is not a natural receiver, and he's not nearly as fluid or reliable out of the backfield as the pair of rookies. But he is likely a better fit for other offenses that still lean heavily on power-blocking schemes.

Chicago Bears: CB Cre'Von LeBlanc

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    A year ago, Cre'Von LeBlanc's future appeared bright. The rookie started nine games at cornerback, led the Chicago Bears with 10 defended passes and tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

    However, the organization retooled the position with Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper Sr. Plus, Kyle Fuller is now healthy, unlike last season. And Bryce Callahan found a home as the unit's nickel corner.

    With those four earning the majority of snaps, LeBlanc hasn't played much this season beyond special teams.

    His age (23) coupled with previous starting experience presents an intriguing combination for teams in search of secondary help. It's often said a squad can never have too many talented corners, but the Bears need help, and LeBlanc may be their best bargaining chip.

Cincinnati Bengals: QB AJ McCarron

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    Andy Dalton's career has been rejuvenated by the firing of Ken Zampese as offensive coordinator and Bill Lazor's promotion. The Cincinnati Bengals are 2-1 since the change, with Dalton completing 73.1 percent of his passes.

    The thought of Cincinnati changing quarterbacks to AJ McCarron has faded. Even so, McCarron should be a target for every organization with suspect quarterback play.

    In three games as a starter at the end of the 2015 campaign, the 2014 fifth-round pick completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 552 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions.

    The need for quarterbacks never subsides. If one displays starting potential, he becomes a valuable commodity.

Cleveland Browns: LT Joe Thomas

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    For the love of all that is good, let Joe Thomas play for a postseason contender. He's given everything an individual can give to a perpetual NFL doormat.

    He'll walk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with his head held high as a Cleveland Brown. But, please, let him escape his nightmare.

    The 10-time Pro Bowler has manned the left side for 20 different starting quarterbacks. He has done so without any complaints, never misses a snap and just dominates.

    For all his troubles, the Browns have had one winning season without a single postseason appearance. The 32-year-old still holds value because of his continued excellence and the one year remaining on his contract.

Dallas Cowboys: WR Cole Beasley

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    Cole Beasley's value with the Dallas Cowboys lessens with each passing week. The slot receiver ranks fifth on the team with 15 receptions and sixth with 109 yards.

    Defenses are game-planning for the reliable target and taking him away from quarterback Dak Prescott.

    Of course, Dez Bryant is the team's top option in the passing game. Jason Witten will always be regularly targeted. Terrance Williams' role is as a complementary piece. Brice Butler serves as a vertical threat, too.

    Beasley experienced a breakout campaign in 2016, but the 28-year-old has averaged only 7.3 yards per catch through five games this fall.

    Besides, Beasley's replacement is already on the roster. The organization drafted Ryan Switzer in the fourth round of April's draft after he established himself as the class's top slot receiver.

Denver Broncos: RT Menelik Watson

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    Sometimes free-agent signings just don't work. Case in point, the Denver Broncos signed right tackle Menelik Watson to a three-year, $18.4 million contract in March.

    The Broncos liked Watson's upside and the physical style of play he brought from the Oakland Raiders. However, he's never been a polished pass protector, and this weakness quickly became evident.

    Watson surrendered a league-high 5.5 sacks during the first five weeks of play, per NFL Media's Gil Brandt.

    Billy Turner filled in for Watson on Sunday when the starter suffered an injury against the New York Giants. Watson has a calf issue, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. If healthy enough, Watson can still serve as a swing tackle for another organization.

Detroit Lions: TE Eric Ebron

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    Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron has been a first-round bust. There's no other way to describe his performance through four seasons. He drops passes, disappears during games and doesn't make up for his lack of presence in the passing game with strong run-blocking.

    When fans began to boo the tight end, he responded on Twitter with the following: "Boooo me all u want but pay attention to the whole picture."

    The picture is pretty clear. Darren Fells is a better tight end. Fells has three touchdown receptions in the last two games. Meanwhile, Ebron has two receptions in those contests.

    Of course, Ebron may have worn out his welcome in Detroit, but the potential of the 2014 No. 10 pick may tantalize other franchises.

Green Bay Packers: CB Damarious Randall

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    The most frustrating players to watch are those who are gifted yet never consistently perform at a high level. Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall is a prime example.

    The Packers drafted Randall in the first round in 2015. He moved from safety to cornerback and provided moments of brilliance accompanied by complete breakdowns. One week, he's benched by head coach Mike McCarthy. The next week, he provides a pick-six.

    "Most talented DB we've got," safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Michael Cohen. "That's the truth."

    Talent is nice, but it doesn't necessarily make the team better. Randall isn't consistent enough and already lost his starting spot with Davon House and Kevin King earning the coaching staff's trust. If and when the secondary is healthy, Randall's presence will be far less of a factor.

Houston Texans: LT Duane Brown

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    Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown may not be playing because of his prolonged holdout, but his value around the league hasn't diminished.

    The 32-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowler and would be an upgrade for many teams. Others need help on the blind side.

    According to the CBS Sport's Jason La Canfora, the Seattle Seahawks are expected to make a play for the 10-year veteran. Brown plans to end his holdout Monday.

    The Texans front office could welcome Brown back and upgrade its offensive line or pursue trades since the offense performed quite well in recent weeks with Chris Clark, though Clark injured his calf Sunday.

Indianapolis Colts: S T.J. Green

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    The Indianapolis Colts rank 30th in pass defense. Trading away a defensive back with potential probably doesn't seem like the best idea.

    However, the team's secondary appears to have settled in in recent weeks with Vontae Davis' return, first-round pick Malik Hooker at free safety and Matthias Farley and Rashaan Melvin developing into starters. Veteran Darius Butler serves as the team's third safety, while rookie Nate Hairston covers the slot.

    Last year's second-round pick, T.J. Green, is the odd man out.

    The coaching staff bounced Green from cornerback to safety, which may have slowed his growth, but the multitude of mistakes he made last season didn't provide much hope.

    All it takes is one team to still see potential in the defensive back for the Colts to receive something in return.

Jacksonville Jaguars: RB T.J. Yeldon

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    Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is a star, and his running mate, Chris Ivory, is a reliable veteran. Meanwhile, T.J. Yeldon is all but forgotten.

    The Jaguars used the 36th overall pick in the 2015 draft to acquire Yeldon. Obviously, Fournette isn't the type of talent a team should bypass because Yeldon is already on the roster.

    However, there's room for both and even all three, including Ivory. Instead, Yeldon continues to be a healthy scratch, and Corey Grant has served as Jacksonville's third back.

    Yeldon carried the ball 312 times for 1,205 yards and caught 86 passes for 591 yards during his first two seasons. The 24-year-old may not be a workhorse, but he can contribute to some offense.

Kansas City Chiefs: LB Tamba Hali

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    Tamba Hali is eligible to return from the physically unable to perform list and rejoin the Kansas City Chiefs lineup, but should he?

    Hali took to social media this summer to question whether he was needed in Kansas City anymore.

    Of course, the 12th-year veteran makes the Chiefs better overall by improving their depth and providing more of an edge presence. But he isn't needed.

    At 5-1, Kansas City remains the NFL's best team even after Sunday's 19-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Justin Houston and Dee Ford have combined for 7.5 sacks through six weeks, while Frank Zombo is a solid rotational option.

    The 33-year-old Hali isn't the same player he once was, but he's still a viable edge-defender if healthy. Some team may need him more than the Chiefs do.

Los Angeles Chargers: WR Dontrelle Inman

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    Mike Williams finally made his debut for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. This year's seventh overall pick adds to an already talented wide receiver corps.

    This means one target has the potential to find his way onto another roster, and Dontrelle Inman is the most likely candidate.

    Inman was a surprise healthy scratch upon Williams' return, per the Los Angeles Times' Dan Woike. Prior to the contest against the Oakland Raiders, Inman had caught only two passes for nine yards after finishing second on the team a season ago with 810 yards.

    The Chargers wide receiver corps is stuffed with a healthy Williams, Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin. Plus, the offense features two pass-catching tight ends in Hunter Henry and the Hall of Fame-worthy Antonio Gate.

    There's simply no room for Inman unless an injury occurs.

Los Angeles Rams: WR Tavon Austin

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    Wide receiver Tavon Auston may own the NFL's most untradeable contract, but that doesn't mean the Los Angeles Rams shouldn't try to move him.

    The organization signed him to a four-year, $42 million extension last August. Since agreeing to the deal, Austin caught 63 passes for 528 yards and scored five touchdowns in 21 games. Instead of a top-notch producer, his versatility makes him a decoy.

    "It might not show up on the stat sheet, but he's contributing in a lot of ways that go unnoticed," head coach Sean McVay said, per's Alden Gonzalez. "It certainly doesn't in our building."

    Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are the Rams' top three receivers, and running back Todd Gurley remains the scheme's focal point. Austin is merely a gadget player.

    Another franchise with a need for a receiver and plan to properly use Austin may inquire about his availability.

Miami Dolphins: CB Byron Maxwell

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    Athletes have a choice to make when they enter free agency. They can either chase the money with the possibility of ending up in a worse situation or stay where they've established themselves and possibly build long-term stability.

    Cornerback Byron Maxwell chose the biggest payday.

    "Cash flow, all day," Maxwell said last September, per's James Walker. "They were close. But I can't make that back in my lifetime. So I had to go."

    Not a single person can blame Maxwell for his choice. Most of us would do the same. However, he didn't make the best football decision. The Philadelphia Eagles traded Maxwell one year after they signed him to a six-year, $63 million contract. He could be on the move again.

    The Dolphins benched the seventh-year veteran in favor of rookie Cordrea Tankersley. Maxwell is not a good fit for Miami's defensive scheme, but he would be for teams in need of a long and physical corner.

Minnesota Vikings: QB Teddy Bridgewater

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    The Minnesota Vikings have three quarterbacks on their roster who can start. All three will become free agents after this season.

    Sam Bradford is the logical choice to sign as the long-term starter since he's an ideal fit in Pat Shurmur's offense. He set an NFL record last season with a 71.6 completion percentage, but he's been plagued by a bum knee, and his injury history makes him a risky bet.

    Case Keenum filled in for Bradford and helped lead the team to three wins in its last five contests.

    But Teddy Bridgewater's potential return to the lineup after his devastating knee injury last summer presents an interesting scenario. The team announced Monday that Bridgewater was cleared to practice.

    The Vikings won't be able to keep both Bradford and Bridgewater. One is going to leave without them receiving any type of compensation unless general manager Rick Spielman makes a bold deadline trade. Bridgewater still has enough potential, despite his rebuilt knee, to generate interest.

New England Patriots: CB Malcolm Butler

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    New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick proved last year he's willing to trade a significant contributor to prove a point.

    Belichick and his staff weren't happy with the defense's performance in 2016, so Jamie Collins became the fall man, as the Patriots traded him to the Cleveland Browns.

    The New England defense is even worse this season, ranking dead last in total defense. The secondary has been particularly disappointing, surrendering 324.8 passing yards per contest.

    Malcolm Butler is a trade candidate for two reasons. First, his departure would certainly send a message after he served as the team's top corner over the previous two seasons. Second, like Collins, he'll be a free agent after the season.

    The Patriots nearly traded Butler before the season began. Now is the time to make a move.

New Orleans Saints: LB Hau'oli Kikaha

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    Hau'oli Kikaha tore his left ACL twice in college and did so again last season. Despite those first two injuries, he worked himself into a premium collegiate pass-rusher and was selected in the second round of the 2015 draft by the New Orleans Saints.

    But he hasn't developed into the consistent edge presence the franchise expected.

    The Hawaii native isn't the most explosive pass-rusher, yet he knows how to pressure quarterbacks. He has six sacks in his first 20 professional contests despite playing out of position at outside linebacker and then in a reserve role.

    Cameron Jordan, Alex Okafor and rookie Trey Hendrickson are the Saints' top three defensive ends. Kikaha can be a situational pass-rusher if provided with an opportunity. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Saints may look to deal the 25-year-old.

New York Giants: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned from his team-mandated suspension Tuesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

    The defensive back may not stay too long. 

    The Giants made numerous positive decisions this past week, which led to them snapping their five-game losing streak with a 23-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.

    Head coach Ben McAdoo relinquished play-calling duties. A revamped offensive line performed better. New starting running back Orleans Darkwa ran for 117 yards. 

    Rodgers-Cromartie's suspension for insubordination was also the right step. The Giants need to re-establish a winning culture and veteran leaders can't walk out of practice, even if they don't agree with their coaches. 

    Ross Cockrell is an experienced corner, while Donte Deayon can be brought along as the team's fourth option at the position. 

New York Jets: RB Matt Forte

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    Matt Forte's career is close to the end, but he's not quite done yet. He simply needs to find a situation where an experienced back is valued. 

    The 3-3 New York Jets are better than expected, but Forte is not needed as the team transitions from the old guard to the new. Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire provide a solid one-two punch. The twosome combined for 565 total yards so far. 

    Forte is still producing, especially in the passing game as a receiver and blocker. However, he's not as effective in the run game at 3.6 yards per carry. 

    Powell can pick up the slack in the passing game if the Jets decide to move Forte. It seems to be a logical choice after parting ways with veterans Nick Mangold, Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick and David Harris this offseason. 

Oakland Raiders: TE Clive Walford

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    Clive Walford was supposed to be the Oakland Raiders' tight end of the future. Life came at him fast. 

    As a rookie, the former third-round pick played in all 16 games and caught 28 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Walford's role expanded in 2016, and his numbers slightly improved to 33 catches for 359 yards and another three touchdowns.

    However, the Raiders' offseason acquisition of Jared Cook greatly diminished Walford's playing time and opportunities. The 26-year-old only has two receptions for six yards this season. 

    Cook is the team's top receiving tight end, while Lee Smith is the best blocker. Walford is merely taking up roster space at this point. However, he showed enough to be a fixture on last year's 12-4 squad. 

Philadelphia Eagles: LG Isaac Seumalo

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    Young athletes often have trouble getting out of their own way. Many don't know how to forget the last play and move onto the next. 

    Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo opened the 2017 campaign as a starter, but he let the mental side of the game affect him. Head coach Doug Pederson benched the left guard after two games. 

    The new perspective helped the 23-year-old. 

    "I've always been one to think about [mistakes]," Seumalo said, per Delaware Online's Martin Frank. "If I made a mistake, it would kind of linger. But I'm not doing that anymore. It's too stressful. You can always learn from your mistakes and go on from there." 

    Seumalo can play guard or center, as can Stefen Wisniewski. The Eagles have enough depth to move one of these versatile pieces. Since Wisniewski is already rotating with Chance Warmack at guard, offensive line-deficient teams should consider calling the Eagles about Seumalo.

Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Martavis Bryant

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Wide receiver Martavis Bryant is "unhappy" in Pittsburgh and has requested a trade, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

    Predictably, Bryant denied the report. 

    "I'm good," he said, per's Jeremy Fowler

    But the possibility is already out there, and other franchises should be interested.

    Bryant has experienced his ups and downs this season. He caught three passes for 91 yards and his only touchdown in Week 2 against the Vikings. He hasn't been much of a factor the last three weeks, though, having caught 10 passes for 96 combined yards against the Ravens, Jaguars and Chiefs.

    It isn't a surprise his trade request surfaced during this rough patch.

San Francisco 49ers: RB Carlos Hyde

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    Though San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde ranks 10th leaguewide with 360 rushing yards through six weeks of play, he's reportedly on the trade block, according to 104.7 FM Denver's Benjamin Allbright. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan denied the report, per the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows

    Hyde started strong with 321 rushing yards through the first four contests, but he's been limited during the last two. The 49ers back carried the ball 21 total times for 39 yards against the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins. 

    The former second-round pick is the best option the 49ers currently have on their roster. However, that doesn't mean he's the right fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense. 

    The 27-year-old doesn't have the speed or versatility his head coach prefers. Two weeks ago, Shanahan utilized undrafted free agent Matt Breida more with 13 touches. 

    At 0-6, there's no reason for the 49ers to retain a back who doesn't fit their system, even if he's their leading rusher. 

Seattle Seahawks: CB Jeremy Lane

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    Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's philosophy is to build the best roster possible through competition. No player is safe, draft status is merely a number and contracts aren't prohibitive. The best man will get onto the field. 

    The Seahawks secondary is arguably the league's most well-known unit. The Legion of Boom features Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. However, numerous defensive backs have slotted in as the cornerback opposite Sherman. 

    Rookie Shaquill Griffin already plays the majority of the snaps over Jeremy Lane, per Pro Football Focus.  

    Ultimately, Seattle should look to upgrade its porous offensive line. The Seahawks already feature Sherman, Griffin and nickel corner Justin Coleman. Lane is a luxury the front office can trade to help other areas of the team. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Charles Sims

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield is crowded, and Doug Martin appears to have secured the role of lead back upon his return from a four-game suspension. 

    Four talented ball-carriers now make up the Buccaneers' running back stable. With Martin leading the way, Jacquizz Rodgers has been pushed into a backup role. Tampa Bay is still using Charles Sims as a third-down back ,and Peyton Barber packs some punch. 

    Sims is the most adept catching the ball out of the backfield, which explains why he has 13 catches and only six carries on the year. However, both Martin and Rodgers proved earlier in their careers they can be receiving threats, too.

    Sims is in the final year of his contract and is unlikely to realize his potential in Tampa. The Buccaneers should flip the 27-year-old before losing him this offseason.

Tennessee Titans: DE Karl Klug

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    Karl Klug became a healthy scratch for the first time in his Tennessee Titans career when he didn't play Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks. 

    The seven-year veteran hasn't had a significant role in Dick LeBeau's defense this season. 

    Once considered one of the league's best interior pass-rushers, he's tied for third on the team in pass-rush snaps, per Pro Football Focus. On the surface, his presence doesn't appear scaled back. Yet Austin Johnson, Sylvester Williams and David King are all playing similar snaps in said role. 

    With King capable of taking on more responsibility, Klug has been reduced to the Titans' fifth defensive lineman.

Washington Redskins: LT Ty Nsekhe

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Above-average quarterbacks may be the rarest commodity in football, but left tackles aren't far behind.

    While numerous franchises continue to search for talent to solidify the blind side, the Washington Redskins have two who can do so. Trent Williams is already the NFL's best all-around left tackle. Meanwhile, Ty Nsekhe isn't well-known, but he filled in admirably for Williams last season. 

    Nsekhe is a great story after bouncing around the Arena Football League, Canadian Football League and two NFL squads before finally landing in Washington. 

    The 31-year-old is a mountain of a man at 6'8" and 338 pounds. He may not be as athletic as his All-Pro teammate, but his size and length make him difficult to beat. Since Washington features the NFL's best pair of offensive tackles in Williams and Morgan Moses, the organization may be willing to part with its swing tackle. 


    All stats via Pro Football Reference or unless otherwise noted. Contract numbers are courtesy of Spotrac.


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