The Ideal Offseason Trade Scenario for Every NFL Team
The ideal offseason trade scenario for most teams would have them acquiring Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers or Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants at a bargain-basement price.
That, of course, isn't realistic.
Taking into account salary-cap implications, positional needs and circumstances related to both teams and players, here are 32 somewhat feasible offseason trade scenarios that would be ideal for each NFL team.
The players listed as potential trade candidates are either widely rumored to be on the block or easily connected to said block due to large salaries, expiring contracts and/or problematic dynamics surrounding their current situations.
Arizona Cardinals Acquire A.J. Green
Old-timer Larry Fitzgerald is back for another year in Glendale, but the Arizona Cardinals need a younger receiver who can act as more of an outside playmaker for second-year quarterback Josh Rosen.
And while A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals hasn't been rumored as a trade candidate, the Cardinals should inquire. It's entirely possible the frugal Bengals will lose Green when his current contract expires next offseason, and owner Mike Brown might prefer to get something for him now while saving $15.2 million in salary-cap space.
Arizona could also be in on Beckham or Brown, but Fitzgerald would be less likely to bring a volatile energy to a young locker room, and his veteran presence would be highly valued.
Potential trade: Cardinals acquire Green in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Atlanta Falcons Acquire Jerry Hughes
Another team that might consider trading a highly paid star as it rebuilds? The Buffalo Bills, who have the cap space to retain veteran pass-rusher Jerry Hughes but might prefer to save $10.4 million and get something for Hughes ahead of a contract year.
The 30-year-old, who has 42 sacks in six seasons with Buffalo, makes a lot of sense for an Atlanta Falcons team that could use an experienced and rather consistent contributor off the edge. Vic Beasley Jr. has yet to deliver outside of his sophomore season in 2016, Takkarist McKinley has yet to truly emerge, and on the inside, Grady Jarrett is an impending free agent.
The Falcons aren't flush with cap space, but they don't have a lot of holes to fill and they're in win-now mode, making Hughes a strong potential cross-conference trade target.
Potential trade: Falcons acquire Hughes in exchange for a third-round draft pick
Baltimore Ravens Trade Joe Flacco, Land an Offensive Weapon
It's no secret the Baltimore Ravens intend to get rid of quarterback Joe Flacco following a season in which rookie first-round signal-caller Lamar Jackson emerged. A win now would be if the team could create enough interest in Flacco to fetch something in exchange for him in a trade.
That'll be a tough task with Nick Foles likely also hitting the market, but it's still possible somebody will be desperate enough to give up a piece or a draft pick for Flacco before he's released to the open market in March.
In a perfect world, the Ravens would find a way to deal Flacco and get a strong back or receiver in order to further support Jackson.
Potential trade: Washington Redskins acquire Flacco in exchange for running back Chris Thompson
Buffalo Bills Unload LeSean McCoy
We already suggested that the Bills would be smart to consider shedding bloated contracts belonging to aging veterans, and running back LeSean McCoy should be the top priority in that process.
McCoy is the fourth-highest-paid back in the NFL, but he'll turn 31 this offseason, and his numbers have plummeted in back-to-back seasons. That could make it extremely difficult to unload the remaining $9.1 million on his contract, but a team in win-now mode might be willing to add him to its stable.
The Bills just have to be willing to give him away cheap.
Potential trade: Indianapolis Colts acquire McCoy in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick
Carolina Panthers Deal Matt Kalil, Land an Experienced Backup Quarterback
Two years ago, the Carolina Panthers made a major mistake when they signed offensive tackle Matt Kalil to a five-year, $55.5 million deal. Now, their top priority should be to unload Kalil's monster contract.
That might be a difficult task, but a lot of NFL teams remain thirsty for experienced left tackles. So Carolina might catch a break, especially if it is willing to take next to nothing back.
That might enable a team with limited cap space to bring in an experienced backup quarterback to cover their tracks in case Cam Newton still hasn't recovered from lingering shoulder issues come September.
For now, we'll draw up a hypothetical deal that includes a quarterback coming from a cap-rich team that could use another option at left tackle.
Potential trade: Panthers acquire quarterback Drew Stanton from Cleveland Browns in exchange for Kalil
Chicago Bears Acquire Vic Beasley
If the Falcons were to acquire an expensive pass-rusher like Hughes, that could lead to a domino effect that just might send Beasley to a spot like Chicago, where the Bears would probably love to complement Khalil Mack with a relatively inexpensive former Pro Bowler.
It's possible a change of scenery would be best for Beasley as he enters a contract year at the age of 27, and his $12.8 million walk-year cap hit wouldn't cripple a Bears team that has limited salary-cap space.
Sure would be interesting to see him in a lower-pressure role with Mack and several other high-impact front-seven defenders leading the way in Chicago. The short-term gamble makes sense for the win-now Bears.
Potential trade: Bears acquire Beasley from Falcons in exchange for a third-round pick
Cincinnati Bengals Unload Andy Dalton
We've already suggested the Bengals might be willing to move A.J. Green, so in this spot, we'll focus on why they might want to get something for another key offensive player while saving themselves even more money in the process.
Yours truly suggested last month that the thrifty Bengals should release veteran quarterback Andy Dalton as part of a much-needed rebuild, noting the 31-year-old is scheduled to cost the team $16.3 million in cap space in next season, he can be released at no cost, and he quite frankly isn't very good.
Dalton's key statistics have regressed since he posted a career-best passer rating of 106.2 in 2015, and that isn't likely to change at this point in his career.
But it's entirely possible the team could get something back for Dalton, especially if a quarterback-needy team thinks he can put them over the top at a fair price.
Potential trade: Jacksonville Jaguars acquire Dalton from Bengals in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Cleveland Browns Acquire Donald Penn
Earlier, we suggested the Browns could trade for a highly paid veteran offensive tackle like Matt Kalil. But Donald Penn of the Oakland Raiders might also make sense. After all, the Raiders spent the No. 15 overall pick of the 2018 draft on tackle Kolton Miller, and Penn is a leftover piece from a previous regime.
The three-time Pro Bowler will turn 36 this offseason, but his position has a long shelf life, and the young Browns could benefit from his wisdom and experience in the locker room. Regardless, he'd be a relatively inexpensive upgrade on Baker Mayfield's blind side, and he'd cost only $7.6 million in the final year of his contract.
Cleveland could wind up trading for Kalil or signing a free-agent tackle like Trenton Brown, but the best option financially and otherwise might be a trade for Penn.
Potential trade: Browns acquire Penn from Raiders in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Dallas Cowboys Unload Sean Lee, Acquire Devin McCourty
Now that Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have emerged, there isn't much room left for Sean Lee with the Dallas Cowboys. But Lee is the type of defender Bill Belichick would love to get his hands on as a late-career role player.
It just so happens the Cowboys could use a safety, and the Patriots' third-highest-paid player is a top-notch safety entering the expensive final year of his contract. The Pats don't have a lot of money to spend this offseason, but they could free up $13.4 million by trading former Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty.
New England would probably expect to be just fine with Patrick Chung, Duron Harman and a cheaper free-agent addition or draft pick at the safety position, while the Cowboys can afford to pay up for McCourty.
This makes too much sense.
Potential trade: Cowboys acquire McCourty from Patriots in exchange for Lee and a sixth-round draft pick
Detroit Lions Unload Matthew Stafford
The Denver Broncos should technically be listed above the Detroit Lions according to alphabetical order, but we're breaking that up here for dramatic effect.
So let's hit the Detroit Lions first with this question: Is it time for the Lions to give up on quarterback Matthew Stafford?
That's a question yours truly posed when another Lions season was circling the drain back in November, and it's fair to wonder if Stafford needs a change of scenery at this point. He's yet to win a playoff game in 10 seasons with the Lions, and he's coming off an ugly age-30 season as the fifth-highest-paid player in the NFL.
The guy's incredibly talented, but it just isn't happening in Detroit, and the Lions don't appear to be on the verge of contention.
They should do everything in their power to dump that albatross of a contract and start from scratch at the quarterback position.
Potential trade: Lions trade Stafford to Broncos in exchange for a first-round draft pick
Denver Broncos Acquire Matthew Stafford
Guess we kind of spoiled this above, but the Broncos make a hell of a lot of sense as a potential landing spot for Stafford.
It's entirely possible they go the Nick Foles route in free agency, and it's also possible they hold on to Case Keenum and select a quarterback early in April's draft. But Keenum was a bust in his first season there, the draft is a crapshoot, and Stafford has a larger body of work than Foles, who hasn't been the same player outside of Philadelphia.
It's easy to envision John Elway falling in love with Stafford in his prime, which is fair because he's got elite talent, he's put up big numbers, he's somewhat of an ironman, and he's been to a Pro Bowl. In his prime at age 31 and with more complementary talent than he's typically had in Detroit, Stafford could take that next step in Denver.
Potential trade: Broncos acquire Stafford from Lions in exchange for a first-round draft pick
Green Bay Packers Unload Jimmy Graham, Nick Perry
Both tight end Jimmy Graham and pass-rusher Nick Perry are potential cap cuts for the Green Bay Packers, so general manager Brian Gutekunst would probably jump at the opportunity to save even more money by dealing either player before having to release them.
The 32-year-old Graham is due to make more than $24 million over the final two years of his bloated three-year deal, and he's just not worth that at this point in his career. His touchdown total dropped from 10 with the Seattle Seahawks last year to just two in 16 outings with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in 2018.
Meanwhile, Perry is the fourth-highest-paid player on the team, and he's due nearly $43 million over the course of the next three seasons. That makes it tough to swallow considering he's got just 8.5 sacks in 21 games the last two years.
The Packers should cut bait on both, but they'll hope to trick somebody into dealing for them first.
Potential trade: New York Jets acquire Graham for a seventh-round pick; Indianapolis Colts acquire Perry for a seventh-round pick
Houston Texans Acquire Donald Penn
We have the Browns landing Penn in their best-case trade scenario, but the Houston Texans could be in on those trade sweepstakes as well.
After all, thanks at least partly to terrible blocking from bust left tackle Julie'n Davenport, quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018. And the Texans also have plenty of money to spend this offseason.
Considering that defensive star J.J. Watt is probably on the back nine of his career, Houston's contention window might also be closing a little faster than Cleveland's. And that could cause the Texans to prioritize Penn over an elite draft pick.
Regardless, landing a former Pro Bowler with a reasonable salary would be the optimal offseason trade development for the Texans.
Potential trade: Texans acquire Penn from Raiders in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Indianapolis Colts Acquire Justin Houston
Some of these are more far-fetched than others, but with Dee Ford and Chris Jones both due mega paydays in the next two offseasons, the Kansas City Chiefs could decide that Justin Houston's massive contract is no longer tenable. Can a team that struggled mightily on defense despite the presence of Ford, Jones and Houston really afford to commit so much money to one position group?
The Indianapolis Colts should at least inquire.
The Colts defense took a big step forward under new coordinator Matt Eberflus in 2018, but Indy still ranked below the league median in terms of sack rate and total sacks and 29th in adjusted sack rate at Football Outsiders. An elite pass-rusher could be one of the last pieces to the puzzle, and with over $100 million in salary-cap space, they can certainly afford to add Houston's $16.8 million average annual salary to the books.
Potential trade: Colts acquire Houston from Chiefs in exchange for a third-round draft pick
Jacksonville Jaguars Acquire Andy Dalton
Dalton has't been able to put the Bengals over the top, but the Jacksonville Jaguars might believe their supremely talented roster could give him a better chance.
And that might make Dalton an attractive trade target considering his reasonable contract (he's due $33.9 million over the next two years) and Jacksonville's salary-cap quandary (Spotrac projects they'll enter the new league year with less cap space than every other team in football).
That could make it hard for the Jags to win a bidding war for Foles or Flacco, but Dalton wouldn't be a bad consolation prize.
Potential trade: Jaguars acquire Dalton from Bengals in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Kansas City Chiefs Acquire Jalen Ramsey
The Chiefs made two blockbuster trades last offseason, so don't rule out the possibility that they deal Houston away and then set aside some of that found money before making the Jaguars an offer they can't refuse for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The Chiefs secondary needs a cover man like Ramsey in a gigantic way, and at least Ramsey is relatively cheap for two more years.
Of course, that'll make it hard to convince the Jaguars to pull the trigger on a trade involving a 24-year-old who has two Pro Bowl nods and nine interceptions in three NFL seasons, but Ramsey could already be wearing out his welcome in Jacksonville.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in November that the 2016 No. 5 overall pick is "slowly but surely forcing the Jaguars into considering a blockbuster trade this offseason." The Jags issued a standard denial to said report, but it's still easy to wonder if there's fire with that smoke.
Potential trade: Chiefs acquire Ramsey from Jaguars in exchange for a first-round pick and second-round pick
Los Angeles Chargers Acquire Vernon Butler
As Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski noted in an item earlier this week that predicted several realistic offseason trades, soon-to-be fourth-year Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler "is stuck behind Dontari Poe and Kawann Short as he enters the final year of his rookie deal."
That could make the 2016 first-round pick a strong trade candidate, especially after he performed well as part of a rotation during his first three seasons in the NFL.
But while Sobleski has the Browns landing Butler, we could see him winding up with the Los Angeles Chargers in a best-case trade scenario for a Bolts team that doesn't have a lot of weaknesses to address this offseason.
The interior defensive line isn't a particularly strong area for Los Angeles. Darius Philon, Damion Square, Isaac Rochell and the 34-year-old Brandon Mebane are all slated to hit free agency, while Corey Liuget is entering the final year of an expensive contract.
Butler could immediately play a major role there.
Potential trade: Chargers acquire Butler from Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick
Los Angeles Rams Trade Todd Gurley
Yours truly opined this following the Los Angeles Rams' brutal Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. The argument, essentially, is that if the Rams don't value Gurley enough to make him a focal point of the offense in critical late-season/playoff games, they shouldn't be paying him.
The team insisted time and again that Gurley was healthy while he continued to basically split time with journeyman C.J. Anderson, which is ridiculous considering the All-Pro running back's record-breaking four-year contract worth $57.5 million, including $45 million guaranteed.
At this point, L.A. would be better off dumping Gurley's salary, installing Anderson as the starter and spending that found money elsewhere as Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler Jr., Lamarcus Joyner, Rodger Saffold and Cory Littleton approach free agency.
Potential trade: Rams trade Gurley to Raiders in exchange for a late-first-round draft pick
Miami Dolphins Unload Ryan Tannehill
It seems to be fait accompli for Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported last week that the team is "moving on from Tannehill" this offseason.
A team that is clearly in rebuild mode won't likely be wheeling and dealing in a major way this offseason. And there's a good chance Tannehill's contract will force the Dolphins to release rather than trade him. So it would be a victory for Miami if it were simply able to get something back in a deal for Tannehill.
The Dolphins aren't getting a premium draft pick for a middle-of-the-pack starting quarterback who is due more than $51 million the next two years, but in a quarterback-needy league, they can hope for a middle-round pick as a result of a perceived bidding war on the open market.
Potential trade: Dolphins trade Tannehill to Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick
Minnesota Vikings Acquire Donald Penn
Yeah, if Penn is indeed made available by the Raiders this offseason, he'll be a hot commodity on the trade market. That's because bona fide left tackles are so hard to find, there are none slated to hit the open market, and teams would hope that Penn could do for them what Andrew Whitworth did for the Rams the last two years.
Count the Minnesota Vikings among potential suitors who would drool over a player like Penn.
The Vikes offensive line was again a complete liability in 2018, and now—according to the Star Tribune's Andrew Krammer—they're considering moving left tackle Riley Reiff to guard.
Penn is accomplished and affordable and an ideal fit for a team in win-now mode. The Vikings would be all over this.
Potential trade: Vikings acquire Penn from Raiders in exchange for a second-round draft pick
New England Patriots Acquire Blake Bortles
The Blake Bortles experiment hasn't worked out in Jacksonville, but the Patriots have a knack for taking other teams' failures and turning them into success stories in Foxborough. So if the Pats sent a middle-round pick to Jacksonville in order to secure Blake Bortles as a backup, would it really be shocking if he eventually excelled as Tom Brady's successor?
Bortles has flashed talent, including in a close 2017 AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots. He's still only 26 years old, and the fact is the Pats need to get serious about finding an heir apparent for the soon-to-be 42-year-old Brady.
Patriots fans might argue that a more ideal scenario has their team landing Beckham or Brown, but the defending Super Bowl champions might not have the money for those guys, and neither appear to be tailor-made for a Belichick locker room.
So yeah, we're giving y'all Blake Bortles.
Potential trade: Patriots acquire Bortles from Jaguars in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick
New Orleans Saints Acquire Jack Doyle
The New Orleans Saints are in superb shape and low on cash, which is why Saints fans might want to limit their expectations when it comes to ideal offseason scenarios on any market.
Still, they could use a strong presence at the tight end position, and it just so happens the Colts have two high-quality players entering contract years in that spot. Eric Ebron might not be available following his breakout 13-touchdown season there, but that campaign might make Jack Doyle a little more expendable.
Doyle was limited to just six games due to injury in 2018, but he's caught at least 74 percent of the passes thrown his way in three straight seasons, he's scored 11 touchdowns since 2016 and is a strong blocker.
The Colts would be smart to get something for the 28-year-old now, while the Saints have plenty of room for a player like that.
Potential trade: Saints acquire Doyle from Colts in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick
New York Giants Strike Gold in Exchange for Odell Beckham Jr.
It doesn't appear the New York Giants intend to trade superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. But every player is available for a price, Beckham has caused at least a few headaches during his time there, and reports last offseason indicated the team could consider dealing OBJ in exchange for, at the very least, two first-round picks.
With that in mind, an offer along those lines—while very unlikely—would be tough for the Giants to refuse. After all, this is a team that has failed to win with Beckham at his best for much of the last half-decade. Now he's an expensive distraction, even if he's an incredible receiver. The Giants are reloading and could use more money in the coffers.
In a perfect world, they move on from Beckham and gain significant draft capital in the process.
Potential trade: Giants trade Beckham to Raiders in exchange for two first-round draft picks
New York Jets Acquire Odell Beckham Jr.
The rebuilding New York Jets can't afford to give up two first-round picks in a trade for Beckham, but they do hold the No. 3 overall selection in April's draft. They need an established offensive weapon to work with young quarterback Sam Darnold, and they already essentially share a home with the Giants.
So while this is far-fetched, especially because the Giants might be unwilling to deal Beckham to a geographic rival, it would make a lot of sense. The cap-rich Jets can certainly afford Beckham's big salary, and it's not as though Beckham would have many chances to burn the Giants on the field while playing in a separate conference.
But this is ideal for Gang Green more so than Big Blue simply because it'd give the Jets a chance to mock their municipal roommate if Beckham dominates in a Jets uniform.
Potential trade: Jets acquire Beckham and a second-round draft pick from Giants in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft
Oakland Raiders Acquire Jalen Ramsey
Earlier we connected the dots on a potential Ramsey deal to the Chiefs, but one of Kansas City's biggest rivals might actually have more ammunition and inspiration to make a trade for the Pro Bowl corner.
After all, the Raiders hold four of the top 35 picks in the 2019 draft, they have far more salary-cap space than K.C. (and almost everyone else), and they're in dire need of a playmaker in the secondary.
Ramsey certainly possesses a Raiders-like swagger, and it'd make sense for him to serve as one of the faces of the franchise as it rolls from the Bay Area to Las Vegas.
Could it happen? Again, Schefter reported in November that the 2016 No. 5 overall pick is "slowly but surely forcing the Jaguars into considering a blockbuster trade this offseason." The Jags issued a standard denial to said report, but that doesn't mean Ramsey is completely off the market.
Potential trade: Raiders acquire Ramsey from Jaguars in exchange for two first-round draft picks
Philadelphia Eagles Acquire Jordan Howard
The Philadelphia Eagles look as though they'll be strapped for cash this offseason, which could make it hard to justify paying impending free-agent running back Jay Ajayi. That's especially the case because Ajayi is coming off a torn ACL, and he wasn't exactly dominating before that.
A cheap solution for a team that is in win-now mode might be to make a strong offer to the Bears for running back Jordan Howard, who has a Pro Bowl nod on his resume along with 25 touchdowns in three seasons but is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Tarik Cohen has become the top option out of the Chicago backfield, so it's possible the Bears will opt to take something for Howard now rather than lose him for nothing or a compensatory draft pick next offseason.
For what it's worth, the Eagles and Howard were linked before the trade deadline by 710 ESPN's John Clayton.
Potential trade: Eagles acquire Howard from Bears in exchange for a third-round draft pick
Pittsburgh Steelers Strike Gold in Exchange for Antonio Brown
The Pittsburgh Steelers have left the door open for a trade involving Brown, who also hasn't shied away from voicing his displeasure with the team. A divorce could be coming. In fact, the odds via BookMaker now favor that.
At this point, a team that typically operates conservatively in February and March might simply have to hope that it'll get a home run offer for Brown. After all, the 30-year-old makes big money, he's probably on the verge of a decline and the Steelers are in good shape in the receiving corps with JuJu Smith-Schuster ready to move into the No. 1 role.
What would a home run look like? Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported last month that the Steelers want a first-round pick for Brown, and it's possible they'll get something close to that from a cap-rich team in a bidding war. So let's go with that.
Potential trade: Steelers trade Brown to San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the No. 36 overall pick in the 2019 draft
San Francisco 49ers Acquire Antonio Brown
Big-time spoiler there, huh?
Amazingly, the best-case scenario for the Steelers is identical to that of the 49ers. San Francisco's No. 2 overall selection is far too high a price and is unrealistic for the Steelers, while a high-second-round selection seems fair on both ends.
The 49ers desperately need a top-end receiver for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and they have the cap space to cover Brown's significant salary.
The only caveat is it's possible the Steelers would prefer to wait until after June 1 to trade Brown so that they can spread out his dead cap charge over the course of two years. If that's the case and San Francisco remains down to deal, I'd expect a 2020 first-round pick (unlikely to be as high as this year's first-round selection) to be on the table, rather than a high 2019 second-rounder.
Potential trade: 49ers acquire Brown from Steelers in exchange for the No. 36 overall pick in the 2019 draft
Seattle Seahawks Acquire Jalen Ramsey
If Ramsey becomes available via trade this offseason, the Seattle Seahawks are a logical team to jump into those sweepstakes alongside the aforementioned Chiefs and Raiders. The Seahawks proved this year that they can avoid a full-blown rebuild despite the fall of the Legion of Boom, but that secondary still requires a revamp, and Ramsey is the perfect candidate to lead Legion of Boom 2.0.
He's physical, he plays with a mean streak, he's uniquely talented, and he even runs his mouth like Richard Sherman used to.
It's possible the Seahawks don't want to risk inviting acrimony into the locker room again, but talent is talent, and a new environment could be good for Ramsey. Plus, they have plenty of cap space to lock up Ramsey to a long-term deal at any point.
Potential trade: Seahawks acquire Ramsey from Jaguars in exchange for a first-round pick and DT Jarran Reed
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Acquire Donald Penn
Final shoutout to Penn, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and looks like the only high-end left tackle trade candidate now that his Raiders have used a first-round pick on a blindside heir apparent in Kolton Miller.
Could Penn return to Tampa to help Bruce Arians in his quest to get the most out of quarterback Jameis Winston? There's little reason to believe the Bucs wouldn't be interested, especially considering how much impending free-agent left tackle Donovan Smith struggled during his four seasons there.
Penn might not be a long-term solution at the age of 35, but the three-time Pro Bowler plays a position in which many players perform well into their late-30s and his contract is reasonable anyway.
Potential trade: Buccaneers acquire Penn from Raiders in exchange for a second-round draft pick
Tennessee Titans Acquire Justin Houston
If Houston happens to become available via trade this offseason, we listed the Colts as a hardcore potential suitor. But Indy could get a fight from a division rival, and the bad news for the Colts is the Tennessee Titans have more draft capital and enough cap space to handle Houston's monstrous contract.
There's plenty of room for Tennessee's pass rush to improve after that unit ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of both sacks and sack rate in 2018. And there should be plenty of opportunities on the edge with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan's contract expiring.
As mentioned, the Chiefs will soon owe star defensive linemen Dee Ford and Chris Jones large amounts of cash, and they might want to remain young while focusing on other defensive position groups. If that's the case, you'd think they'd consider moving Houston, who is on the wrong side of 30 and slated to carry a $21.1 million cap hit in 2019.
If that happens, watch out for the Titans.
Potential trade: Titans acquire Houston from Chiefs in exchange for a third-round draft pick
Washington Redskins Acquire Andy Dalton
If Alex Smith didn't suffer a terrible leg injury in the fall, Antonio Brown would be the obvious trade target for the Washington Redskins. They desperately need an elite receiver.
But because Smith could miss the 2019 season, the Redskins have to focus on acquiring a new starting-caliber quarterback. In a perfect world they would get Nick Foles via free agency, but if they go the trade route you'd have to think Dalton would be a prime target.
The well-established 31-year-old would at least work as a solid stopgap who would probably be OK with a short, prove-it contract in a new spot. And because Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was Dalton's offensive coordinator for the first three seasons of the quarterback's career, Dalton would be well-suited for the Washington offense.
There's no indication the Bengals are shopping Dalton, but they are going through a transition right now. So it would make a heck of a lot of sense.
Potential trade: Redskins acquire Dalton from Bengals in exchange for a second-round draft pick