NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 2
We learned a lot about the NFL landscape in Week 1, and all 32 teams learned a little something about themselves. For some, it was discovering that they still have significant needs.
Now that we're in the regular season, there aren't many free-agent options. There are unsigned players, of course, but few who would represent upgrades in most roster situations. Therefore, many teams will soon turn to the trade market.
So, which top players are or could be available? That's what we'll examine here. As was the case with the preseason trade block big board, players have been gauged by both on-field ability and the likelihood of availability.
The best potential trade targets may not be readily available, and the players most likely to be dealt may not be the best on-field options—so both factors are considered.
The Selection Process
As was the case last week, we're getting to the top 10 by first identifying 15 players who are already on the trade block or whose circumstances could lead them there. These players were then weighted in order of trade availability and talent level. Points were assigned in each category—from 15 to one—and the combined totals were used to determine the top 10.
This week, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes and Cleveland Browns linebacker Joe Schobert fell out of the initial 15. While the Vikings entertained the idea of trading Waynes in the offseason, they'll likely need him moving forward. Fellow corner Mackensie Alexander suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 1.
Meanwhile, the Browns are in no position to be giving away defensive starters after getting blown out 43-13 at home by the Tennessee Titans.
Replacing Waynes and Schobert are Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, who was a healthy scratch for Week 1, and Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker. The Dolphins aren't actively shopping Parker, but they haven't been shy about trading away starters. And according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, multiple players are trying to get themselves out of Miami.
The new initial 15-player list, in no particular order, consists of the following:
- Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
- Trent Williams, OT, Washington Redskins
- Josh Jackson, CB, Green Bay Packers
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
- Joe Looney, C, Dallas Cowboys
- Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns
- Taco Charlton, DE, Dallas Cowboys
- Rashaan Gaulden, S, Carolina Panthers
- DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Solomon Thomas, DE, San Francisco 49ers
- Artie Burns, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- C.J. Beathard, QB, San Francisco 49ers
10. Josh Jackson, CB, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay isn't actively shopping 2018 second-round pick Josh Jackson. However, if a team were to seek a deal, it seems likely that the Packers would pull the trigger.
For the time being, Jackson isn't a significant piece of the game plan. He only played three defensive snaps against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, according to Footballguys.com. That isn't much of a role, and Green Bay could easily have given those reps to someone else.
So, why would a team inquire about Jackson? He plays a coveted position, and he has a lot of upside—which is why the Packers took him in the second round in the first place.
A team with a greater need of cornerback depth—like the Browns, whose secondary just got lit up by the Titans for 216 yards and three touchdowns—could look to add Jackson because of that potential.
Potential Destinations: Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles
9. Solomon Thomas, DE, San Francisco 49ers
Thomas, it seems, is being phased out. He saw just 12 defensive snaps in the 31-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1.
"It's obvious that the 49ers feel they have better options at defensive end," The Athletic's Matt Barrows wrote.
With guys like Dee Ford, Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa on the roster, they probably do. Teams in need of a run-stuffer along the defensive line—like the Kansas City Chiefs, who allowed 5.1 yards per carry in the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars—could use him.
Potential Destinations: Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals
8. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
As is the case with the Packers and Jackson, the Dolphins aren't shopping wideout DeVante Parker. Let's be honest, though—this team is tanking, and pretty much everyone will be available. The only player who might not be is cornerback Xavien Howard.
"Dolphins have told him they value him, and he said he wants to stay," Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote.
Parker was one of the few Dolphins who looked competitive in Miami's 59-10 season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He caught three passes for 75 yards, which brings his career total over four-plus years to...2,292 yards.
No, Parker hasn't lived up to his first-round status, but he hasn't been a total disaster. Teams love to gamble on former first-round receivers, which is why Josh Doctson has a job. A receiver-needy team like Washington should at least kick the tires on a deal.
Potential Destinations: Washington Redskins, New York Giants
7. Joe Looney, C, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys got starting center Travis Frederick back this offseason, and his return makes 2018 starter Joe Looney expendable—for the right price. Looney is a valuable depth player, and the Cowboys aren't going to deal him for peanuts.
Frederick is still working his way into form.
"I'm happy with what I put out there. it certainly wasn't my best game, and there's a long way to go," Frederick told 105.3's The Fan's Ben and Skin Show.
Dealing Looney would free up roughly $1.6 million, though, so Dallas could entertain the idea. The Cowboys have contract extensions coming for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, so that extra money could be valuable.
The New England Patriots—who saw some snapping issues from center Ted Karras in Week 1—are a team that makes sense for Looney.
Potential Destinations: New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens
6. Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
Washington likely won't have starting running back Derrius Guice for a bit after he suffered a knee injury in the opener. This means the team probably won't deal Adrian Peterson for a low price right now. However, head coach Jay Gruden seems to have soured on Peterson since last year and chose to not even dress him in Week 1.
"If we have a game where we think we can run the ball 55 times in a game in an I-formation, then sure, I'll get him up," Gruden said, per Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
The coach pretty much views Peterson as a limited player. He might need him now, but if and when Guice returns, Gruden may no longer want the seven-time Pro Bowler. As a 1,000-yard rusher in 2018, Peterson could be an enticing option for a running back-needy team like the San Francisco 49ers.
Potential Destinations: San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins
5. Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns
The Browns have bigger problems than the wide receiver position. Getting guys open was not the issue against the Titans in Week 1. Covering players and avoiding groan-inducing penalties were the problems.
Cleveland has a solid trio of starting receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins, which is why Antonio Callaway could be expendable.
He's serving a four-game suspension for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, and sure, Callaway would strengthen an already strong group upon his return. But dealing him could net the Browns some defensive help. It wouldn't be an unprecedented move to trade the talented but risky wideout, as general manager John Dorsey sent Josh Gordon to New England this time last season.
A team like the Chiefs, who will miss Tyreek Hill (clavicle) for at least a few weeks, would make sense.
Potential Destinations: Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts
4. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
While the Chiefs wouldn't be in the market for Bengals wideout A.J. Green—he's expected to miss a few more weeks with an ankle injury—a team like the Colts might. They recently placed wide receiver Devin Funchess on injured reserve with a broken clavicle.
Cincinnati's offense looked just fine without Green in Week 1. Quarterback Andy Dalton leaned heavily on John Ross III, and the Bengals nearly pulled off the upset against the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
With Green in the final year of his contract and likely to net something of value in return, the Bengals should consider moving him.
Injuries have slowed down the seven-time Pro Bowler in recent years, but teams lacking a No. 1 or high-end No. 2 receiver would likely love to have him.
Potential Destinations: Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins
3. C.J. Beathard, QB, San Francisco 49ers
The jury is still out on whether Jimmy Garoppolo can be a franchise quarterback. He was decidedly average in the opener, passing for just 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The 49ers are unlikely to bench him, however, and even if they did, Nick Mullens would probably be the guy taking over.
This is why No. 3 quarterback C.J. Beathard should be available if a team comes calling. He isn't the best player on this list, but he does have 10 pro starts. The positional value of quarterbacks, after all, puts them at a premium.
There are two types of teams that could use a player like Beathard. The first is one lacking proven depth, like the Denver Broncos. The other is a team that has lost its starter, like Jacksonville did in Week 1.
The Jags already acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they are proof that injuries at quarterback can happen at any time.
Potential Destinations: Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins
2. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon plans to end his holdout somewhere between Weeks 6 and 8, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. But what if the Chargers don't want him?
Gordon is a Pro Bowl back when healthy, but Los Angeles appears to be just fine without him. It relied on Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler in Week 1 and got tremendous results. The pair combined for 115 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Ekeler added an impressive 96 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions.
With Ekeler and Jackson proving to be more than capable, why would the Chargers ink Gordon to a long-term deal in the offseason? They may decide that dealing him now is a better option than having him play for half the season.
A team like the 49ers, who lost Tevin Coleman to an ankle sprain, could be interested in acquiring Gordon. Or perhaps the Redskins would consider trading for him and then dealing Peterson to a squad like San Francisco.
As the season progresses, the market for Gordon is only likely to grow.
Potential Destinations: Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers
1. Trent Williams, OT, Washington Redskins
The Redskins continue to dismiss the idea of trading left tackle Trent Williams. In fact, there's a chance they could have him back on the field in the near future.
"I would say 50-50," fellow offensive lineman Morgan Moses told The Sports Junkies on Monday (h/t Julia Karron of NBC Sports Washington).
For now, though, Williams should be considered available.
The two first-round picks Miami got from Houston in a package that included left tackle Laremy Tunsil should have Washington's attention, and Williams is the best potentially available player by a significant margin. Not only is he a seven-time Pro Bowler, but he also lines up at a position that should be in high demand.
The Browns, for example, could desperately use a tackle of Williams' caliber. Starting left tackle Greg Robinson struggled against Tennessee in Week 1 before getting ejected. His replacement, Chris Hubbard, was even worse.
Potential destinations: Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals