NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 3
We're only two weeks into the 2019 NFL season, and we've already seen the sort of high-profile injuries that could define the year.
Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Derrius Guice, Quincy Enunwa, Hunter Henry, Sam Darnold, Joe Staley and Michael Gallup are all notable starters and are all expected to miss significant time or the remainder of the season.
While teams will undoubtedly scour the free-agent market for injury replacements, trades may be a superior alternative. Teams can also use trades to address other existing holes and to strengthen their rosters ahead of the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
Who are the top players potentially available? That's what we'll examine. As was the case with last week's big board, players were 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 were considered.
Latest Stick to Football examines the Eli Manning benching, Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers trade, what Jalen Ramsey might fetch if the Jaguars were to trade him and more. Check it out here.
The Selection Process
As was the case last week, we got to the top 10 by first identifying 15 players 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 one to 15—and the combined totals were used to determine the top 10.
This week, Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld entered the mix. He is still recovering from wrist surgery, but he could be an enticing option for teams dealing with quarterback injuries (such as the Pittsburgh Steelers). The Eagles have veteran Josh McCown sitting behind Carson Wentz, so they could dangle Sudfeld to fetch something before the deadline.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey also joined the group, as the two-time Pro Bowler requested a trade.
To make room for Sudfeld and Ramsey, Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams and Eagles running back Corey Clement came off the initial 15-man list. The Chiefs are still deep at running back, but with LeSean McCoy's ankle injury, that depth could be needed. Clement has a shoulder injury.
The new 15-player list, in no particular order, consists of:
- 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
- Nate Sudfeld, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- 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. Artie Burns, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cornerback Artie Burns has not developed into the sort of player the Steelers likely envisioned when they drafted him 25th overall in 2016. He's played sporadically this season and has only one tackle through two weeks.
Pittsburgh doesn't seem to have a use for Burns, but another team might. Burns plays a valuable position, and he could be an attractive option for any team lacking cornerback depth.
In the wake of Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending elbow injury, the Steelers may begin looking toward the future, raising the likelihood of a Burns trade. They also traded No. 3 quarterback Joshua Dobbs to the Jaguars last week, so they may be looking for a new backup behind Mason Rudolph.
The Eagles, who have surrendered 680 passing yards in two games, could be the perfect trade partner for Burns.
Potential Destinations: Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers
9. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are having a fire sale. They dealt starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wideout Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans just before the start of the season. On Tuesday, they traded second-year safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers.
Should 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker be next? There's little reason to think he won't be.
The Dolphins haven't looked competitive in either game this season. If they can get anything in return for Parker, they should.
While Parker hasn't lived up to his draft status, he hasn't been a disaster either. He's averaged 554 receiving yardrs per season, which is at least something. Teams in dire need of receiving help—like the injury-plagued New York Jets—should at least kick the tires on a potential deal.
Potential Destinations: New York Jets, New York Giants
8. Solomon Thomas, DE, San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have denied they tried to move defensive end Solomon Thomas in the offseason. However, they should consider changing their stance now that it's becoming apparent they don't need him.
Thomas was an afterthought in their season opener, logging just 12 defensive snaps. He was more active in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, finishing with three tackles and a sack. The defensive end rotation of Arik Armstead, Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, however, is more than capable of surviving without Thomas.
As the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, Thomas has the sort of potential teams should be willing to take a chance on. The 49ers don't need potential. They are ready to contend now, and they should consider sending Thomas to a rebuilding team such as the Arizona Cardinals or a contending team in need of a run-stuffing end.
Potential Destinations: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs
7. Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
It's becoming increasingly clear that Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has soured on running back Adrian Peterson. The future Hall of Famer was a healthy scratch in the season opener and may have been one again in Week 2 if not for Derrius Guice's knee injury.
Even though Peterson started, Gruden didn't utilize him much.
He carried the ball just 10 times against the Dallas Cowboys. Steven Sims, Chris Thompson and Wendell Smallwood combined for six carries. Perhaps Gruden simply didn't want to run often against Dallas. But it's more likely a lack of trust in Peterson led him to call a pass-heavy game instead.
But why? The contest was competitive, and Washington was within one score for most of three-plus quarters. Running the ball would have been a good way to keep it close.
If Gruden doesn't feel he has a use for Peterson, the Redskins should deal him to a team that does. For example, the Dolphins—who are averaging just 31.5 rushing yards per game—could use all the help they can get.
Potential Destinations: Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs
6. Nate Sudfeld, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Would the Eagles actually deal fourth-year quarterback Nate Sudfeld? That depends on how they view backup Josh McCown. If they like having McCown behind Carson Wentz, then yes, moving Sudfeld feels possible.
The Eagles probably aren't trading McCown. They coaxed him out of retirement to take the backup gig, and dealing him would be a huge disservice. Sudfeld is playing on a one-year deal, though, so getting something in return now makes sense.
There should be plenty of teams willing to roll the dice on Sudfeld, if even as a backup. The Jets are down to third-string quarterback Luke Falk, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger is out for the year, and Cam Newton's status is in question.
Newton reaggravated the foot injury he suffered in the preseason and may miss time.
"We will see how it goes," general manager Marty Hurney said, per The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue.
Potential Destinations: New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Taco Charlton, DE, Dallas Cowboys
Defensive end Taco Charlton was the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2017, but he's largely been an afterthought in their defense since. He's made just seven starts in two-plus seasons and hasn't appeared in a game in 2019. Now Charlton wants out.
"Taco Charlton made it clear in the offseason he wanted a trade," NFL Network's Jane Slater reported. "I'm told he was part of discussions ahead of preseason cuts but nothing came of it. What is clear is both sides want a fresh start."
Charlton should be available at a reasonable price considering the Cowboys aren't using him. Teams love to gamble on first-round picks, and he could be valuable to any squad looking to upgrade its pass rush.
The Eagles, who regularly rely on a rotation at end, would make a lot of sense if the Cowboys are willing to deal with their division rival.
Potential Destinations: Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders
Editor's Note: After publishing, the Dallas Cowboys released Taco Charlton per NFL Network's Ian Rappoport.
4. C.J. Beathard, QB, San Francisco 49ers
As is the case with Nate Sudfeld's trade value, C.J. Beathard's stems from the position he plays and the increasing need for healthy quarterbacks around the NFL.
The 49ers should be quick to pull the trigger on a deal if a team comes calling. Jimmy Garoppolo finally looked healthy in Week 2, passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. San Francisco also has a capable backup in Nick Mullens.
This team is ready to compete now and could use depth at positions other than quarterback.
Beathard has 10 games of starting experience and could be a fit for a team looking for a backup or a spot starter. The New Orleans Saints could be in the latter category, as Drew Brees is expected to miss around six weeks with a torn thumb ligament.
Potential Destinations: New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon III remains one of the top players available on the trade market. His value, however, is sinking.
For one, the Chargers don't need him. Austin Ekeler has taken over as L.A.'s top back. He has 124 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards and four touchdowns through two weeks. Justin Jackson is a capable complement with 116 rushing yards.
The other factor is that the 49ers appeared to be a prime trade partner after losing Tevin Coleman to an ankle injury. They're looking just fine with the tandem of Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert, though, which hurts the market for Gordon.
He should still be a premium target for teams without a franchise running back, though. The Dolphins and Redskins are two prime examples. Even with Miami in sell mode, the price on Gordon may now be low enough for him to make sense as a future building block.
Potential Destinations: Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins
2. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey isn't going to come cheap, but make no mistake, he can be had for the right price. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jaguars are seeking "at least" a first-round pick "but want more than that."
There should be no shortage of teams willing to make a move for Ramsey. He's one of the best man-cover corners in the league, and he's only entering the prime of his career. One potential obstacle, of course, is the fact that he's looking for a lucrative contract extension.
This means Ramsey may make the most sense for a team such as the Raiders, who are projected to have more than $91 million in cap space next offseason, according to Spotrac.
However, any contending team in need of cornerback help should be willing to explore a trade. Ramsey is under contract through 2020, so an extension doesn't have to be an immediate concern.
Potential Destinations: Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles
1. Trent Williams, LT, Washington Redskins
The Redskins continue to take a hard stance with left tackle Trent Williams and his trade demand. This needs to change, as they're not getting him back on the field, per The Athletic's Grant Paulsen.
"Williams does not want to be with the Redskins. He has made that clear by incurring more than $1 million in fines to avoid being with the team," Paulsen wrote. "... If he were happy and still willing to be a member of the team, trading him would make less sense. But that isn't the case."
Williams is a seven-time Pro Bowler, and there are plenty of teams that could use him. The 49ers, for example, just lost starting left tackle Joe Staley to a broken leg. New England Patriots tackle Isaiah Wynn has turf toe. And the line is the one thing that seems to be holding back the Cleveland Browns offense.
The Chargers, who have a tackle duo of Trent Scott and Sam Tevi, could be another option—especially if the Redskins are interested in Melvin Gordon III.
Washington should have no trouble getting something of value in return for Williams.
Potential Destinations: San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns