Every NFL Team's Most Likely Player to Be Traded Before 2020 Season
With NFL training camps underway, teams around the league are busy evaluating rosters, settling depth charts and trying to determine which 53 players to carry into the regular season. With 80 players currently eligible for camp rosters, each franchise must part with up to 27 players before the start of Week 1.
That will be made more difficult by the lack of a preseason this year.
Trades are likely to be a big part of the process in the coming weeks. Some teams will look to mitigate their roster losses by recouping value via trade, while others will look to solidify positions they identify as weaknesses in camp.
With this in mind, let's examine the one player most likely to be dealt from each team before Week 1.
These are players with enough value to warrant a deal but could be considered expendable because of salary implications, roster depth, franchise direction or other existing or potential factors.
Arizona Cardinals: LB Haason Reddick
The Arizona Cardinals used the 13th pick in the 2017 NFL draft on linebacker Haason Reddick. The Temple product was supposed to become the field general in the middle of Arizona's defense, but he's been a merely serviceable player through three seasons.
In 48 appearances (20 starters), Reddick has mustered only 7.5 sacks and 192 combined tackles.
This past April, the Cardinals spent the No. 8 overall pick on a potential new defensive leader in Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. He should join offseason addition De'Vondre Campbell as a starter in 2020, which leaves little to no room for Reddick in the lineup.
Another team should be willing to take a chance on Reddick's first-round pedigree, and a trade would allow the Cardinals to receive something in return.
Atlanta Falcons: C Alex Mack
Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack is entering the final year of his contract, and he's set to carry a cap hit of roughly $10.6 million.
While the Falcons likely aren't in a rush to trade the six-time Pro Bowler, they might find too much potential value—both in terms of cap savings and in market value—to keep him off the trading block.
With rookie third-round pick Matt Hennessy on deck to eventually replace Mack, the veteran could be viewed as expendable for the right price.
If a center-needy team comes calling, the 35-year-old could be headed elsewhere, while Hennessy and second-year lineman Chris Lindstrom would start a youth movement on the interior for Atlanta.
Baltimore Ravens: RB Gus Edwards
Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards recently signed his tender as an exclusive rights free agent. He'd presumably love to remain a significant piece of the Baltimore offense—he rushed for 711 yards and two touchdowns last season—but the Ravens may be looking to move on and recoup something in return.
Given Edwards' career 5.3 yards-per-carry average, the Ravens might be able to get a significant piece for him in a trade. His value may be at an all-time high, though, as Pro Bowler Mark Ingram II and rookie second-round pick J.K. Dobbins are likely to lead the backfield in 2020.
With Ingram, Dobbins and 2019 fourth-round pick Justice Hill on the roster, the Ravens will still have plenty of backfield options even if they deal Edwards.
Buffalo Bills: WR Robert Foster
The Buffalo Bills' trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs provides quarterback Josh Allen with the legitimate No. 1 wideout that he's been lacking. However, it also means that one player from Buffalo's suddenly potent receiving corps may be on his way out.
Third-year wideout and former Alabama speedster Robert Foster was largely an afterthought in the offense before Diggs' arrival, catching only three passes for 64 yards last season.
Foster should still have some trade value based on his physical potential—he ran a 4.41-second 40 at the combine at 6'1" and 196 pounds—and the promise he flashed as a rookie. He caught 27 passes for 541 yards and three scores in 2018 prior to the arrival of John Brown and Cole Beasley.
Carolina Panthers: WR Curtis Samuel
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported in April that the Carolina Panthers were open to dealing Curtis Samuel, who hasn't lived up to his second-round draft status. In three seasons, he has hauled in only 108 receptions for 1,236 yards and 11 touchdowns.
With just one year remaining on Samuel's rookie deal, the Panthers should be willing to move him, especially now that speedster Robby Anderson and complementary pass-catcher Seth Roberts are on the roster.
In a brand-new offense with a new quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater) and a new play-caller (Joe Brady), Samuel's experience in Carolina won't be much of an asset.
A strong offer could come from a receiver-needy team before Week 1, and it won't be a surprise if the Panthers finally pull the trigger on a deal they first considered making before the draft.
Chicago Bears: CB Artie Burns
The Chicago Bears took a flier on former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns in free agency, hoping he could compete for a starting job opposite Kyle Fuller. However, they used a second-round pick on Utah product Jaylon Johnson shortly thereafter.
Johnson should have every opportunity to win the starting job, which could leave Burns without a significant role. Buster Skrine is the team's nickel cornerback, and third-year pro Kevin Toliver II and rookie fifth-rounder Kindle Vildor can provide depth.
While Burns could be pushed off Chicago's roster, the Bears may be able to get something of value by dealing him. Teams love to take chances on prior first-round picks, and at least one coach out there likely believes he's smart enough to finally unlock Burns' potential.
Cincinnati Bengals: WR John Ross III
After bringing back A.J. Green on the franchise tag, the Cincinnati Bengals suddenly have a surplus of wide receivers. That should only help rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, but it could leave them with an expendable pass-catcher.
With Green and 1,000-yard receiver Tyler Boyd presumably starting and rookie Tee Higgins somewhere in the mix, 2017 first-round pick John Ross III could be left without a notable role.
Ross has all-world speed—he ran a record 4.22-second 40 at the scouting combine—but he lacks consistency. That's a major problem with Cincinnati looking to start and develop a first-year signal-caller.
Ross could be more valuable to an established offense in need of a deep threat. After getting only 716 receiving yards out of him in three seasons, the Bengals would likely get more value from a trade.
Cleveland Browns: CB Terrance Mitchell
Veteran cornerbacks are almost always a sought-after commodity. The Cleveland Browns have one in seventh-year pro Terrance Mitchell, but they might not have a spot for him on their roster.
Cleveland signed veteran Kevin Johnson in free agency and added A.J. Green (not that one) as an unrestricted free agent. Considering Green received a $145,000 guarantee, Cleveland must be high on him.
With Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams slotted in as starters, Mitchell figures to be a depth player at best in Cleveland. With a cap hit of $3.67 million, the Browns may look to flip him for value elsewhere.
Dallas Cowboys: IOL Joe Looney
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the better offensive lines in football, and depth is a key component of it. For example, backup guard/center Joe Looney filled in admirably two years ago when Travis Frederick missed the season with Guillain–Barre syndrome.
With Frederick now retired, Looney could again have a starting job at center. However, he might have more value to the Cowboys through a trade.
Several teams are in need of a versatile interior lineman, and Dallas has 2019 third-round pick Connor McGovern as a backup at guard and rookie fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz waiting in the wings at center.
If Biadasz pries the starting job away from Looney, the Cowboys should attempt to cash him in on the trade market.
Denver Broncos: WR DaeSean Hamilton
Denver Broncos wideout DaeSean Hamilton has shown some promise in his two NFL seasons—he's caught 58 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns—but he hasn't come anywhere close to being a star.
With rookie wideouts Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler likely joining Courtland Sutton as starting receivers, Hamilton could be out of a job in Denver this season. However, the Broncos could look to recoup some value for the 2018 fourth-round pick and could likely get a Day 3 pick in return.
While Hamilton has not been a breakout star with the Broncos, he has intriguing size (6'1", 206 lbs) and is under contract for two more seasons. A team looking for a possession receiver should be willing to part with a late-round draft pick to land him.
Detroit Lions: LB Jarrad Davis
The Detroit Lions declined Jarrad Davis' fifth-year option this offseason while adding linebackers Jamie Collins and Elijah Lee in free agency. They also have 2019 second-round pick Jahlani Tavai sitting behind Davis at middle linebacker.
That likely means Davis is no longer a major piece of Detroit's big-picture plans. Regardless of how he fares in 2020, he may be headed elsewhere next offseason.
The Lions could instead flip him now, getting something in return while opening the door for Tavai to make the sort of impact that Davis was expected to make.
Green Bay Packers: CB Josh Jackson
Cornerback Josh Jackson showed a lot of potential as a rookie with the Green Bay Packers, deflecting 10 passes and racking up 49 tackles in 16 appearances (10 starts). However, he made zero starts in 2019 and finished with a mere 11 tackles.
According to Football Outsiders, Jackson played less than 10 percent of Green Bay's defensive snaps last season.
If Jackson is no longer a part of the defensive puzzle in Titletown, Green Bay should be willing to part with the 24-year-old for the right price.
As a young cornerback with proven starting potential, Jackson is likely to draw a fair bit of interest on the trade market. Green Bay might be able to land a useful player or draft compensation in exchange for him.
Houston Texans: WR Kenny Stills
While Kenny Stills did produce in his first season with the Houston Texans in 2019—he caught 40 passes for 561 yards and four touchdowns—he might not be a big piece of the team's plans moving forward.
Even with DeAndre Hopkins now in Arizona, Stills is likely to be buried on the depth chart. Offseason additions Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks join Will Fuller V, Keke Coutee and Stills in Houston's receiving corps.
If Stills is set to be the No. 4 receiver, Houston may not be willing to carry his $7 million cap hit into the season. However, a different team with more of a need at wideout might be happy to do so.
Indianapolis Colts: RB Jordan Wilkins
The Indianapolis Colts used a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft on running back Jordan Wilkins. However, he has mostly been a role player behind starter Marlon Mack and receiving back Nyheim Hines, racking up only 111 carries for 643 yards across two seasons.
This offseason, the Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor in the second round, further muddying the backfield.
Since Taylor and Mack are both early-down runners, Hines could be safe as the pass-catcher of the group. That could leave Wilkins as the odd man out, although Indy may be able to get some compensation on his way out the proverbial door.
Wilkins has an impressive career 5.8 yards-per-carry average and would likely entice a team seeking an additional ball-carrier before Week 1.
Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue
According to Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell, the team has been in touch recently with estranged defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
"He and I have been in contact the last couple days, but I think that is for him to discuss," Caldwell said, per NFL.com's Kevin Patra.
However, that doesn't mean Ngakoue is ready to rejoin the team. The 25-year-old was not happy about being given the franchise tag and has publicly voiced his displeasure.
"It's obvious my time is up in my current situation," he tweeted earlier this offseason. "Let's both move on."
With the deadline to reach a long-term deal having come and gone, the Jaguars may now be interested in trading him rather than getting nothing in return for a holdout and his eventual departure in free agency.
Kansas City Chiefs: RB Darwin Thompson
Wideout Sammy Watkins was the original choice to be traded by the Kansas City Chiefs, given the talent and depth the team has at the position. However, he has a no-trade clause, and with his desire to win, it's unlikely that Kansas City would convince him to waive it.
"We've got a well-established quarterback, a well-established team, coaches, organization," Watkins said, per ESPN's Adam Teicher. "The real fun is in the winning more than anything."
Running back Damien Williams would be another obvious choice after the team drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round, but he has opted out of the 2020 season. However, 2019 sixth-round pick Darwin Thompson is a trade option.
Thompson was an intriguing prospect out of Utah State who racked up nearly 1,400 combined rushing and receiving yards in 2018. However, he was a non-factor for the Chiefs last season, logging just 37 carries. With Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, DeAndre Washington and Elijah McGuire in camp, Thompson could be considered expendable—even with Williams gone.
While Thompson likely wouldn't bring much in a trade, a team with less running back depth should be willing to take a chance on the second-year pro.
Las Vegas Raiders: OG Gabe Jackson
According to NFL Network's Michael Silver, the Las Vegas Raiders shopped starting guard Gabe Jackson shortly before the start of the 2020 draft.
While the Raiders didn't trade him at that time, Jackson may still be available for the right price.
Las Vegas used a fourth-round pick on Clemson interior lineman Josh Simpson, which could make Jackson expendable. The 29-year-old has missed eight games over the past two seasons, so the Raiders have experience playing without him.
Jackson could appeal to a team needing help along the interior. If one of them comes calling with a decent offer, the Raiders could pull the trigger on a deal and rid themselves of his $9.6 million cap hit.
Los Angeles Chargers: LB Denzel Perryman
In 2015, the Los Angeles Chargers used a second-round pick on Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman. However, he has yet to emerge as a reliable three-down linebacker and has struggled to stay on the field, missing 18 games over the last three seasons.
Perryman did have a solid 2019 campaign, racking up 68 tackles and an interception. However, he was primarily used as an early-down linebacker and could be replaced by rookie first-round pick Kenneth Murray, who has more of a three-down skill set.
Cutting Perryman could be hard to swallow, as roughly $6.5 million of his $7.5 million cap hit would turn into dead money. But if Los Angeles trades Perryman to a linebacker-needy team, it could at least get something in return.
Los Angeles Rams: TE Gerald Everett
Though Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett has flashed some talent as a pass-catcher—he had 37 catches for 408 yards and two touchdowns last season—Tyler Higbee has emerged as Jared Goff's top target at the position.
That could lead to Everett being on the trading block, if he isn't there already.
"Waiting on a decision that's already been made," he cryptically tweeted in July.
Everett would likely net something of value from a tight-end-needy team, though the Rams might be willing to deal him for cap relief. He has a cap hit of just under $2 million this season, while Los Angeles has roughly $3.6 million in available cap space.
That's a precariously low amount, especially with cornerback Jalen Ramsey expecting a lucrative extension sooner than later.
Miami Dolphins: QB Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen technically still has a shot to earn the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback job. The 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft may be behind veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa, but the Dolphins aren't treating him like an afterthought.
"The vision for Josh is the same vision for every player." head coach Brian Flores said, per Safid Deen of the Miami Herald. "Come in. It's a new offense. New teammates. Learn the playbook. Get to know your teammates. Work hard in practice. Try to improve every day. Take advantage of your opportunities."
But in reality, Tagovailoa is the future, and Fitzpatrick is his veteran placeholder. Rosen could have value as a long-term backup, but he might have even more value in a trade.
NFL coaches tend to believe they are the smartest ones in the room, and a few likely believe they can unlock Rosen's potential. If Tagovailoa proves healthy and capable of starting in Week 1, Rosen could quickly become a valuable trade chip.
Minnesota Vikings: S Anthony Harris
Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris emerged as a quality starter in 2020, finishing with 60 tackles and a league-high six interceptions. However, he's spent less than two full seasons as a regular starter and might not justify his franchise-tag salary of $11.4 million.
Minnesota presumably tagged Harris looking to extend him during the offseason. However, the two sides couldn't reach a long-term deal, so the Vikings will have to trade him if they don't want to risk him walking away for nothing in free agency next offseason.
At least one team has shown interest in dealing for Harris. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the New York Giants had talks with the Vikings about acquiring the safety.
Garafolo reported the Vikings didn't tag Harris "just to give him away," but a better offer could have him on the move before Week 1.
New England Patriots: EDGE Derek Rivers
In 2017, the New England Patriots used a third-round pick on former Youngstown State pass-rusher Derek Rivers. However, Rivers has barely seen the field because of a crowded depth chart and a couple of fluke injuries.
Rivers suffered a torn ACL during the preseason as a rookie and another knee injury last preseason. He appeared in six games as a reserve in 2018 and notched a single sack. With second-year man Chase Winovich and rookie edge-rusher Josh Uche on the roster, Rivers may be out of New England's long-term plans.
However, another team could take a flier on the Patriots' top draft choice in 2017. Teams will go to great lengths to uncover pass-rushing talent, and Rivers racked up 37.5 sacks in college. Someone will likely offer a late-round pick rather than risk losing him on a waiver claim.
New Orleans Saints: IOL Nick Easton
The New Orleans Saints already cut ties with Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford this offseason, and it wouldn't be a shock to see them dump another former starter in interior lineman Nick Easton.
The Saints signed Easton to a four-year, $23 million contract last season, but they ended up using him as depth after then-rookie Erik McCoy took the starting job at center. Rookie first-rounder Cesar Ruiz will presumably get the same opportunity to start this season that McCoy got last summer.
That will likely lead to Easton again being a backup at best. With a cap hit of nearly $6 million, the Saints may decide that the depth is not more valuable than the cap space a trade would generate, not to mention whatever compensation they could get in return.
New York Giants: RB Wayne Gallman
Running back Wayne Gallman has showed some promise in his limited opportunities with the New York Giants over the past three seasons.
Gallman notably ran for 476 yards on 111 carries and caught 34 passes as a rookie in 2017. However, he also amassed 286 rushing yards over the past two seasons as a backup to wunderkind Saquon Barkley.
The Giants signed Dion Lewis in the offseason to be a pass-catching complement to Barkley, which leaves Gallman without a defined role and unlikely to see playing time.
A backfield-needy team might look at Gallman's rookie numbers—he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 5.7 yards per reception—and decide he deserves a significant role on its roster.
New York Jets: S Marcus Maye
The New York Jets already traded one safety from their 2017 draft class when they sent Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks in July. It wouldn't be a shock if they trade fellow 2017 safety Marcus Maye as well.
While Adams emerged as a Pro Bowler with the Jets, Maye has been far less impactful. He's produced 178 tackles in three seasons but has only four interceptions, 11 passes defended and a half-sack.
Rookie third-round pick Ashtyn Davis is set to compete with Maye at the free safety spot and could claim the starting job. If he does, Maye and his $2.1 million salary will likely be on the trading block.
Philadelphia Eagles: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
The Philadelphia Eagles would ideally trade away Alshon Jeffery and his $15.4 million cap hit in 2020. However, Jeffery is still recovering from a foot injury and is on the physically unable to perform list, which will reduce his trade value.
Teams might be more willing to take a flier on 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and the Eagles would have to consider pulling the trigger if they get a quality offer.
Arcega-Whiteside was largely a non-factor as a rookie, catching only 10 passes for 169 yards. With DeSean Jackson healthy, the Stanford product could start the season behind Jackson, rookie Jalen Reagor and late 2019 standout Greg Ward Jr. He might disappear completely if/when Jeffery returns to the lineup.
Luckily, Arcega-Whiteside's draft status likely ensures that Philadelphia can get something of value in a trade.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Bud Dupree
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't agree to a long-term deal with franchise-tagged edge-rusher Bud Dupree this offseason. This means that they're on the hook for at least $15.8 million this season, if not more.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Dupree has filed a grievance looking to be paid as a defensive end instead of as a linebacker. That would raise his price from $15.8 million to $17.4 million.
It wouldn't come as a shock if the Steelers decide to trade Dupree to a team willing to give him a long-term deal. The 27-year-old has only one season of high-end production on his resume, and his contract is problematic since the Steelers have just over $4 million in cap space.
If Pittsburgh hopes to make any significant moves before Week 1—like adding quarterback depth behind Ben Roethlisberger—it will need to clear up some cap space. Trading Dupree would accomplish that.
San Francisco 49ers: WR Dante Pettis
If it appears as though Samuel will return sooner than later, San Francisco may decide to move on from 2018 second-round pick Dante Pettis before final roster cuts.
"He's had his opportunities," head coach Kyle Shanahan said last November, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The more he doesn't take advantage of his opportunities, the less he opportunities he gets."
Pettis showed some promise as a rookie, catching 27 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns. However, he was an afterthought in the offense last season, finishing with only 11 catches, 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Samuel emerged as the team's new No. 1 receiver last year, while San Francisco used first- and third-round picks on Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Hurd in April. That doesn't leave much room for Pettis once Samuel returns.
Seattle Seahawks: TE Luke Willson
The Seahawks re-signed tight end Luke Willson on a one-year, $1.2 million deal this offseason. However, they also added seasoned veteran Greg Olsen and drafted Colby Parkinson and Stephen Sullivan.
With 2019 surprise Jacob Hollister on the roster and Will Dissly now healthy again as well, Willson is likely to leave the Seattle roster one way or another.
While Wilson has never been a star—his best season came in 2014 with 362 receiving yards—he has been a consistent depth piece for seven NFL seasons. He'll have value to a team in need of a tight end, and Seattle could likely recoup a Day 3 pick in a trade.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TE O.J. Howard
Like Seattle, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a bit of a logjam at tight end. But in their case, they have three tight ends who could be full-time starters in Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
One of them will almost certainly be gone before Week 1.
According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, Howard was already on the trading block and only remains on the team because of Tampa's asking price.
"The Buccaneers' asking price for tight end O.J. Howard has been described as way too high, which explains why he seems to perpetually live on the trading block," Howe wrote in April.
With the regular season fast approaching, the Buccaneers may be willing to take less than they previously were in a Howard trade. A reasonable offer might be enough to land him.
Tennessee Titans: WR Corey Davis
As a rookie last season, A.J. Brown established himself as the Tennessee Titans' new No. 1 receiver. Corey Davis was supposed to be that guy, but the 2017 first-round pick amassed only 601 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Tennessee declined the fifth-year option on Davis' contract in May and could part with him next offseason at the latest.
However, another team may be willing to take a flier on him ahead of the 2020 season, and a trade could provide Tennessee with more value than it would get out of Davis on the field. A trade might also open up more opportunities for 2019 offseason acquisition Adam Humphries.
Humphries had 816 yards and five scores two years ago with Tampa Bay, but he finished with only 374 yards and two scores last season.
Washington Football Team: RB Peyton Barber
The Washington Football Team signed running back Peyton Barber to a two-year, $3 million deal this offseason but may already be eager to get out from under the deal. With Adrian Peterson, rookie third-round pick Antonio Gibson and 2019 fourth-rounder Bryce Love on the roster, there isn't much need for him.
Yes, Washington did just release Derrius Guice, but Barber is still one back too many.
However, a running back-needy team should still view him as a valuable commodity. Barber is a four-year veteran with 28 starts under his belt, and he could be a fantastic mentor for a squad with an inexperienced backfield.
Peterson should have that mentor role covered in Washington.
All cap and contract information via Spotrac.