1 Trade Each NFL Team Should Propose Before the 2020 Season

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystAugust 18, 2020

1 Trade Each NFL Team Should Propose Before the 2020 Season

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Shoot your shot because it never hurts to inquire about a trade idea.

    San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch famously asked the New England Patriots about Tom Brady's availability after Bill Belichick initially turned down a Jimmy Garoppolo proposal.

    "Yeah, we were calling about Jimmy. And we did have that conversation and got quickly rebuffed. And I figured, what the heck, you gotta take your shot, right?" Lynch said during an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast. "You can't score if you don't shoot. So I had to summon up the courage and Bill laughed at me ... and basically hung up on me. But hey, I took my shot." 

    The conversation eventually led to the 49ers acquiring Garoppolo.

    Teams are always willing to listen even if the offers seem outlandish. You never know when an organization will be willing to flip a quality performer if its price is met. The Seattle Seahawks shouldn't have Jamal Adams on their roster right now, but the New York Jets were willing to accept a pair of first-round picks and veteran defensive back Bradley McDougald for the first-team All-Pro safety.

    The following trade proposals are in the best interests of the individual team being discussed and independent of the others mentioned. These offers should be made in an attempt to get better in a specific area without being considered too far outside the realm of possibility.

Arizona Cardinals Trade LB Haason Reddick

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick to the Carolina Panthers for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick.

    As excited as everyone gets for the potential found in first-round picks, some simply won't work out for the team that originally drafted them. Case in point, the Arizona Cardinals spent the 13th overall selection in the 2017 draft on Haason Reddick, but the linebacker/edge-rusher has never found a home in their defense.

    Arizona now has Chandler Jones, Devon Kennard, Jordan Hicks, De'Vondre Campbell and this year's eighth overall draft pick, Isaiah Simmons, at linebacker. It's time to move on from Reddick after previously placing him on the trade block.

    If anyone can get Reddick back on track, it's his collegiate head coach, Matt Rhule, who converted him from defensive back to edge-defender and helped turned the hybrid into a top draft pick.

Atlanta Falcons Trade for OL Daryl Williams

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    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Atlanta Falcons trade a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Buffalo Bills for offensive lineman Daryl Williams.

    The Atlanta Falcons did a solid job addressing their biggest needs this offseason with the acquisitions of edge-rusher Dante Fowler Jr., running back Todd Gurley, tight end Hayden Hurst and first-round cornerback A.J. Terrell. The offensive interior remains somewhat suspect, though.

    Alex Mack is a stalwart at center, and right guard Chris Lindstrom is a talented prospect coming off an injury-plagued rookie campaign. Left guard remains unsettled. Third-round rookie Matt Hennessy could start, but plenty of competition is forthcoming between the first-year blocker and veterans James Carpenter, Jamon Brown and Matt Gono.

    Why not add one more to the mix? The Buffalo Bills are one of the few teams with O-line depth. The organization signed Darryl Williams, who can start at four of the five positions, to a one-year, $2.25 million free-agent deal this offseason. But only $250,000 is guaranteed, which makes him expendable.

Baltimore Ravens Trade for OL Pat Elflein

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Baltimore Ravens trade a fourth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for offensive lineman Pat Elflein.

    The Baltimore Ravens are loaded with talent, yet the offensive interior remains a significant question mark after Marshal Yanda's retirement and some uncertainty at center. In Baltimore's run-first offense, a collapsing interior will negate the unit's overall effectiveness if it can't sell inside zones, zone reads, etc. Thus, it should look for opportunities to add more to its front five.

    Pat Elflein started the last three seasons, but the Minnesota Vikings don't know exactly what to do with the 2017 third-round pick.

    Elflein could move to right guard after starting at center and left guard, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson. The interior blocker has struggled at times, and Minnesota could move on since it has depth at guard in Dakota Dozier, Aviante Collins, Dru Samia and converted second-round rookie Ezra Cleveland.

Buffalo Bills Trade for WR Kenny Stills

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Buffalo Bills trade third- and seventh-round draft picks to the Houston Texans for wide receiver Kenny Stills.

    The Buffalo Bills made one of the best trades of the offseason when they acquired Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings for first-, fifth-, sixth- and future fourth-round draft picks. There's no reason to stop there.

    Yes, Buffalo's wide receiver corps now feature Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley. But the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, showed everyone a team can't have too many offensive weapons. This is especially true in Buffalo as the Bills try to tap into Josh Allen's seemingly limitless potential.

    The Houston Texans will have little financial wiggle room next offseason while trying to sign quarterback Deshaun Watson to a contract extension. They could add $7 million in extra rollover cap by trading Kenny Stills now, thus giving the Bills another vertical threat.

    Houston would still have Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb and Keke Coutee on the roster.

Carolina Panthers Trade for RB Jamaal Williams

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Carolina Panthers trade a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Green Bay Packers for running back Jamaal Williams.

    The Carolina Panthers made Christian McCaffrey the league's richest back when the two sides agreed to a four-year, $64.1 million contract extension. McCaffrey is the team's franchise player. The thought of trading for another running back may seem asinine.

    In actuality, the move would protect the team's massive investment.

    The 24-year-old offensive weapon has averaged 309 touches through his first three seasons, and the lineup lacks quality depth behind him. He'll remain the focal point of the offense, of course. However, the addition of a quality backup would greatly help.

    The Green Bay Packers already have Aaron Jones and this year's 62nd overall pick, AJ Dillon, in the backfield. Jamaal Williams will likely be the odd man out, but the power back would be a nice complement to McCaffrey.

Chicago Bears Trade for Derek Carr

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Chicago Bears trade a 2021 first-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for quarterback Derek Carr.

    Of all the proposed trades, the Chicago Bears making a run at Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr may be the most improbable, but Bears general manager Ryan Pace has to try or risk wasting another season because the team isn't settled at the game's most important position.

    The Bears really aren't in a position to get rid of either Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles from a financial perspective. The team doesn't have quite enough salary-cap space at the moment to afford Carr, either. But this is the perfect scenario that applies when someone says it's time to "shoot their shot."

    The Raiders have never fully committed to Carr, no matter what is said publicly. They've flirted with other quarterback options and have openly praised current backup Marcus Mariota.

    The Bears should lean into the other organization's dalliances and see if something can get done. 

Cincinnati Bengals Trade for RT Rob Havenstein

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    RICK SCUTERI/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Cincinnati Bengals trade a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for right tackle Rob Havenstein.

    Surprisingly, the Cincinnati Bengals have been extremely active this offseason.

    The organization signed free agents D.J. Reader, Mike Daniels, Josh Bynes, Vonn Bell, Trae Waynes (out indefinitely following pectoral surgery) and Mackensie Alexander. Cincinnati also put together an outstanding draft class with this year's No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow, serving as the crown jewel.

    But excitement over Burrow's inclusion to the lineup should be tempered by the front office's inability to truly bolster the team's offensive line. If the rookie quarterback struggles, it'll be due to poor protection. 

    Or, the Bengals could remain aggressive and approach the Los Angeles Rams about right tackle Rob Havenstein, who would be an upgrade over Bobby Hart. The 2015 second-round pick could play guard if needed. Either way, he should be comfortable in Zac Taylor's offense since the Bengals head coach previously served as the Rams quarterbacks coach.

Cleveland Browns Trade for LB Kwon Alexander

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: Cleveland Browns send a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for linebacker Kwon Alexander.

    Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson told reporters his position group feels disrespected when it's viewed and described as the league's worst. While the group is young with some potential, the quartet of Wilson, B.J. Goodson, Sione Takitaki and third-round pick Jacob Phillips is mostly unproven.

    The Browns would be well served to invest in another veteran linebacker to boost the group and not force all the young players into the lineup.

    The San Francisco 49ers looked to "clean up some cap issues" earlier this offseason by placing linebacker Kwon Alexander, edge-rusher Dee Ford and safety Jaquiski Tartt on the trade block, per The Athletic's Michael Lombardi.

    With nearly $40 million in available salary-cap space, the Browns are one of the few teams that could take on Alexander's contract without it being a hindrance. Plus, his familiarity with new Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who previously served as the 49ers secondary coach, could only help.

Dallas Cowboys Trade for S Marcus Maye

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    Steve Luciano/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Dallas Cowboys trade 2021 second- and fourth-round draft picks to the New York Jets for safety Marcus Maye.

    The Dallas Cowboys desperately wanted to upgrade safety but struck out when trying to acquire Earl Thomas III and Jamal Adams over the last two years.

    Maybe they should revisit any previous conversations the front office had with the New York Jets. According to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta, Jets general manager Joe Douglas "fielded inquiries and engaged in talks" regarding Marcus Maye.

    Like Adams, Maye is a talented, young performer the team would presumably like to keep. But an outstanding offer, coupled with head coach Adam Gase's original preference to trade Maye upon his arrival, may lead to more action down the road.

    The Jets did just invest a third-round pick in another center fielder, Ashtyn Davis, who could take Maye's spot.

Denver Broncos Trade for OL Chris Hubbard

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Denver Broncos trade a conditional 2021 fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for offensive lineman Chris Hubbard.

    The Denver Broncos needed to address right tackle after Ja'Wuan James opted out of the 2020 campaign, and they signed 34-year-old veteran Demar Dotson as a potential replacement. Dotson has been a reliable performer throughout his career and started 30 games over the last two seasons. But quality depth along the offensive line is crucial, and the Broncos are relatively thin behind their projected starters. 

    Chris Hubbard will go from being the Cleveland Browns' starting right tackle the last two seasons to a swing lineman after the organization signed top free-agent offensive tackle Jack Conklin and drafted Jedrick Wills Jr. with the 10th overall pick to take over at left tackle.

    Hubbard's best years came under the tutelage of Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak when both were with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 29-year-old utility lineman could push to start in Denver if Cleveland is comfortable with its depth, thus making him available.

Detroit Lions Trade for Edge Ryan Kerrigan

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Detroit Lions send a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Washington Football Team for outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

    The Detroit Lions have been searching for a consistent edge presence since Ziggy Ansah posted 12 sacks during the 2017 campaign. Ansah is no longer with the team. Detroit then sunk a five-year, $90 million deal into Trey Flowers even though he's most effective rushing along the interior. Devon Kennard's 14 sacks over the last two seasons led the team, but he signed with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

    Not many franchises would consider Ryan Kerrigan a good investment at this point in his career. He's 32 years old with a base salary of $10.5 million this fall. However, the nine-year veteran would immediately step in as Detroit's best edge-rusher and bring enough positional flexibility to play in Matt Patricia's defensive scheme.

    On the other hand, the Washington Football Team is loaded along the defensive line with first-round picks Montez Sweat and Chase Young serving as the team's long-term edge defenders. Instead of letting Kerrigan walk as a free agent after this season, Washington could get something in a trade now.

Green Bay Packers Trade for WR DeSean Jackson

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Green Bay Packers trade 2021 fourth- and sixth-round draft picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

    Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst could shut everyone up by making an aggressive move in the trade market and finally investing in the wide receiver position. It's obvious to everyone else that something needed to be done this offseason, yet nothing ever materialized.

    "It's no secret. We were all expecting to have a receiver drafted," Davante Adams told reporters. "But that wasn't the case."

    The Philadelphia Eagles are in a bad spot financially, projected at $87.6 million over next year's expected salary cap. Steps need to be taken now to get the team's long-term spending under control, and the franchise can start by trading away its veteran wide receivers.

    By moving DeSean Jackson now, the Eagles would save $6.68 million this year, which could then be rolled over, and $9 million toward next year's salary cap, per Over the Cap.

Houston Texans Trade for DT Kawann Short

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    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Houston Texans trade a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for defensive tackle Kawann Short.

    Houston Texans head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien isn't afraid to trade away draft picks if a player is capable of helping his squad.

    The Texans' previous starting nose tackle, D.J. Reader, departed in free agency when the Cincinnati Bengals offered a four-year, $53 million deal. Houston responded by drafting Ross Blacklock with the team's top draft pick (40th overall).

    Blacklock brings plenty of potential, but the Texans could use a boost along the defensive interior to pair with the rookie and Brandon Dunn.

    Kawann Short is more of a 3-technique than a nose tackle, but his ability to consistently collapse the pocket as a pass-rusher is where his value truly lies. He's a two-time Pro Bowl selection coming off a stint on injured reserve due to a torn rotator cuff.

    The 31-year-old defensive lineman doesn't have much of a future with the rebuilding Carolina Panthers, and the Houston Texans are one of the few teams capable of taking on his $12.5 million salary.

Indianapolis Colts Trade LB Anthony Walker

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Indianapolis Colts trade linebacker Anthony Walker to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2021 third-round draft pick.

    The Indianapolis Colts don't have to move on from linebacker Anthony Walker. After all, he's 25 years old, coming off a season in which he led the team with 124 total tackles and still operating under his rookie deal. A potential move is more about maximizing value and paving the way for others.

    Bobby Okereke is a natural "Mike" linebacker, and he flashed tremendous play-making ability as a rookie. The Colts could move him to the middle and flip Walker to a linebacker-desperate squad, especially since Indianapolis would still have four of its own draft picks in E.J. Speed, Jordan Glasgow, Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin to serve as backups.

    The Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, aren't secure along their second line of defense, especially after Jatavis Brown's abrupt retirement. Walker would be a massive upgrade in the middle of Jim Schwartz's unit. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Trade DE Yannick Ngakoue

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    D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: Jaguars send DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Las Vegas Raiders for a 2021 second-round draft pick.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are setting themselves up for disappointment if they think Yannick Ngakoue is going to show up and play for the team this year. Furthermore, the front office should be doing everything to maximize his value since the two sides don't seem anywhere close to reconciliation.

    The longer the team waits to make a move, the less valuable Ngakoue becomes. Suitors will want to have the talented edge-rusher in their facilities and practicing sooner than later, especially during the current unprecedented circumstances. Sure, an injury could occur and spur interest (desperation?), but the Jaguars run the risk of losing significant value for a franchise player who isn't signed beyond this season.

    The Raiders previously showed interest in Ngakoue. The Jaguars wanted a premium package in return, though.

    Jacksonville isn't going to get what it wants. The best it can hope for at this point is a higher-round draft pick with possibly a little more thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Kansas City Chiefs Trade for CB Donte Jackson

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Kansas City Chiefs trade a 2021 second-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for cornerback Donte Jackson.

    The Kansas City Chiefs aren't settled in the secondary.

    Bashaud Breeland's status remains up in the air after he was arrested in April and charged with possessing marijuana or hash, driving with an open container of alcohol and resisting arrest. The Chiefs' top cover corner likely faces a league suspension. Also, fourth-round rookie L'Jarius Sneed will convert from safety to cornerback.

    Where Kansas City's back line stands at the start of the season is suspect at best.

    The Carolina Panthers fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from the reigning Super Bowl champions because they're a rebuilding squad in search of assets as well as added financial flexibility and the ability to rid the roster of those who don't necessarily fit.

    The previous coaching staff benched cornerback Donte Jackson last season. He played extremely well as a rookie but struggled in year two, and the Chiefs should immediately jump on any opportunity to acquire the 24-year-old speedster.

Las Vegas Raiders Trade OG Gabe Jackson

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Las Vegas Raiders trade guard Gabe Jackson to the Chicago Bears for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

    The Las Vegas Raiders have been looking to move 29-year-old guard Gabe Jackson since before April's draft. According to NFL Network's Michael Silver, the asking price was "not high." Any potential move would basically serve as a salary dump by the Raiders.

    Jackson, who has started 83 games during his six seasons, holds a $9.6 million salary-cap hit this fall. Technically, the Raiders could cut the veteran blocker without incurring any dead money, but a team always prefers to gain something in return.

    The Chicago Bears aren't in an ideal position along their offensive interior after Kyle Long's retirement. The front office responded by signing Germain Ifedi to a one-year, $1 million deal, but he has been a disappointment since he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 2016 draft.

    Maybe his career will blossom in Chicago. But to be safe, the franchise could look to add a quality guard in Jackson.

Los Angeles Chargers Trade for Riley Reiff

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    Roger Steinman/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Los Angeles Chargers send a 2021 second-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a left tackle Riley Reiff.  

    The Los Angeles Chargers placed themselves in a difficult position when they traded left tackle Russell Okung for guard Trai Turner. Obviously, the team had to make that deal since Turner is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and is five years younger.

    Even so, a gigantic void has been left on Tyrod Taylor's blind side. As of now, Sam Tevi is considered the starter despite his struggles at right tackle the last two seasons.

    Tevi may open camp as the projected starter, but Trey Pipkins III, Trent Scott and Forrest Lamp are in the conversation as well.

    Teams in search of a starting left tackle may be out of luck unless the Minnesota Vikings are willing to part with Riley Reiff. They drafted Ezra Cleveland in this year's second round as a potential long-term replacement, and Reiff could become available if the rookie's development progresses faster than expected.

    In the Chargers' case, they shouldn't wait. An open dialogue now could address a premium position later.

Los Angeles Rams Trade TE Gerald Everett

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Los Angeles Rams trade tight end Gerald Everett to the Green Bay Packers for a 2021 third-round draft pick.

    The Los Angeles Rams must be proactive in order to manage their long-term spending. They can do so while simultaneously rebuilding the team's cache of draft assets by looking at those who likely won't be with the team a year from now.

    The Rams are hovering around the salary-cap limit in each of the next two seasons before any further roster moves are made. Tight end Gerald Everett is an upcoming free agent, and the organization already has Tyler Higbee signed long-term and rookie Brycen Hopkins also on the roster.

    Instead of letting Everett walk, the organization could save $1.29 million by trading the tight end in the near future.

    The Green Bay Packers should be an interested party due to head coach Matt LaFleur's history. He served as the Rams offensive coordinator during Everett's rookie campaign. The Packers don't necessarily need to acquire a wide receiver to improve their passing game, and Everett is a solid alternative.

Miami Dolphins Trade for RB Marlon Mack

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: Miami Dolphins send a 2021 third-round draft pick to the Indianapolis Colts for running back Marlon Mack.

    The Miami Dolphins trading for another running back doesn't make much sense on the surface level. After all, the team signed Jordan Howard this offseason and acquired Matt Breida from the San Francisco 49ers. But that point of view doesn't take multiple factors into account.

    First, Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. The New England Patriots often succeeded without a true lead back. More often than not, they capitalized on different skill sets found among multiple contributors.

    Second, the offensive line needs to come together, especially if two rookies are starting at offensive tackle. The adjustment is easier if they're asked to run-block more often.

    Finally, a good running game can protect the quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick may open the season as the starter, but Tua Tagovailoa will likely see the field at some point, and keeping him upright will be the team's No. 1 priority.

    The Indianapolis Colts, meanwhile, are stacked at running back. Even though Marlon Mack led the team with 1,999 rushing yards over the last two seasons, he's an impending free agent, and the team can move forward with Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

Minnesota Vikings Trade for NT Tim Settle

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Minnesota Vikings trade a 2021 second-round pick to the Washington Football Team for nose tackle Tim Settle.

    The Minnesota Vikings were one of multiple teams to suffer losses along their defensive interior when players chose to opt out of the 2020 campaign. Michael Pierce's decision might have hit the Vikings harder than most since the organization invested a hefty three-year, $27 million deal in the nose tackle.

    The front office envisioned Pierce stepping in for an aging Linval Joseph, who is now with the Los Angeles Chargers, without missing a beat. Obviously, that won't be the case.

    So, the Vikings should be searching for another anchor along their defensive line since Jaleel Johnson and Armon Watts have five career starts between them. 

    The Washington Football Team features one of the game's best and deepest front sevens. Tim Settle could be a large part of the unit's rotation. As such, his potential availability is slim unless another franchise offers something quite enticing.

    From Minnesota's perspective, an early-round draft pick may be well worth the investment for a 23-year-old defensive tackle who the Vikings can start this year and pair with Pierce during subsequent seasons.

New England Patriots Trade for TE O.J. Howard

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The New England Patriots trade a 2021 second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end O.J. Howard.

    The New England Patriots are in a transition year.

    Tight end, in particular, has been an issue since Rob Gronkowski "retired." Last year, the position was a disaster. As a result, the organization spent a pair of third-round draft picks to acquire Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. The Patriots must up their investment since neither of the rookies are inline options. 

    A true Y-tight end would help complete the offense, and one with a lot of promise has been available since last year.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers actively tried to trade 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard prior to April's draft, per The Athletic's Michael Lombardi (via MassLive's Nick O'Malley). According to Lombardi, they wanted a second-round pick in return at last year's trade deadline.

    It's time for the Patriots to pony up because Howard could give them a true inline option and serve as a possible security blanket for whoever starts at quarterback.

New Orleans Saints Trade OL Nick Easton

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The New Orleans Saints trade offensive lineman Nick Easton to the New England Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

    When the New Orleans signed Nick Easton to a four-year, $24 million free-agent contract last offseason, the organization didn't know things would break favorably for it during two subsequent drafts.

    First, Erik McCoy fell into the second round of the 2019 class. The Saints traded up for the center prospect, and he started every game as a rookie. A year later, the top interior blocker among the '20 class, Cesar Ruiz, became available with the Saints' 24th overall selection.

    Along with the re-signed Andrus Peat, the Saints are young and talented along their offensive interior with no starting spot for Easton, whose salary-cap number escalates from $5.8 to $8.5 million between now and the '22 season. Will Clapp and Cameron Tom can handle backup duties.

    The Patriots don't need an immediate starter along their interior, either. However, Easton could hedge the team's bets if center David Andrews experiences any lingering health issues this season or left guard Joe Thuney leaves in free agency next offseason.

New York Giants Trade for Edge Dee Ford

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The New York Giants trade 2021 third- and seventh-round picks to the San Francisco 49ers for edge defender Dee Ford.

    The New York Giants quietly made a smart move by placing the unrestricted free-agent tag on Markus Golden. The team allowed its leading sack artist to test the market for three months before his rights reverted back. He re-signed two weeks ago. 

    But New York shouldn't be done when it comes to finding another pass-rusher. Yes, Golden managed 10 sacks. However, no one else on the roster mustered more than 4.5. The Giants could use a bookend to Golden, which would greatly improve their overall pass rush. 

    The San Francisco 49ers made a big splash last offseason when they dealt for Dee Ford after he recorded 13 sacks with the Kansas City Chiefs during the previous campaign. He signed a five-year, $87.5 million extension with the 49ers once the trade was finalized.

    He didn't live up to expectations in San Francisco with 6.5 sacks and one-dimensional contributions during an injury-plagued season. If the 49ers can unload his contract while getting a similar return to last year's deal, they would likely do so in a heartbeat.

New York Jets Trade LB Avery Williamson

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The New York Jets trade linebacker Avery Williamson to the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional fifth-round draft pick.

    C.J. Mosley's decision to opt out this fall likely affected how the New York Jets view Avery Williamson's standing with the team. Even so, the organization can still save a significant amount of money by trading the 28-year-old, and it would maintain a solid crop of linebackers.

    Williamson missed all of last season with a torn ACL. His current salary-cap number is $8.5 million, and none of it is guaranteed. The Jets don't necessarily need more cap space, but the team has multiple options at the position who can provide similar production. Patrick Onwuasor, Blake Cashman, James Burgess and Neville Hewitt have a lower combined cap hit than Williamson alone.

    The Baltimore Ravens tend to swoop in and acquire older veterans who are good fits for the locker room and maintain a certain standard the entire organization has grown to expect. Williamson, who has a $6.5 million base salary, could do the same as a veteran playing alongside first-round rookie Patrick Queen.

    L.J. Fort is a true professional, but he has started only 11 games during his seven-year career.

Philadelphia Eagles Trade WR Alshon Jeffery

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Philadelphia Eagles trade WR Alshon Jeffery to the New York Jets for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick.

    The Philadelphia Eagles will probably take anything another team offers to rid themselves of veteran wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

    First, Jeffery's contract is burdensome. The organization can save $9.91 million if another franchise is willing to take on his base salary. Second, his standing in the locker room may have taken a major hit last season when he reportedly leaked unflattering comments about the team and its quarterback.

    The Eagles should pave the way for their young targets—J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, John Hightower and this year's first-round pick, Jalen Reagor—instead of letting Jeffery take away valuable reps.

    If there's one general manager who will know where Jeffery really stands, it's the New York Jets' Joe Douglas, who previously served as the Eagles vice president of player personnel. Plus, the Jets should take advantage of the potential to add another weapon around Sam Darnold.

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade for QB Josh Rosen

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Pittsburgh Steelers send a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for quarterback Josh Rosen.

    A trade for a backup quarterback may not be all that exciting, but such a move could be absolutely critical for the Pittsburgh Steelers' long-term health. The organization chose not to address the position after Ben Roethlisberger required season-ending elbow surgery, and the duo of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges showed they should not be considered Big Ben's heir apparent.

    No one is going to replace Roethlisberger if his elbow becomes an issue again, though early signs are extremely positive. The Steelers are a good enough team not to be in a position to draft an elite quarterback prospect, as everyone saw last season. 

    Instead, the Steelers could make a minimal investment in a reclamation project with top-10 talent to eventually serve as Roethlisberger's successor.

    Josh Rosen has been placed in an impossible situation during back-to-back seasons. He's only 23 years old. Let him sit and learn for at least a full campaign.

    The Steelers could benefit from being patient with someone who was once considered a promising prospect.

San Francisco 49ers Trade DE Solomon Thomas

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The San Francisco 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas to the New England Patriots for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick.

    As previously noted in multiple trade scenarios, the San Francisco 49ers want to create more salary-cap flexibility by discarding unwieldy contracts. This time, they can look at finally moving on from 2017 third overall draft pick Solomon Thomas.

    Thomas has never found a role in the 49ers defense, and his struggles led to the organization not picking up his rookie fifth-year option. San Francisco can save $4.4 million by finding a potential trade partner for his services.

    Former first-round picks are almost always given second (and third and fourth) chances to prove themselves because different teams and coaching staffs believe they can coax the talent out of them. In the New England Patriots' case, Thomas may be a better fit for their system than San Francisco's.

    The Stanford product was at his best as a base end who moved inside as an interior pass-rusher. Bill Belichick could use him in Trey Flowers' previous role within the Patriots' front.

Seattle Seahawks Trade for RB Royce Freeman

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Seattle Seahawks trade a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Denver Broncos for running back Royce Freeman.

    The Seattle Seahawks aren't going to change as long as Pete Carroll is leading the team as its head coach. The franchise may feature an MVP-caliber quarterback in Russell Wilson, but the staff wants to pound the football.

    Chris Carson has been quite successful in that role over the last two seasons. The 2017 seventh-round pick finished top-five in rushing yards during both campaigns with 2,381 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns over that span. He suffered a fractured hip to end his 2019 campaign and is operating under an expiring contract this fall. 

    Further insurance beyond Carlos Hyde and Rashaad Penny would be helpful, and Royce Freeman perfectly fits the mold of a Seahawks back. An excellent zone runner at 238 pounds, he could step in as another powerful ball-carrier slamming the rock into opposing defenses.

    The Denver Broncos signed Melvin Gordon this offseason, so Freeman is now stuck behind him and Phillip Lindsay.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trades TE Cameron Brate

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade tight end Cameron Brate to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 fourth-round pick.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the deepest tight end room in all of football. Head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich can find ways to use Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.

    Howard is the most enticing for potential suitors because he's 25 years old and still operating under his rookie deal, but the Buccaneers would likely prefer to move Brate since he's 29 with a much larger contract.

    Currently, Tampa Bay has the least amount of salary-cap space of any team, per Spotrac. The Buccaneers won't be much better off next offseason when they try to re-sign Gronkowski, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and Shaquil Barrett.

    A potential Brate deal would immediately save $4.25 million, which could be rolled over into next year. The Indianapolis Colts don't seem like the most likely suitor, but Frank Reich's squad utilizes a tight end-friendly scheme, Trey Burton is signed to a non-guaranteed deal and Brate could easily replace what Eric Ebron provided alongside Jack Doyle.

Tennessee Titans Trade for CB Desmond King II

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: The Tennessee Titans trade a 2021 third-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for cornerback Desmond King II.

    Logan Ryan was an integral part of the Tennessee Titans' success last season. The defensive back led the team and all cornerbacks with 113 total tackles while working predominantly out of the slot. He remains a free agent, though, and a reunion doesn't seem likely.

    The Los Angeles Chargers' Desmond King II has consistently graded among the league's best since entering the league in 2017, per Pro Football Focus. However, he's primarily a nickel corner, and the Chargers expect to be far more flexible within the scheme this season.

    First, the team signed Chris Harris Jr. in free agency. Harris can play both inside and outside, but he's probably better over the slot at this point in his career. Plus, safeties Derwin James, Nasir Adderley and Rayshawn Jenkins can cover slot receivers, as well.

    King is good, but he can be viewed as a luxury.

Washington Football Team Trades for TE David Njoku

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Proposed Deal: Washington acquires TE David Njoku from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for 2021 second- and sixth-round draft picks.

    Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku wanted to be traded. Then, he didn't. Either way, the Washington Football Team should look into the possibility of prying the physically impressive tight end away from his current squad. 

    Washington's tight end stable currently consists of Logan Thomas, Jeremy Sprinkle, Richard Rodgers and Thaddeus Moss.

    Njoku struggled with injuries and clashed with the Cleveland coaching staff last year, but the 24-year-old is one season removed from posting 56 receptions for 639 yards. The 2017 first-round pick hasn't come close to realizing his full potential, yet he has the tools to become a consistent mismatch in the passing game.

    The Browns could see the value in a trade since they signed Austin Hooper in free agency and then drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round.


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