The Ideal Offseason Trade Scenario for Every NFL Team

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystFebruary 11, 2021

The Ideal Offseason Trade Scenario for Every NFL Team

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    As NFL teams gear up for another offseason, there's no time to waste when looking at the innumerable possibilities regarding roster transactions.

    Every front office is plotting to improve its squad through free agency, the draft and trades. The final point is the most unpredictable because nothing is guaranteed. Two teams must work congruently to strike a deal—which isn't always possible.

    Movement will happen, though. Last offseason featured surprises with high-profile players DeAndre Hopkins and DeForest Buckner changing teams.

    The following deals are rooted in reality as much as possible. For example, not every team can trade for the Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson. The quarterback would only land with one franchise. As such, each player is listed only once.

    Finances came into play as well. Thirteen organizations are in the red when it comes to the speculated $185 million salary cap, per Over the Cap. The New Orleans Saints can't just trade for Drew Brees' replacement when they're $74 million over the cap.

    These pairings should be considered ideal for the team in question, not necessarily the franchise on the other side of the transaction (if one is included). Furthermore, each proposed deal stands unto itself. There's no reason to ask, "Why is Team X trading all these players?"

Arizona Cardinals Trade for S Harrison Smith

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Cornerback is more of a concern than safety for the Arizona Cardinals, but the possibility of adding a five-time Pro Bowler alongside two-time all-Pro Budda Baker could improve last year's 13th-ranked defense.

    As the trade deadline neared, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported "multiple executives who have been in contact with the Vikings believe the team is eager to move several more high-priced veterans who likely do not fit into the team's long-term plans."

    At 32 years old, Smith remains capable yet clearly falls into the aforementioned category with a $10.3 million cap hit for 2021.

    For Arizona, the versatile Smith would create flexibility in the secondary, as he and Baker are interchangeable. Plus, Smith could add an element of leadership after being one of the league's best safeties for an extended period.

Atlanta Falcons Trade QB Matt Ryan

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Right now is the perfect time for the Atlanta Falcons to kick-start a rebuild. The organization hired a new general manager in Terry Fontenot and head coach in Arthur Smith. The franchise also holds the rights to the No. 4 draft pick.

    The soon-to-be 36-year-old Matt Ryan will have a $40.9 million salary-cap hit next season. The figure increases to $41.7 in 2022. By trading the quarterback after June 1, the Falcons would save $23 million this year alone.

    For comparison, the fourth pick will have a cap hold of $4.1 million.

    Whether Atlanta lands Ohio State's Justin Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson or North Dakota State's Trey Lance, a fresh start from top to bottom feels like the right decision for a franchise that's closer to a teardown than another Super Bowl appearance.

Baltimore Ravens Trade for WR Adam Thielen

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    The Baltimore Ravens require more from their wide receivers to fully capitalize on their unique offense, as those on the outside haven't opened up the scheme over the last two seasons. Even so, general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ready to acknowledge the position is a significant problem.

    "I thought the young guys emerged and played pretty well," DeCosta told reporters last month. "Again, it's not a traditional offense, so they're being asked to do some different things."

    Maybe Baltimore won't address the position in free agency or the draft. But DeCosta couldn't overlook a wide receiver the caliber of Adam Thielen.

    With Lamar Jackson still under his rookie contract, the time is right to add a high-quality option to help the quarterback realize his full potential. It doesn't hurt that Thielen would be a perfect fit since he comes from another run-first offense.

Buffalo Bills Trade for DT Kawann Short

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    Jason E. Miczek/Associated Press

    Familiarity goes a long way in the NFL. Both Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane were with the Carolina Panthers when Kawann Short developed into one of the league's best defensive tackles.

    Injuries have plagued the 32-year-old defensive lineman over the last two seasons. The Panthers, meanwhile, are trending away from older veterans as the organization continues to follow Matt Rhule's vision.

    Short has one year left on his deal, and it's not cheap ($12.5 million base salary), but the two-time Pro Bowler can and should renegotiate his deal to lower the number, possibly add new guaranteed money and land in a better situation where he already has a relationship with the head coach and a familiarity with the system.

    The Bills simply need to be better along the defensive interior.

Carolina Panthers Trade for QB Deshaun Watson

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    The Carolina Panthers' desperation to upgrade at quarterback became public knowledge after the Los Angeles Rams completed a deal with Detroit Lions to obtain Matthew Stafford.

    ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Panthers offered the Lions the No. 8 pick, a fifth-round selection and starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for Stafford.

    There's no reason to shy away from trying to make a splash deal for a big-time quarterback. And there's no bigger name on the market than Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.

    The Texans should do everything in their power to retain Watson. If Houston can't mend fences with the three-time Pro Bowler, though, Carolina can offer the same package, plus much more, to bring the NFL's passing leader back to the Carolinas and provide a jolt through the franchise.

Chicago Bears Trade for QB Derek Carr

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears seem like the one team willing to sell out and overspend on a quarterback this offseason to right the ship after two straight 8-8 seasons under head coach Matt Nagy.

    The Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr could be the best quarterback on the market depending on what the Houston Texans do with Deshaun Watson.

    "Several NFL insiders expect the Raiders to field calls from teams inquiring about Carr's availability," Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Feb. 2.

    If the Bears can't improve after they barely made the postseason, an overhaul is coming. Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace surely understand this. The price may be steep to pry Carr out of Sin City, but it will be worth it to finally have a starting-caliber signal-caller with multiple 4,000-yard seasons under his belt.

Cincinnati Bengals Trade for RT Rob Havenstein

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Bengals don't make splashy offseason moves. They tend to go about their business and build their roster through bargain shopping and the draft. Their activity in last year's free agency was shocking, but it's unlikely the franchise will take a similar route this year.

    Even so, Cincinnati's offseason is built around one concept: building a better offensive front to protect last year's No. 1 pick, quarterback Joe Burrow.

    Los Angeles Rams right tackle Rob Havenstein is an interesting possibility because of his reliability (84 starts in six seasons) plus a relationship with Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, who was the Rams' quarterbacks coach in 2018.

    Havenstein would expand Cincinnati's options with the fifth draft pick since it is already set at left tackle with Jonah Williams.

Cleveland Browns Trade for CB Marshon Lattimore

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    Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints won't want to move a player of Marshon Lattimore's caliber, but other franchises will take advantage of the fact the Saints are in salary-cap hell.

    Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry is a young executive who's looking to take advantage of market inefficiencies.

    In this case, the Browns could land an excellent cover corner who is still on his rookie contract because the Saints need short-term financial relief and aren't positioned well to extend the three-time Pro Bowler.

    In doing so, Cleveland would address its biggest offseason concern by finding a running mate for Denzel Ward since Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson are pending free agents. The two Ohio State products could reunite and give the Browns the league's best tandem at outside corner.

Dallas Cowboys Trade for DT Geno Atkins

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Any addition on defense would be an ideal trade possibility for the Dallas Cowboys. They were that bad on that side of the ball in 2020.

    The unit was particularly awful at the point of attack. After Gerald McCoy ruptured his quadriceps tendon in August and was released, Dallas cut Dontari Poe in October. Its plans along the interior never materialized, and it allowed 2,541 rushing yards on five yards per attempt.

    Meanwhile, eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins fell out of favor with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 32-year-old may not be the same explosive defender he was, but his presence would provide experience and stability.

    It would be tricky from a financial perspective, however, to acquire Atkins and retain Dak Prescott unless Atkins renegotiates the final two years on his deal.

Denver Broncos Trade for LB Myles Jack

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Speed and athleticism at linebacker are necessary in today's NFL. Denver Broncos inside linebackers Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell are solid performers, but they're limited. Furthermore, Johnson will be a restricted free agent.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' victory in Super Bowl LV showed how fast, instinctive linebackers can change the approach of even the most explosive offense.

    Myles Jack would bring a different skill set to the Broncos. Jack is physical and capable of playing all three linebacker spots.

    With Urban Meyer taking over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the linebacker's availability remains unknown. They may look to move Jack as part of a fresh start since he has a combined salary-cap hit of $39.2 million over the next three seasons.

    Still, the Broncos can pounce and build an excellent second level with Jack, Jewell and Johnson.

Detroit Lions Trades for LB Zach Cunningham

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    Special assistant to Detroit Lions ownership and former four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Chris Spielman is fond of saying "See ball, get ball."

    Well, Houston Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham encapsulates that motto more than anyone after leading the NFL with 164 tackles in 2020. During his four-year career, Cunningham has 503 tackles and has increased his output in each season.

    The Texans signed the linebacker to an ill-advised four-year, $58 million contract extension prior to the 2020 campaign. Now, the organization is in upheaval, and everyone should be fair game as new general manager Nick Caserio needs to recoup draft assets.

    Detroit is unsettled at middle linebacker since Jarrad Davis flamed out as a 2017 first-round draft pick. The 26-year-old will be a free agent.

Green Bay Packers Trade for WR Michael Gallup

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst spent last offseason rationalizing why he selected a quarterback with his first-round draft pick and didn't add a wide receiver.

    Aaron Rodgers made the best of the situation on the way to his third MVP trophy.

    Just because the team experienced success doesn't mean it should repeat those tactics, though, especially after falling short of the Super Bowl.

    Rodgers will turn 38 in December, so it's now or never when it comes to building around the future Hall of Famer. The team doesn't have any salary-cap space to make something happen, however.

    So, the approach is about finding a young and talented wide receiver who is still on a rookie deal. Michael Gallup will be entering the final year of his deal, and the Dallas Cowboys likely can't pay him after next season—not after investing in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. He's a perfect target for Green Bay and Rodgers.

Houston Texans Start Rebuild by Dumping Salary

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    The Houston Texans need to start over after the roster eroded under Bill O'Brien's supervision. The team is embroiled in a public spat with quarterback Deshaun Watson and lacks first- and second-round draft assets because of the Laremy Tunsil trade. Plus, Houston doesn't have any salary-cap space.

    No team is positioned worse than the Texans this offseason. But Houston can change its standing by moving on from multiple high-priced veterans. The Texans can save next season—and over $50 million—by trading the following players before June 1:

    • J.J. Watt, $17.5 million
    • Brandin Cooks, $12.0 million
    • Whitney Mercilus, $7.5 million
    • Randall Cobb, $6.5 million
    • Benardrick McKinney, $6.4 million
    • Zach Cunningham, $1.8 million

    Obviously, Houston won't move all of these player. But a couple of trades would help with its salary-cap situation and lack of draft picks.

Indianapolis Colts Trade for QB Carson Wentz

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    If there's one situation wherein Carson Wentz can return to his previous level of play, it's with the Indianapolis Colts. Clearly, the Philadelphia Eagles are listening to offers, though their asking price is reportedly high.

    Colts general manager Chris Ballard is waiting out the market but surely understands he must get something done at the game's most important position.

    Indianapolis doesn't have a starting-caliber option on the roster after Philip Rivers' retirement and with Jacoby Brissett set for free agency.

    A deal for Wentz would provide the necessary infrastructure for success again because of his familiarity with multiple coaches. Head coach Frank Reich was the Eagles' offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, of course. Wide receivers coach Mike Groh held the same role for Philly in 2017 and then was the offensive coordinator for two years. New senior offensive assistant Press Taylor was Wentz's position coach for the past three seasons and the passing game coordinator in 2020.

    This pairing makes too much sense not to happen.

Jacksonville Jaguars Trade for CB Stephon Gilmore

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick know each other quite well, thus a potential blockbuster deal between the two makes sense, especially for the first-time NFL head coach.

    Trade rumors picked up regarding Gilmore prior to last year's deadline, per ESPN's Dianna Russini. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who own a pair of first- and second-round selections in April's draft, have the available assets to make a move for the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

    Also, Jacksonville has more available salary-cap space than any other team to take on the final year of Gilmore's current deal and possibly negotiate an extension, which is a potential obstacle for the Patriots.

    Gilmore opposite CJ Henderson would give the Jaguars two exceptional cover corners to build an identity around on defense after they ranked 27th against the pass last season.

Kansas City Chiefs Trade for OT Riley Reiff

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    David Berding/Associated Press

    The Kansas City Chiefs had their eyes opened during Super Bowl LV. The organization can't waste what it has in quarterback Patrick Mahomes. A greater emphasis must be placed on protecting the $450 million man.

    It's going to be tricky, though. As of now, the Chiefs don't have any available salary-cap space, so the possibility of adding a veteran like Riley Reiff doesn't work out based on his current contract, which has one year remaining. However, the 32-year-old veteran could immediately restructure in order to make a potential deal somewhat feasible.

    While the move would be difficult, general manager Brett Veach must find a way. Due to injuries and opt-outs, the Chiefs put a bare-bones offensive front on the field, and Mahomes paid dearly in the season's biggest game.

    Reiff could step in from Day 1 as the left tackle if Eric Fisher isn't fully recovered from a torn Achilles' tendon, or he could slide inside to guard.

Las Vegas Raiders Trade QB Marcus Mariota

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Las Vegas Raiders know they have two tradeable quarterback assets in starter Derek Carr and backup Marcus Mariota. Of the two, the organization prefers to move Mariota, according to The Athletic's Zach Berman, Kevin Fishbain and Vic Tafur.

    Carr has three straight 4,000-yard passing campaigns and only turns 30 this year.

    In Mariota's case, the Raiders could clear some much-needed salary-cap space with his departure. His current deal doesn't have a single guaranteed cent as part of a $10.7 million salary. An added draft pick alongside a downsized salary-cap number would go a long way.

    Since numerous teams are currently searching for new starting quarterbacks, the Raiders should strike a deal sooner rather than later to maximize their potential return. The longer they wait, the less valuable Mariota becomes.

Los Angeles Chargers Trade for OT Orlando Brown Jr.

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. believes he's an NFL left tackle. However, the Ravens are already set on the blind side after signing Ronnie Stanley to a five-year, $98.75 million extension.

    So, it came as no surprise when Brown requested a trade, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

    Due to Brown's age (24) and level of performance, the two-time Pro Bowler won't come cheap. Any interested team will need a high first-round pick and enough salary-cap space for an eventual extension to acquire him.

    The Los Angeles Chargers check off each box. They aren't guaranteed to find an offensive line prospect as good as Brown with this year's 13th overall selection, and they must build around NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert.

    The addition of a young, already established offensive tackle would be a good start.

Los Angeles Rams Trade DT Michael Brockers

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Rams already made their ideal offseason trade by acquiring quarterback Matthew Stafford.

    Now, the organization finds itself in a familiar place. The Rams don't have a first-round pick (again) and need to shed salary. They're currently $25.2 million over the projected salary cap, per Spotrac.

    Los Angeles doesn't have any obvious moves it can make to solve the problem. The team isn't getting rid of Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey or Cooper Kupp.

    Michael Brockers is different since he turns 31 in December and the team allowed him to hit free agency a year ago before re-signing him. The Rams can save $6.2 million by trading him before June 1. That wouldn't single-handedly put them in the black, but it's a logical step considering their current cap crunch.

Miami Dolphins Trade for WR Julio Jones

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    As of now, Julio Jones "is expected to be" on the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelisserio. Will the story change in the coming months depending on what's eventually offered?

    To make a deal work, the Falcons must trade their future Hall of Fame wide receiver after June 1 to save $15.3 million in salary-cap space for the upcoming season.

    The Miami Dolphins have the draft assets to make something happen now—they have two first- and two second-round picks—but it's unlikely Atlanta will eat nearly all of Jones' contract by trading him before late April. Even if the Dolphins don't include this year's picks, they could move multiple future assets to acquire Jones and build around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

    An open line of communication can also save the Dolphins from investing in a wide receiver early in this year's draft.

Minnesota Vikings Trade for OL Chris Hubbard

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    The thought of trading for another squad's swing lineman isn't sexy at all, but the possibility of acquiring Chris Hubbard from the Cleveland Browns makes a lot of sense for the Minnesota Vikings.

    Guard is clearly an issue. Ezra Cleveland seemed to settle in at right guard, yet Dakota Dozier didn't fare particularly well on the left side, especially in pass protection.

    Hubbard served as the sixth lineman on the league's best offensive front. He can play all five positions and started games at right tackle and guard in 2020. Minnesota doesn't have any salary-cap space at the moment. But the team isn't so far in the red that taking on Hubbard's $3.5 million base salary is impossible.

    A familiarity with playing in the same scheme is a bonus. After all, Kevin Stefanski served as the Vikings offensive coordinator before he became Cleveland's head coach.

New England Patriots Trade for QB Jimmy Garoppolo

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    Scott Eklund/Associated Press

    There's no place like home.

    While the San Francisco 49ers don't seem settled with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback after injury issues two of the last three seasons, the New England Patriots are in search of someone the franchise can trust running its offense.

    Garoppolo's long-term status with the 49ers is certainly in doubt. NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported the 49ers had some interest in acquiring Matthew Stafford before he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. A year earlier, the 49ers had discussions with the Indianapolis Colts about Garoppolo, per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.

    Patriots head coach Bill Belichick never wanted to trade Garoppolo in the first place. A reunion makes perfect sense.

    New England desperately needs a new starting quarterback. Garoppolo knows the staff and system. Plus, the Patriots have more than enough money to take on the quarterback's $24.1 million base salary.

New Orleans Saints Trade S Malcolm Jenkins

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints are drowning in salary-cap debt. Despite the 2021 salary cap being slightly higher than expected and Drew Brees' salary reduction to help the franchise before his likely retirement, the Saints are still over $74 million in the red.

    Somehow, someway, New Orleans has to shed or renegotiate numerous bloated contracts. At this point, there's really no reason to discuss the possibility of bringing anyone into the fold. The bigger question is which current players will be gone once the 2021 campaign starts.

    Malcolm Jenkins' departure won't put a huge dent in the current numbers, but the Saints can clear $6.7 million this season by trading him after June 1. Jenkins is still a quality defender, but his cap number plus his age (33) make him an obvious trade candidate since New Orleans isn't going to move on from its highest-paid players—Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat and Cameron Jordan.

New York Giants Trade for WR Brandin Cooks

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    Sam Craft/Associated Press

    Brandin Cooks is becoming the NFL equivalent of a mercenary. He takes a job with whatever team acquires his services, gets paid and posts a 1,000-yard season.

    In his seven seasons, Cooks has already played for four franchises. He accumulated at least one 1000-yard receiving campaign for each of them.

    While the Houston Texans look to potentially rework their roster, the New York Giants need help at receiver.

    Last season, no one on the Giants roster managed more than 66 receptions or 751 yards. A disjointed offense, including injuries to quarterback Daniel Jones, didn't help. At the same time, New York needs a true No. 1 receiver to help in Jones' development.

    With Cooks on the outside, Sterling Shepard working the slot, Evan Engram at tight end and Saquon Barkley back in the lineup, the Giants would feature an explosive set of skill positions.

New York Jets Trade for TE Zach Ertz

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    Roger Steinman/Associated Press

    Tight end Zach Ertz to the New York Jets is simply a matter of connecting the dots.

    Whoever is starting at quarterback needs targets. Injuries caused Ertz's production to dip in 2020, but the three-time Pro Bowl selection is an excellent target over the middle of the field. Prior to last season, Ertz averaged 86 catches per year between 2015 and '19.

    The tight end has ties to Jets general manager Joe Douglas, as well. Douglas served as the Philadelphia Eagles' vice president of player personnel for four seasons before he left to run the Jets.

    Finally, the Jets have plenty of room to absorb Ertz's contract. At $68 million, New York ranks third in projected salary-cap space. Plus, the deal saves the Eagles $4.7 million as Douglas' former team struggles with getting under next year's shrinking salary cap.

Philadelphia Eagles Trade WR Alshon Jeffery

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    While the Philadelphia Eagles decide whether they want to trade quarterback Carson Wentz, the team has other issues to address. Philadelphia is well into the red for the 2021 campaign with nearly $50 million to clear in salary-cap space.

    A Wentz deal creates very little practical space unless he's moved after June 1. Even with Wentz off the books at the maximum return, his departure still isn't enough to put the Eagles in the black.

    Alshon Jeffery is an obvious candidate not to be on the team next season. Injuries have prevented the aging veteran from producing the last two seasons, and locker room issues came up along the way. If healthy, Jeffery can still help a team. But his time in Philadelphia should be done.

    A post-June 1 trade doesn't add much for the Eagles ($2.3 million), but this possibility becomes addition by subtraction.

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade for QB Sam Darnold

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers enter a lame-duck season if the organization doesn't find a long-term solution at quarterback.

    Ben Roethlisberger is the team's starter this fall unless he chooses to retire. Otherwise, the soon-to-be 39-year-old has a $41.3 million salary-cap hold this fall. The Steelers will be forced to make one more run with the franchise's all-time leading passer before handing the torch to another signal-caller.

    General manager Kevin Colbert can prepare for the inevitable by acquiring young, developmental quarterbacks behind Roethlisberger. The organization already signed Dwayne Haskins Jr. However, the possibility of trading with the New York Jets for Sam Darnold is optimal.

    New York can take a quarterback with the second overall pick, while Darnold could sit and learn for a year from a future Hall of Famer and return as a starter when he's 25.

San Francisco 49ers Trade Up in Draft to Select QB Zach Wilson

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    Richard Shiro/Associated Press

    The San Francisco 49ers are sniffing around possibilities other than Jimmy Garoppolo to be their starting signal-caller. The solution isn't trading for another veteran quarterback; it's getting their preferred quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft.

    In order to do so, a significant trade must occur during or even prior to the event. San Francisco owns the 12th overall pick. The 49ers aren't out of reach for the top four quarterback prospects (sans Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars).

    Starting with the second overall selection, the New York Jets may look to trade out if they're comfortable with Sam Darnold as their quarterback. The Miami Dolphins are another potential candidate for a trade up as well.

    Three years ago, the Buffalo Bills traded up twice to select Josh Allen. The 49ers can take a similar path to acquire BYU's Zach Wilson, who is an ideal fit for Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme.

Seattle Seahawks Trade for TE David Njoku

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his displeasure with how the team has performed over the past few seasons.

    "I'm frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I'm frustrated with that part of it," Wilson said, per ESPN's Brady Henderson. "At the end of the day, you want to win."

    How does acquiring a tight end help protect Wilson? Well, David Njoku's potential addition helps on two fronts. First, the tight end can serve as a safety blanket over the middle of the field so Wilson isn't forced to extend plays as much. Second, Njoku improved greatly as an in-line blocker this past season.

    As Seattle concentrates on the O-line in the draft and free agency, Njoku can upgrade a tight end group that didn't feature a single player with more than 25 receptions or 251 receiving yards once he becomes a featured option.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trade for DE J.J. Watt

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    The amazing part about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' recent Super Bowl run is that the team remains relatively well-positioned despite last year's historic offseason.

    Currently, the Buccaneers have approximately $28 million in available salary-cap space. That number will disappear quickly as general manager Jason Licht tries to re-sign Shaquil Barrett, Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette.

    Attrition is part of a Super Bowl winner's natural cycle. Individuals will want to cash in the following offseason, while other franchises pluck away those with a championship pedigree.

    As such, the addition of hungry players searching for a title becomes the next step. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt certainly fits the bill as a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, if the potential incoming lineman is willing to renegotiate his final contract year ($17.5 million) and make it a team-friendly deal.

Tennessee Titans Trade CB Malcolm Butler

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Malcolm Butler is a solid cornerback. But it's safe to say the Tennessee Titans haven't gotten the return they probably expected when they signed the defensive back to a five-year, $61.3 million contract prior to the 2018 campaign.

    Now, the Titans should be searching for cornerback help, specifically over the slot, and have little to no salary-cap space to make a move. As such, the possibility of moving Butler to create some much-needed financial flexibility must be an offseason priority.

    By trading the soon-to-be 31-year-old, the Titans can clear $10.2 million in available cap space. If Butler is willing to rework his contract, other organizations are always looking for secondary help.

    His time in Tennessee seems to be coming to a close, though. Adoree' Jackson and Kristian Fulton are the team's future at cornerback.

Washington Football Team Trades for WR Odell Beckham Jr.

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    Justin Berl/Associated Press

    As the Washington Football team evaluates its offseason setup, the rebuilt front office has to wonder if it's going to be in a position where the franchise can sign, draft or trade for a starting-caliber quarterback.

    Maybe the path forward is seeing what Taylor Heinecke has after the team's playoff starter re-signed Wednesday. If it is, general manager Martin Mayhew's next steps involve giving Heinecke a better supporting cast.

    In Cleveland, the Browns face a conundrum. Everyone understands how talented Odell Bechkam Jr. is, but it's clear the offense, specifically quarterback Baker Mayfield, played better after Beckham's season-ending knee injury.

    For Washington, OBJ gives the offense an immediate threat in the passing game that opposing defenses must account for at all times and takes pressure off of Terry McLaurin. Added bonus: Beckham can play the New York Giants twice per year in a winnable division.

                

    Contract info courtesy of Over The Cap.