It’s that time of year again. The trade deadline will be upon us on Thursday – it was Tuesday but Sandy wouldn’t allow it – and there are teams out there that will be willing to deal either to help win now or to set themselves up for the future. I thought I’d take a look at a few of the options.
1. Carolina Panthers send DeAngelo Williams to the Green Bay Packers
The running game in Green Bay hasn’t been right for quite a while now and it should be of no surprise to anyone to see the Packers calling around and asking about guys like Williams. While DWill does have a sizeable contract, there’s a good chance the Packers will be letting Greg Jennings leave without a new deal at the end of this season so there will be room for a move like this. While the deal is large, the cap number for Williams is manageable so it is possible that if he clicks with the team and regains his past form that Green Bay could hang onto him for the extent of his contract.
2. Philadelphia Eagles send Darryl Tapp to the Tennessee Titans
There’s a lot wrong with Tennessee but their biggest issue right now is their pass rush. Kamerion Wembley is a phenomenal athlete but he needs help and Derrick Morgan just has not been it so far. While some help at defensive tackle is also needed, getting another pass rushing end to bolster their rotation is a step in the right direction. Tapp hasn’t had a good season in 2012 so far but he’s surrounded by a bunch of talented defensive ends in Philly and with Vinny Curry yet to see the field so far it’s safe to say that Tapp is expendable to the Eagles at this point. A change of scenery might just do the trick for the vet and he’d be plugged into regular playing time immediately.
3. New York Jets send Tim Tebow to the Jacksonville Jaguars and receive Mike Thomas
Ah yes – Tebow. People have been predicting he would go to Jacksonville ever since he entered the 2010 NFL Draft. Well, what’s one more bit of speculation to add to that – with a slight twist. First of all I will get the obvious bits out of the way – Blaine Gabbert has struggled mightily since entering the league and Chad Henne just looks completely inept. Tebow would at least provide another option. More importantly however is the effect this trade would have on the fan-base – bringing in Tim Tebow would electrify the team’s fans and create a buzz not seen from this franchise since David Gerrard took the quarterback job from Byron Leftwich in 2007 and promptly led his team to the playoffs.
The slightly different part of this trade is the inclusion of wide receiver Mike Thomas who the Jets would receive. Thomas is another one of these players who have immense talent but for one reason or another just haven’t clicked. He’d give New York a bit of depth to their receiving corp that recently cut Jason Hill who had failed to deliver. There’s also the fact that he has the ability to help as a punt returner which adds to Thomas’ value.
4. Washington Redskins send Brandon Banks to the Detroit Lions
This is a fairly minor move – Washington would only get a 7th round pick in return – but it is small deals like this that you are more likely to see at NFL trade time and this is one that makes sense for both sides. Banks was told by Mike Shanahan that he had to make the team this year as both a wide receiver and a return man. He managed to make the squad but we are yet to see him get much time on offensive plays. Add to this that Banks has yet to really fire on returns this year and he’s a perfect candidate to be moved.
For Detroit this trade is all about depth. Nate Burleson is done for the year with a broken leg and bringing in another wideout makes a lot of sense. With Titus Young expected to take over the WR2 duties and Ryan Broyles likely to be the third wheel, Banks would provide an extra speedster but one who can return kicks occasionally. He’d be a nice addition the Lions could just sit on and see how he develops and then they can always just cut him later considering he cost them practically nothing.
5. Indianapolis Colts send Delone Carter to the Arizona Cardinals
I’ve read a bunch of conjecture about the Cardinals making a move for another running back. I’ve seen the obvious names popping up – Moreno, Williams, even Isaac Redman. One name I haven’t heard mentioned in trade rumors is Delone Carter but he is a player who would make sense as a low buy for a team like Arizona in need of depth. Right now it looks like Indy is all in on Vick Ballard and Donald Brown with Carter being largely an afterthought. He showed flashes last season that he can be very good and while the Cardinals already have a pair of marginal running backs in LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell, adding a high upside guy like Delone Carter at low cost would give them that little bit extra flexibility.
6. Cleveland Browns send Colt McCoy to the Kansas City Chiefs and receive Bryan Kehl
This is another one of those depth moves that are more likely than the big trades you see speculated on in some parts. It has been well known for some time now that Colt McCoy may be worth more to the Browns in trade than as a backup. Furthermore, McCoy was a favorite of the old regime but with Joe Banner now in charge with a new owner in Jimmy Haslam, that makes the former Longhorn expendable.
The Chiefs for their part have lost faith in Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn just doesn’t look all that good so Kansas City are looking around for other options. McCoy looks like more of a career backup than anything else but right now the Chiefs don’t have much better and decide they may as well take a chance bringing him in considering how cheap he is.
7. St Louis Rams send Steven Jackson to the New York Jets and receive Chris Hope from the Atlanta Falcons
Figured I’d finish with something slightly unusual for the NFL – a three team trade. Chris Hope was a staple in Tennessee for many years but isn’t seeing the field much for the Falcons so Jeff Fisher makes a call to get his guy to St Louis to give some additional veteran help to his secondary and reunites Hope with Cortland Finnegan. The Jets would likely give up a 7th round pick to Atlanta to complete that part of the deal but the value of Hope to the Rams would help offset the cost for the Jets. This part of the trade makes it easier for the meat of the deal – Steven Jackson.
It has been well known for some time that Jackson isn’t happy with his situation in St Louis and the Rams has recognised this by acquiring Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson in this year’s NFL draft. The Jets are a perfect partner – they have a desperate need for a reliable veteran RB and Jackson would slot in very nicely in the role that was held previously by first Thomas Jones and then LaDainian Tomlinson as a compliment to the inconsistent Shonn Greene.