One of the most exciting times of the year is upon us folks, and it isn’t playoff baseball. It’s the NFL trade deadline. As most football fans know, multiple trades go down right before the deadline. Teams usually have a pretty good idea of where there team is at.
For example, a team like the Dolphins who were basically out of contention last year, traded Jay Ajayi for a 4th round pick to the Eagles. A team that was competing for a Super Bowl. The Dolphins didn’t really need Ajayi, and could use the draft capital to help their rebuild. Another example would be the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Garoppolo was going to be a free agent after the 2018 season, so the Patriots traded him to get something in return. Rather than letting him leave for nothing. With all of this being said, I decided to go through the NFC and AFC west, and indicate some players in similar situations that could be traded before the deadline.
Arizona Cardinals: Deone Bucannon LB, and Haason Reddick LB.
From all indications the Deone Bucannon experiment has not worked out thus. There has been multiple reports saying that the Cardinals are actively looking to trade him. Which makes sense, because he is no longer starting. I saw flashes from Bucannon in his first two seasons that impressed me. Especially, because he made the transition from Safety to Linebacker. However, from everything that I have seen (really haven’t dived into his tape, just seen him live while watching Cardinals’ games) and read from people closer to to the situation. Bucannon has not been able to build off of those flashes. It seems like head coach Steve Wilks and his staff have very little patience with any of the young players from the former regime. So I would be shocked if Bucannon is still a Cardinal after the trade deadline.
Potential Landing Spots: GB, IND, LAC, LAR, MIN, PIT, NE
The Hassan Reddick situation is extremely odd. I will try to explain it without getting in my feelings because he was one of my favorite players in the 2017 draft (I am going to rant). The Cardinals drafted Reddick with the 13th overall pick in 2017. In college he played on the edge where he would mainly rush the passer. Yet, he projected best as an off the ball Linebacker based on his size and athletic traits. Well at first it looked like Arizona’s front office and former coaching staff understood this because that is where he played at the start of the 2017 season. Until starting edge rusher Markus Golden went down with a torn ACL, and the Cardinals moved Reddick to the edge because of their lack of depth at the position. This move was extremely asinine because it completely stunted his development at Linebacker. LB is the is an extremely cerebral position, so it takes time and experience to fully understand how to play it. The Cardinals were crazy if they expected him to be a finished product of college. Considering he had never played the position before.
Let’s jump to 2018. Reddick is back at Linebacker now, and to no surprise he has struggled so far. Recent reports came out that the Cardinals’ coaching staff has become frustrated with Reddick because he is having a hard time learning the playbook. So they are more than willing to part ways with him via trade.
Hmmm I wonder why he is having such a hard time. Maybe it’s because he is playing a new position, that he was supposed to be developing at last year, but the coaching staff thought it would be a good idea to put him on the edge. Or maybe it’s because Wilks’s defensive playbook is entirely different than playbook from the last regime. I am going to go with all of the above. My point is, the Cardinals have completely botched Reddick’s development, and to give up on him after 21 games is ludacris. I am not denying that he has struggled, but he is basically a rookie at his position. I mean what did the Cardinals think when they were getting when they drafted him? Anyhow, teams should be very interested in acquiring Reddick because he isn’t even close to reaching to his potential.
Potential Landing Spots: Every team should be interested, especially teams that run a 4-3 defense. Because he fits that Sam Linebacker role so well.
San Francisco 49ers: No One
Any hopes of making the playoffs that the 49ers had went down with Jimmy G. So there is really no need to make any big moves. Any of the guys with value that are currently on the roster, are probably guys that they want to keep. This roster isn’t that deep with talent anyways.I don’t see a lot players on the roster that teams would be inclined to make a call for. The Ninners should look to make moves in the 2019 off season. No need to go crazy now.
Seattle Seahawks: No One
I would’ve put Earl Thomas, but after he broke his leg. Any chance of him getting traded is out the window. Similar to the 49ers there isn’t a whole lot of talent on this roster worth trading for. Also, the Seahawks probably wouldn’t trade any of the few good players that they have. Which why I don’t expect anyone major to be shipped out of Seattle before the trade deadline.
Los Angeles Rams: No One
Man the NFC West is pretty boring huh? In all honesty, I can’t see the Rams trading away any of their good players. They are in a Super Bowl window, and just spent the entire offseason loading up with new talent. Just doesn’t make sense to give any of it away.
Kansas City Chiefs: No One
I believe there is going to be a lot of players being shipped out of the AFC West this season. So I decided to talk about the most boring team (in terms of trading players) first. Like the Rams, the Chiefs are in a Super Bowl window. It just wouldn’t make sense to cut ties with any of their impact players.
Los Angeles Chargers: Tyrell Williams WR
This potential trade is really going to depend on where the Chargers are at record wise . If they still feel like they can compete (which they should), then I think Williams will remain in LA. However, if for some reason they feel like their chances of contention are done. I could totally see them moving on from him. The Chargers are already heavily invested in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Which is why I can’t see them resigning T. Williams when his contract expires after this season. So why let him walk for nothing? I don’t know how much teams would be willing to give up for him, but I definitely think there would be some interest.
Potential interested teams: DAL, BUF, TEN, ARZ, NYJ, IND, PHI, WAS
Denver Broncos: Shane Ray OLB and Demaryius Thomas WR
The Broncos season is already starting to spiral downward, after losing 3 games in a row. Case Keenum clearly isn’t the answer. Which is why I think it’s only a matter of time until Elway hits the panic button and blows it all up (#SwagKellySZN). When I say blow up, I mean choose who is going to be apart of the Broncos’ future and who is not. I believe these two players will be the first ones out the door.
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about Ray other than look who the Broncos drafted with this year’s first round pick (Bradley Chubb). I mean they have given Ray every opportunity to replace Demarcus Ware as the full time starter opposite of Von Miller. He just hasn’t been good enough to win the job. It’s not like I think Ray doesn’t belong in the league. He just wasn’t worth his first round selection. His best role is what he is doing now, and that is as a rotational player. However, he will be a free agent after this season. Which is why it makes sense to get something for him now (because you aren’t going to resign him), rather than letting him walk for nothing. Teams are always looking for depth at edge rusher, so I am positive there will be interest.
Potential Landing Spots: PIT, NYJ, LAR, CHI, GB, DET, NE
Many people would probably be surprised if the Broncos traded away star receiver Demaryious Thomas. However, it’s a pretty realistic possibility. It’s no secret that Thomas has been declining, and it’s not like Denver doesn’t know this. They used a 2nd round pick on WR Courtland Sutton to eventually replace him. The funny thing is I don’t think they expected Sutton to play as well as he has (because he was very raw coming out of college). Which makes me believe they feel even more comfortable moving on from Thomas.
DT’s contract is really why I think they will trade him before the deadline. He supposed to make 14 million dollars next year, and is a 17 million dollar cap hit if the Broncos exercise their team option. I heavily doubt that they do that, given Thomas’s decline in production and age (he is not worth that much). If they aren’t competing this year (which they aren’t), and are going to cut him after this season (which they probably are). Again, why would they let him walk for nothing when a number of teams would be interested.
Potential Landing Spots: BAL, DAL, GB, CAR, CLE, TEN, WAS
Oakland Raiders: Anybody and Everybody
Excuse my language, but what the hell is going on in Oakland? I know Gruden wants to rebuild this roster, but that doesn’t mean he has to get rid of the good players that are already on it. For all the people that haven’t been monitoring this situation. Gruden has benched former 1st round picks Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley. Why you may ask? I have no freaking idea. I mean I am not even the biggest fan of Joseph’s. Yet, he is clearly the best safety on the roster.
Don’t even get me started on the Conley situation. This is even weirder than Reddick’s in Arizona. Conley has played a total of 7 games in his short NFL career, and has definitely had his ups and downs. THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU GIVE UP ON HIM AFTER 7 GAMES! There are very very very few rookies that have rookie seasons like Conley’s former Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore. Where they come into the league, and are already one of the best players at their position. It usually takes a season or two of NFL coaching and in game experience to really figure it out. Conley is extremely talented, and isn’t that far away from being an absolute stud in the NFL. Either Gruden’s expectations are way too high, or he just doesn’t believe in anyone that he didn’t draft.
Teams should be blowing Oakland’s phone up if they are interested in any of their players. After trading away Khalil Mack, no one is off limits. As a Bears fan I can’t thank Gruden enough for giving us Khalil Mack. But would you guys think that I am greedy for wanting the Bears to make a move for Gareon Conley?
- Cox, Seth. “Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon on Trade Block per Report.” Revenge of the Birds, Revenge of the Birds, 7 Oct. 2018, www.revengeofthebirds.com/2018/10/7/17948280/az-arizona-cardinals-haason-reddick-and-deone-bucannon-on-trade-block-per-report.
- “2019 NFL Free Agents Tracker.” Spotrac.com, www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/all/.
- Spotrac.com. “Demaryius Thomas.” Spotrac.com, www.spotrac.com/nfl/denver-broncos/demaryius-thomas-6531/.
- Mosher, Marcus. “Raiders Bench 2017 1st Round Pick CB Gareon Conley.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 8 Oct. 2018, raiderswire.usatoday.com/2018/10/08/raiders-bench-2017-1st-round-pick-cb-gareon-conley/.