The trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. eastern, and while the Jaguars and Bills have already satisfied our appetite for a blockbuster type move – as blockbuster as the NFL gets at the trade deadline, anyway—there are still plenty of scenarios to fantasize about as we dip into the final 24 hours.
Here are a few moves we’d like to see:
1. Every veteran player you’ve ever loved to the New England Patriots
Bill Belichick maximizes talent. So much so, that whenever a notable player gets released, put on the trading block or stuck riding out a pointless season with no postseason hopes, it seems like a race among the NFL Twitter Elite to remark on how well that player would fit in New England. Since Belichick believes in multiple defenses and Tom Brady can get the best out of nearly anyone, the comment can usually be taken somewhat seriously. So to save everyone time, here’s a list of beloved veterans who everyone thinks would fit well with the Patriots:
• Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
• Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson
• Retired NFL receiver Calvin Johnson (rights held by the Lions)
• Jets running back Matt Forte
• Browns defensive back Jason McCourty
2. 49ers left tackle Joe Staley to the Philadelphia Eagles
A funny scene from Sunday’s Eagles-49ers game: General manager Howie Roseman exited the locker room and walked parallel to a seating area for fans alongside the inner tunnel leading to the Eagles’ locker room door. A fan who recognized Roseman yelled out “Hey Howie! How did Staley look?” Roseman appeared confused for a moment before chuckling and moving on to celebrate the victory. The fan was probably also unaware that Staley was en route to the hospital to repair a fractured bone in his right eye.
He may not be healthy enough to trade at this point, but having the Eagles lock down a tenured left tackle would be paramount to Carson Wentz’s progress this season. As I mentioned in Sunday’s game review ,the team is obviously better with security blankets on both ends. If the 49ers were able to cause problems, what might Von Miller do next week?
Philadelphia Inquirer Eagles beat writer Zach Berman, for those interested, made a far more realistic and probable trade scenario for this team: Frank Gore. This would also aid in protecting Wentz and cost a lot less.
3. T.Y. Hilton to the Ravens
Pro Football Talk recently noted that the Colts might be interested in shipping their No. 1 wide receiver (and top corner Vontae Davis) in preparation for a clean slate of Andrew Luck’s making. If that’s the case, give Baltimore (4–4) another veteran wide receiver to help lift Joe Flacco. During Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s best passing season (2006, Eagles) his team featured a variety of targets with different skillsets. Hilton is a burner that can destroy mismatches and aid Flacco in the intermediate range as well. This also serves as a reminder that the Ravens are still very much in the hunt.
4. Duane Brown to the Seahawks
Seattle’s offensive line needs a hero, and Brown, who would probably welcome a departure from Houston for several reasons, would make perfect sense. Deshaun Watson has shown an ability to win without the Pro Bowl tackle and general manager Rick Smith can start recouping some of the draft picks he’s given away over the past two seasons. Seattle with Brown would undoubtedly be front runners in the NFC, giving Tom Cable his most experienced piece to date. UPDATE: Duane Brown has reportedly been traded to the Seahawks.
5. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Raiders
Rodgers-Cromartie was reportedly suspended because he was unhappy about his role, and I cannot blame him, especially when Rodgers-Cromartie is arguably the team’s best cover corner this season. So, give him a chance to shine. The season that earned Rodgers-Cromartie his cash-in deal with the Giants came in Denver under … current Raiders head coach and former Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Pro Football Focus suggests the Raiders have just one solid option at corner right now in T.J. Carrie (ranked No. 30 overall). Rodgers-Cromartie can play multiple positions well and help the Raiders match up against some of the receiver-heavy teams they face down the stretch (New England, Kansas City, Dallas, Philly).
6. T.J. Yeldon to the Rams
It’s almost November and the Rams are still tied for first place. Star running back Todd Gurley is fourth in the league with 145 rushing attempts (20.7 per game) and is staring down a schedule that includes dates with the Giants, Texans, Vikings and Seahawks before season’s end—all brutal run defenses. Yeldon was always going to be a bonus player for the Jaguars this year—someone nice to have around for depth and also someone nice to flip if there was a decent offer on the table. Why not give Gurley a higher-profile backup (Tavon Austin is currently second on the team in carries) and save his energy a bit down the stretch if the playoffs become a real possibility?