5 trades teams should make before next week's deadline
The NFL’s Nov. 1 trade deadline is quickly approaching, and though it’s almost certain to lack big moves, it’s always fun to speculate on possible trades that could go down. A handful of big-name players have popped up in trade rumors, most of whom are on teams that have almost no chance of making the playoffs. In that regard, it’s almost a perfect storm for those stars to be traded.
With the deadline a week away, let’s take a look at five deals that we would love to see happen. Not only would they significantly help both teams, but they would shake up the powers in the NFL a bit. Can you imagine the Seahawks with a true No. 1 receiver like Brandon Marshall? Look out, NFC.
The Cowboys are set at running back. Ezekiel Elliott is the lead back, Alfred Morris is a great No. 2 and Lance Dunbar is a threat in the passing game. The Cowboys also utilize versatile fullbacks, which only adds to their crowded backfield. Where does that leave Darren McFadden? On the outside looking in.
Dallas’ leading rusher from a year ago has been on the non-football injury list for all of the season and has yet to make his 2016 debut. That’s partly because of the Cowboys’ talent at his position, creating a lack of urgency to activate him. McFadden has said he’s fully healthy, which could initiate some trade interest in the veteran back. He could be a perfect match with the Lions, who are thin at running back due to injuries.
Ameer Abdullah is on injured reserve and uncertain to play again this season, while Theo Riddick is battling an ankle injury suffered in Week 5. And even when he is healthy, he’s not an every-down back. McFadden could come in right away and take over the starting job, pushing Riddick back to his role as a third-down back – and a really good one, at that. The Lions could probably land McFadden for a fourth- or fifth-round pick, which isn’t exactly the costliest price. It’s a move that could elevate the offense and balance it out a bit, taking pressure off of Matthew Stafford.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Cameron Wake to the Cowboys
This isn’t the splashiest move on the list, but it’s one that the Cowboys would greatly benefit from. Wake is on the tail end of his career at age 34, but he’s been successful as a situational pass rusher for the Dolphins this season. He has three sacks in seven games, which isn’t a huge number admittedly. However, he doesn’t play every snap given his age and recovery from a torn Achilles.
Wake would bring a spark to the Cowboys’ underwhelming pass rush, which is 24th in sacks this season. Randy Gregory is still suspended and rehabbing, and he's not expected to have much of an impact this season. Demarcus Lawrence has looked good in his return from suspension, but he’s still getting into the swing of things. And late in games, the Cowboys need a situational rusher on the field.
With his age and the Dolphins’ current record, Wake probably wouldn’t fetch more than a fifth-round pick. For that price, the Cowboys could take their defense from being solid to downright formidable. The coverage has been great, but the pass rush could stand to be improved dramatically. Just last season, Wake had seven sacks in seven games before getting injured, including four in one game.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Joe Thomas to the Vikings
While Joe Thomas has denied reports that he’d like to get out of Cleveland, he would definitely benefit from a change of scenery. He’s never missed a game in his career and is always among the best left tackles in the league year in and year out. The six-time All-Pro would immediately improve the Vikings, who are depleted at both tackle spots with Matt Kalil and Andre Smith on IR.
The price has been rumored to be a second-round pick, despite Hue Jackson vehemently denying reports that the Browns are interested in trading him. If they are indeed looking for a second-rounder, the Vikings would be wise to bite the bullet and pay up. Sure, they’re already down a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-round selection in 2018, but the front office made it abundantly clear the Vikings are in it to win it this season with the Sam Bradford trade. If that’s the case, protect him.
The Vikings were pushed around by the Eagles on Sunday, exposing Minnesota’s biggest flaw. If they’re put in a position where they have to throw the ball to catch up, the Vikings are beatable. Without both of their offensive tackles, it’s doable for many teams across the league. Thomas would solidify the left tackle spot in a big way.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber
Brandon Marshall to the Seahawks
Alshon Jeffery is a player the Seahawks would also be wise to go after, but Brandon Marshall would be an equally great target. The Jets aren’t going anywhere this season, having lost five of their first seven games and being forced to play Ryan Fitzpatrick, so a fire sale wouldn’t be a bad idea. Marshall, 32, is signed only through 2017 and is nearing the end of his career, presumably. He’s never been to the playoffs or played with a quarterback of Russell Wilson’s caliber, which makes this the perfect match.
Wilson is beginning to click with Jimmy Graham, his big target in the middle of the field. Aside from Sidney Rice, Wilson never really had an exceptionally tall receiver he could simply throw it up to and have confidence it’ll be caught. Marshall can absolutely do that for the Seahawks and would bring an added element to the Seattle's passing attack, which isn’t what it was last year.
The Jets landed Marshall for a fifth round pick last March, so they’d be more than happy to accept a third-rounder from the Seahawks. Seattle can certainly afford that price, and it would be a wise investment given their win-now roster. Marshall would make the offense noticeably better.
Getty ImagesTom Szczerbowski
Alshon Jeffery to the Eagles
The Bears opted not to give Jeffery a long-term deal this offseason, instead choosing to franchise tag him. After his inconsistency and injuries in recent years, it’s easy to understand why. In seven games this season, Jeffery has caught 32 passes for 520 yards and zero touchdowns. Granted, he’s dealt with several injuries at quarterback, forcing him to adjust to different passers – Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley.
Yet for as bad as he’s been, he could be a perfect fit in Philadelphia. The Eagles have recouped some of their picks from the Carson Wentz trade in next year’s draft, holding five picks in the first four rounds. Jeffery is almost certainly on his way out of Chicago after this season. The Bears aren’t going to give him an extension with the way he’s played this season, and a team will almost certainly overpay for him
If the Eagles want a half-year rental at receiver, Jeffery is the perfect option. Of course, if he’d require a first- or second-round pick the Eagles would have to lock him up long-term, but that won’t be too big of a challenge. Wentz could use an uber-athletic weapon like Jeffery, who would immediately become his go-to target. With Jeffery, Jordan Matthews and Dorial Green-Beckham, the Eagles would be outstanding at receiver.