NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

"Josh Freeman"

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s rare that we see big names being dealt before the NFL trade deadline. Unlike the NBA or MLB, it’s usually quiet on the in-season NFL trade front.

With Trent Richardson being dealt it got our minds thinking about some potential other deals that could come down before the October 29 trade deadline. The rarity of a mega-NFL deal probably keeps anything from happening but it’s always fun to think about NFL rosters being reshaped midseason.

After the break, take a look at our five trade possibilities and reasoning for Josh Freeman not being one of the five.

Donald Penn to the Miami Dolphins for a 2014 3rd round pick, conditional 2015 mid-round pick

I’m sure Bucs fans will argue the compensation of dealing their starting LT but Penn’s age may restrict his value. The Bucs have Demar Dotson waiting in the wings to take over the LT spot – who is younger and much cheaper. Mark Dominik knows this team is going nowhere fast with rookie Mike Glennon getting the nod over Josh Freeman. Glennon is going to take his lumps and they might as well get value out of Penn, while he still has some. Penn will 31 next season and is set to make over $6 million in the last two years of his deal.

The Dolphins appear to be legitimate playoff contender in the AFC. They are still in need of help on the offensive line and this move really strengthens them at the tackle position. Penn slides in immediately at left tackle, moving Jon Martin to the right side or to the bench with Clabo playing well. The Dolphins are one of the few teams that can absorb Penn’s salary this season.

Kenny Britt to the Detroit Lions for a 2014 4th round pick

Kenny Britt is talented and 25-years old. Yet he’s been almost completely cast off by the Titans coaching staff for Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. That probably speaks to his off the field issues and significant injury history. Normally a talented 25-year old receiver would fetch much more than a fourth round pick but Britt’s pending free agent status and baggage won’t make him a real attractive option to teams.

The Lions are in desperation mode at the receiver position with Nate Burleson’s injury and Ryan Broyles injury history. They take a risk on Britt at a fairly lost cost – even if he’s a 13 game rental. Britt’s combination of size and physicality make him an ideal fit opposite Calvin Johnson and give Matt Stafford a nice deep threat to stretch the defense.

Jairus Byrd to the Philadelphia Eagles for Brandon Graham and a 2014 2nd round pick

"Jairus Byrd"

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Jairus Byrd has yet to suit up in 2013. He lost training camp due to a contract squabble and has yet to see game action due to a plantar fasciitis injury. Byrd wants a new deal and out of Buffalo if he can’t get it. The Bills unwillingness to deal with Byrd may signal the end of his days in Buffalo. The Bills could really use Graham and an additional pick in 2014 for a guy that’s probably not going to be there next year.

The Eagles have some flexibility in dealing Brandon Graham with a high pick. Byrd immediately upgrades this backend as Patrick Chung has no business as a NFL starting FS.

Emmanuel Sanders to the New England Patriots for a 2014 2nd round pick, 2015 conditional mid-round pick

The Patriots put in an offer sheet on Sanders, which was matched by the Steelers. Let’s face it the Steelers aren’t going anywhere this season and could use a glut of future picks to replace aging talent on the defense. An argument could be made that the Patriots have no reason to waste a pick on a guy they can pick up next season but they need help now. These rookie receivers are only going to get Tom Brady and Company so far – Sanders is a legitimate threat that makes them better. The Pats would have a leg up signing Sanders in the offseason after a year with Brady and comfort in the system.

The Steelers have to get something out of Sanders – as it’s a long shot they re-sign him after the season. Sure they would fetch a compensatory pick – possibly at the end of the third round but why not take a pick (at least) a full round higher. I really think it’s time for the Steelers to begin a rebuild and they need picks to do it. It appears to be a great year to begin – as it looks to be a strong, and possibly deep draft class. 

Mikel Leshoure to the New York Giants for a 2014 5th round pick

Leshoure has fallen out of the good graces of the Lions coaching staff. While the Lions have said they have no interest in dealing the 23-year old back, I’m not sure I believe that. At this point, getting a fifth round pick out of a guy that is seeing little action is a steal in my book. With Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, and Theo Riddick comprising the depth – Leshoure doesn’t really have a role. The only reason to hang onto to Leshoure is an emergency plan if/when Reggie Bush is lost to injury for any length of time.

David Wilson’s fumbling issues and the lack of quality behind him has left the Giants with little in the run game – putting a more significant load on their already overwhelmed pass game/Eli Manning. Mark Ingram is the current rumor but the (reported) cost is way too high. I can’t imagine Ingram fetching any more than a late round pick. The Giants are willing to gamble on a change of scenery being the best thing for Leshoure.

No Josh Freeman

I just can’t see a team willing to deal anything for Freeman, who will be a free agent after the season. Teams with quarterback needs are looking to solve those needs in next year’s draft. While Freeman has some skills I don’t see him making the Jaguars or Browns remarkably better overnight. To be honest, I think the Browns have a better option in Brian Hoyer at 1/5 the cost. The Jaguars aren’t winning this year – they know that, we know that. Freeman may vault them into the 3 or 4 win category, effectively bumping them out of #TankforTeddy range. Seriously what good does 3 or 4 wins to for this franchise. Argue all you want that it’s about winning but it’s not in this case. This organization is going nowhere fast unless they get their hands on a franchise QB – not Josh Freeman.

The Bucs are stuck with Josh Freeman for this season – like it or not. 

  • Bex_R1986

    Your suggestion on Donald Penn interested me in particular with the idea of moving Dotson to LT. At the time of him moving to the starting lineup, I was mostly just glad for any alternative to Jeremy Trueblood at RT (one of my least favourite Bucs ever, yellow flag magnet!). He has since established himself as a solid starter.

    I don’t know if I’d like him as our LT, even though Penn has raised some conditioning and effort concerns of late. In an ideal world, Dotson stays on the right and we pick up a tackle in the second round of the next draft (QB in the first of course should Glennon indeed prove limited as a starter), but back to the initial suggestion of trading Penn, I;d be ok with it should the compensation be adequate. I could live with a 3rd rounder (please spend it on a TE!).

  • Braeden

    I would be absolutely opposed to the Sanders trade as a Patriots fan. For one, to call Sanders a ‘legitimate threat’ is a bit of a stretch. He is an ok 3rd or 4th option on a good team and maybe as a stretch on a team with a poor receiving corps (like Pittsburgh’s) a 2 guy. We don’t need a below-average two guy who is an undersized outside receiver. I would rather we keep the picks, and he is certainly not worth a 2nd rounder. I like Thompkins and Dobson better than I do Sanders. People need to stop getting so riled up about how bad the Pats’ offense has looked. Once Gronk comes back (hopefully not this week because I don’t want to rush him, he needs to be 100% in his mind, not the Patriots’ trainers’ minds) and Amendola comes back, we will have a couple talented go to guys and some young guys that will only improve and gel with brady as the season goes on. The Pats aren’t looking at a 14 win season like Denver is, but 11-5 or maybe 12-4 and another Division title with a hot finish to the season because Brady and the wideouts get going in the 2nd half of the year, yeah I’ll take that. Send Sanders elsewhere, because at that price, we definitely don’t need him in New England.

  • mike dixon

    Tyson Clabo is not playing well…He is the weakest link so far..and Martin is holding his own….just saying…

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    Make this trade happen, Colbert!

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    How about them Browns, Brad. SMH. Are you shocked that they are tied for 1st place in the AFC North?

  • matty

    wrong about freeman

  • disqustang

    Don’t help New England. Big deal if Sanders only gets a 3d round pick if another team chooses him, over a 2d round NE draft position…which will probably be so low, it might as well be 3d round. I’m sick of 1-dimension teams with superstar QBs racking up points like a video game. Some people like lots of home runs, some of us like tight pitching duels. I like old-time defense games. The modern NFL is geared for ADD American Idol fans. Yawn.

  • GrayGrantham

    Apparently the Vikings didn’t get the Memo. But WELL DONE, your insight into the value of Josh Freeman in uncanny. I’ll bet you have a bright future as director of player personnel for some NFL franchise. YOU ARE GOOD.

    Think Gruden hears footsteps? I seriously doubt it…

  • Chris

    Kind of funny just how wrong you are. Freeman will be starting for the Vikings Monday night so we will see how that works out. Hopefully it benefits both sides but we will see.