Five NFL trades that could happen (but won’t) before the deadline and why Josh Freeman won’t be one of them
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 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.