NFL Trade Rumors: 7 Players That Could Get Traded
The 2015 NFL season hasn’t gone quite as planned for quite a few times. With the NFL trade deadline rapidly approaching, time is running out for desperate teams to make last ditch efforts to bolster their roster, or teams that are already out of the playoff running to look ahead to the future. Those are two very different stances, but they could combine to make this one of the more exciting NFL trade deadlines in recent memory.
Usually it’s the NBA and MLB that carry the heavy weight in trade rumors, but perhaps pro football could give those leagues a run for their money this season. Let’s take a look at some star players that could be headed elsewhere potentially:
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
RG3 isn’t even playing right now, both because the Redskins didn’t deem him a fit for their system and because his contract could pay out some fat cash if he ended up getting hurt. Considering his lengthy injury history, it’s hard to blame Washington. They’re a sinking ship with or without Robert Griffin III, but he’s still a talented passer who has an elite skill-set. In the right system, there is still a future to be salvaged here. Somewhere with a good foundation and an aging quarterback (like Denver or New Orleans) could make some sense.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
It’s a similar situation in the Bay Area, except Kap got signed to a big contract this summer and is actually playing. Unfortunately he’s been playing horribly for most of 2015 and his trade value is quickly on the decline. The Niners have already been fielding questions about benching their star quarterback, but with just Blaine Gabbert behind him, that’s not really the answer. Completely cutting ties and getting anything they can for him in a trade, however, could be. Teams like the Bears, Redskins, Browns and others could be interested potentially.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Cutler is the least likely to be traded of these passers, but he also carries the most value. While not as young or as athletic as RG3 or Kaepernick, he’s far more proven and established. Cutler has had his issues with public perception and perceived attitude and work ethic, but he’s never been wanting for talent. He’s even looked fantastic so far in 2015, but a slow start by the Bears (2-4) could have Chicago unloading in a fire sale. Cutler could be part of that, although his hefty salary could keep interested teams at bay until he’s available in free agency. Still, numerous teams like the Browns, 49ers, Redskins, Chiefs, Rams and others could view him as an upgrade over their current quarterback.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Ditto for Forte, who is still as versatile and effective a running back as anyone could want, but is also 29 and will eventually start showing signs of decline. That hasn’t happened yet, of course, which is why he has serious value out on the trading block. Chicago still couldn’t expect to get more than a mid-round pick for an expensive running back pushing 30, but he’s good enough to get something back in return. Forte would be of interest for a ton of teams, but the one that stands out the most is the Dallas Cowboys, who have yet to find a replacement for the departed DeMarco Murray.
Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Smith recently said he’d “retire” if traded, but at some point the 1-5 Ravens and Smith need to sit down and realize that a trade would be the best decision for all parties involved. Smith is 36 and is playing in what is viewed as his final season, so a sixth rounder is probably the best Baltimore can hope for in return in a trade. It’s still better than nothing, while the Ravens would be thanking him for his services by shipping him off to a title contender. A reunion with the Panthers is one fun idea, but teams like the Giants, Packers, Rams and Patriots could all use a quality receiver like Smith.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
It’s tough to know if Davis has anything left in the tank, as he’s been banged up over the past two years and has had shoddy quarterback play. On the surface, a healthy and focused Davis still has the size and speed to be an effective tight end – especially in the right situation. With the Niners going nowhere and Davis carrying a big paycheck, it could be time for both sides to move on. Someone like the Packers could make great use of him.
Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams
It’s the same story for Cook, as he’s a younger, poorer version of Davis and is incredibly under-utilized in St. Louis. The Rams are a run-based team at this point and they don’t necessarily need him, while backup tight end Lance Kendricks can probably get the job done. The issue is Cooks is owed a ton of cash, but he could slide in nicely into a system like Denver or New England.
There are more players that could end up getting traded, but these are the biggest names we’ll be tracking up until the deadline. Even more interesting to note, of course, will be what kind of impact any of these guys could have on the team they get traded to. Most probably wouldn’t change things too much, but Forte, Smith and Davis probably would end up having the greatest impact, especially since their likely landing spots are really only missing 1-2 key pieces. Cutler is also in consideration, and could potentially be the missing link for the teams that could be interested in his services.