- TRADE PROPOSALS: NFC
With the NFL trade deadline set for Tuesday, Oct. 30, Jeremy Bergman prescribes one move — buy or sell — for each team in the NFC to make.
ARIZONA CARDINALS: Sell linebacker Deone Bucannon. GM Steve Keim might be feeling pressure to sell off veteran assets like Larry Fitzgerald in what is obviously a lost season in the desert. But Fitz is the only sure thing the Cardinals have on offense right now — you’re going to leave rookie QB Josh Rosen with next to nothing at receiver? And despite the rumors that swirled earlier this week, Patrick Peterson is a core member of that defense who seems to understand this too shall pass. Don’t give up on the best parts of this roster. Instead, send Bucannon packing. Contenders need good blitzers, and Bucannon, in his contract year, can be a useful one. Potential compensation: 2019 fourth-round pick.
ATLANTA FALCONS: Buy linebacker Deone Bucannon. Monday night’s victory proved the Falcons, with a record of 3-4 entering their Week 8 bye, should be buyers, not sellers, at the deadline. Injuries to safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones have hurt Atlanta’s defense. So my message to Falcons brass is this: Get you a man who can do both. A hybrid safety-linebacker type, Bucannon could be utilized well by Dan Quinn, who employed a similar type of enforcer during his time in Seattle with Kam Chancellor. Potential compensation: Fourth-round pick.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: Sell running back C.J. Anderson. With Christian McCaffrey taking on a much larger role and Curtis Samuel coming along as a dual-threat weapon out of the backfield, the Panthers suddenly have no use for Anderson. The veteran RB hasn’t seen a touch in the last two games, playing just four snaps. There should be a market out there for Anderson, who was a 1,000-yard rusher for the Broncos last season. Potential compensation: Fifth-round pick.
CHICAGO BEARS: Buy running back Alfred Morris. Chicago’s run game ain’t what it used to be, but come on, it’s way too early to give up on third-year back Jordan Howard, who’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry this season (almost a full yard less than his career average). Instead of trading Howard, as has been rumored, Chicago must seek out a back on the block, preferably someone with Howard’s skill set, to add depth at the position beyond change-of-pace back Tarik Cohen. Morris has received just nine touches in the past two weeks, with Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert stealing his snaps while Jerick McKinnon is on the mend. Adding Morris would give the Bears a veteran backfield presence and a durable backup to lessen the load on Howard. Potential compensation: 2020 fifth-round pick.
DALLAS COWBOYS: Buy tight end Jesse James. Dallas already "solved" its problems at the wide receiver position by trading for Amari Cooper, but who says the ‘Boys are done dealing? Jerry Jones showed in his move for Cooper that he thinks his club can rally to win the NFC East this season, so why not make another offensive acquisition to help accomplish that dream? The Cowboys have yet to truly replace Jason Witten, so let’s see if Jones would overpay for James, who is in his contract year and can be replaced in Pittsburgh by Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble. (Jesse James sounds like a Cowboy anyway, right?) Potential compensation: 2019 third-round pick.
DETROIT LIONS: Sell running back Ameer Abdullah. The former second-round pick has been phased out in Detroit (he didn’t have a single touch until last week, when he had a carry and a catch). If Kerryon Johnson’s drought-snapping 100-yard game in Week 3 didn’t prove that, then his follow-up in Miami last week did. Abdullah has the speed and skill set to do damage as a complementary back on another roster, though. Detroit wouldn’t be selling high here, but it’s time to cut the cord. Potential compensation: Whatever they can get.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: Buy outside linebacker Shane Ray. The Packers need a pass rusher. The Broncos already declined to exercise the fifth-year option on the former first-rounder’s contract and Ray’s been rumored to be on his way out of town for some time now. Green Bay would be smart to make a deal for the fourth-year linebacker, even though he’s currently nursing a high ankle sprain. When healthy, Ray could steal snaps away from an aging Clay Matthews. Potential compensation: Fourth-round pick.
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LOS ANGELES RAMS: Buy cornerback Bradley Roby. This Rams’ roster, as currently constructed, is nearly as perfect as the team’s record. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, especially at positions riddled with injuries. With Aqib Talib on injured reserve and Marcus Peters coming off a calf injury, L.A. should triple down on acquiring AFC West cornerbacks and snag Roby as insurance. Roby’s in the final year of his deal with the fledgling Broncos and would flourish under his former DC Wade Phillips. Potential compensation: Fourth-round pick.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Buy guard Joshua Garnett. Garnett’s been on the block in San Francisco for some time now, and Minnesota can certainly benefit from more depth along the offensive line. Set back by injuries again this season (this time by a dislocated toe), the former first-round pick is worth a flier for the Super Bowl hopefuls. Sure, Kirk Cousins performs exceptionally well under pressure, but methinks the crown prince of Minneapolis would prefer more reinforcements up front. Potential compensation: 2020 sixth-round pick.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Sell quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Saints traded for mercurial Giants corner Eli Apple on Tuesday, so it’s very unlikely that New Orleans will pursue another defensive back leading up to the deadline. Instead, the Saints should cash in on their backup QB and trade Bridgewater to the highest bidder for spare parts, er, picks. The Giants would’ve been a great partner for this swap, too, but all three Florida teams could also be a nice fit. The catch? New Orleans must recoup more than the third-rounder it shipped to the Jets for his services in August. Potential compensation: 2019 or 2020 second-round pick.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Sell safety Landon Collins. No, the Jints shouldn’t trade Eli Manning. Who would take him anyway? For one thing, he has a no-trade clause in his contract, and it’s safe to say New York wouldn’t take anything less than a first-rounder and change for his services even if waived it — no one’s offering that for a 37-year-old quarterback with questionable decision-making. Instead, after unloading the other Eli, Big Blue should double down and ship their star safety out of town. This is a chance for the Giants to take advantage of a market that includes plenty of teams hungry for help in the secondary, and Collins is in a contract year. Plus, as with Eli Apple, he’s not a "Gettleman guy," as he was drafted by the previous Giants front-office regime. That’s not a deal-breaker for us, but for those in the building in East Rutherford, who knows? Potential compensation: 2019 third-round pick.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Buy cornerback Patrick Peterson. How desperate are the Eagles to capitalize on their shrinking Super Bowl window and seize back control of the NFC East? Philly probably has a maximum of two seasons left before it commits bucks beaucoup to Carson Wentz, who is still playing on his rookie contract. Are the champs willing to mortgage their future, i.e. a precious first-round pick, to shore up a leaky secondary and improve their stock this season? This trade is unlikely to happen, given Peterson’s statement on Wednesday, but the Iggles are said to be interested. Can they make it happen? Potential compensation: First- and second-round pick (second-rounder via Baltimore).
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Buy safety Karl Joseph. This season’s a wash in San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean the organization should cease building for tomorrow. Niners brass should attempt to take advantage of the fire sale across the Bay and acquire Joseph, a former first-round safety who has worn out his welcome, or Jon Gruden’s patience, in Oakland. San Francisco just lost starting free safety Adrian Colbert for the season and has seen its secondary hit hard by injuries. Taking a shot on a cheap safety with one season and a club option for 2020 remaining on his deal is worth it. Potential compensation: Sixth-round pick.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Buy safety Karl Joseph. NFC West bidding war! Joseph was drafted by Oakland when Ken Norton Jr. was the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. Now, Norton is the DC in the Emerald City, where Earl Thomas is injured and expected to depart in the offseason. The Seattle secondary as a whole is undergoing a youth movement. Plus, Pete Carroll has never been afraid to take on a reclamation project. Potential compensation: Sixth-round pick.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Buy linebacker Brandon Marshall. No, not that Brandon Marshall. Do not buy him. The Broncos’ Marshall has two option years remaining on his contract, and Tampa Bay just lost star middle linebacker Kwon Alexander for the season. Dirk Koetter needs to save his job, and if his defense doesn’t plug some holes down the stretch, he’ll go down with the Buccaneers’ ship. Take the plunge, Dirk. Potential compensation: Fifth-round pick.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Buy wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. D.C. reportedly missed out on the Amari Cooper sweepstakes when the Cowboys went all in on his services earlier this week. So where do the division-leading ‘Skins turn to next? They should look to Denver, where Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are said to be drawing trade interest. Washington has struggled to find a WR1 since DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon left in 2016, and injuries that have hampered Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson make the situation even more dire. Potential compensation: Fourth-round pick.
Follow Jeremy Bergman on Twitter @JABergman.
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