October 29, 2012
The 2012 NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, but with Hurricane Sandy messing with everyone’s weekend and NFL offices reportedly shutting things down, it could extend further. Some reports say a week, and others say more. But with the NFL wanting teams to heat things up a bit more than usual, we can fully bank on some type of an extension, and likely a few more big names changing hands this season.
The NFL isn’t the NBA or MLB. It’s bigger than both without those ridiculous trades. However, that’s one area the NFL simply misses out on when it comes to hype and fan involvement. There just aren’t many big deals that go down – both because a shorter NFL season means you’re not out of it until usually the last month or so, and because teams don’t like helping each other gain assets in this sport.
However, there are too many disgruntled stars with looming big contracts, that are sitting on a contract year. Here are my favorite candidates for a potential trade within the next couple of weeks, and who might be interested in making a play for them. Let the NFL trade rumors fly:
Tim Tebow, QB, New York Jets
Despite the Jets being a sorry 3-5 through eight weeks, Tebow Time doesn’t appear any close to every truly arriving in New York. And even worse, his mere 23 rushing attempts tell you all you need to know about the team’s willingness to put him on the football field. You have to wonder why the Jets wouldn’t trade Tebow at this point, as they clearly have no real use for him. That, or they’re just holding out too long on Mark Sanchez and will simply turn to Tebow when it’s too late.
I doubt he gets traded, but for his sake, he probably should. New York is using him sparingly and improperly even when he does hit the field, and Rex Ryan and co. seem dead set on keeping the ineffective Sanchez under center. Teams that are hurting at quarterback like the Chiefs, Cardinals and Jaguars can’t be ruled out. But that’s only if Tebow wants to go somewhere where he has a shot to start. If he’s open to any role, a good chunk of teams would show interest in using him in a variety of roles.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
With rumors quickly spreading (even from Vick himself) that he could soon be benched for rookie quarterback Nick Foles, Vick hitting the trading block could be a reality pretty soon. His contract probably prevents anything really coming to life, but the Eagles’ patience is wearing thin, so you can’t rule it out.
Even though the Bills have a capable starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick, you’d have to think Chan Gailey would be drooling over the possibilities of Vick in his offense. Arizona is another realistic destination.
Colt McCoy, QB, Cleveland Browns
McCoy is not going to be pursued as an immediate starter, but he’s a West Coast guy who has shown promise in the past, and someone will want to groom him if they get the chance. The Packers make a ton of sense, as they currently don’t have a suitable backup for Aaron Rodgers, while numerous teams have already inquired about his availability. He’s a pro’s pro who still has some potential. At the very worst, he’d give another team a heck of a fall-back option.
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams
Jackson is 29 and starting to slow down a bit, while the Rams have two impressive running backs behind him in Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. The writing is on the wall for a young team that has simply lost a need for an aging feature back, while Jackson does have enough left in the tank to help someone else out. Think Corey Dillon when he went to the Patriots. Jackson can still get it done, and teams that could really use an experienced, solid veteran back like the Packers or Jets could make a lot of sense in a trade.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers signed D-Will to a fat deal last year, but since then have signed Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert to pricey contracts, as well. Instead of using the guy they paid for, they’ve phased Williams out, and could be headed to a full-blown divorce. There’s the outside chance Williams lands a deal to be reunited with his former coach, John Fox, in Denver, but he’s no lock to be shipped off just yet. Due to their struggles with the rush offense, Green Bay would have to be considered here, as well.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Blount is a fairly one-dimensional runner, but he’s only two years removed from a solid 1,000+ yard season as a feature back. He’s the odd man out in Tampa Bay, but he won’t bring back anything more than a late-round pick, and not many teams will hold him in high regard. He’s not a bad complement to a more dynamic runner, but due to ineffectiveness the past to year, I’m guessing he sticks with the Bucs or they just flat-out release him.
Dwaye Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Bowe wants out of Kansas City. Not only are they not winning games, but he’s not consistently getting the ball and he’s certainly not getting paid what he wants. He’s been tied to the Miami Dolphins in rumors, but really the potential destinations are endless across the league for a borderline superstar. It just depends on who feels a stud wide receiver puts them over the top, and if they think they can lock him down for the long-term. Miami certainly makes sense, as does Minnesota, Washington, and maybe even the New York Jets. A bunch of teams could get in on the trade rumors, but those four teams have the biggest need and might actually contend for a playoff spot.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers
Like Bowe, Smith is disgruntled and could be on the way out due to being in a contract year. He’s 33 and hasn’t scored a touchdown this year, which has brought up some talk about him falling off a bit. I think it has more to do with Cam Newton than him, but age and his contract could spawn some trade talks. I like the Minnesota Vikings the most here, but Smith would have a number of suitors if the Panthers were suddenly serious about parting ways.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
Another contract year receiver, Jennings is immensely talented but is 29 and just can’t seem to stay healthy. Green Bay has a slew of quality wide receivers on their roster at the moment, while Jordy Nelson has more than proven he has the ability to be the team’s true number one target with Jennings missing time. If the Packers already feel it could be time to move on, they shouldn’t have a difficult time finding trade partners.
Jared Cook, TE, Tennessee Titans
Cook is a new addition to the trade rumors, but according to reports, wants out of Tennessee. The Titans aren’t winning games and he’s barely being used on 50% of offensive plays, which happens to be his main beef. Either his outburst will get him more involved (as he should be), or it could spell the end of his time with the Titans. Tight ends aren’t in trade rumors very often, but Cook would be highly coveted. He’s a big, athletic tight end in the mold of Antonio Gates, and other than being somewhat inconsistent, has mostly been held back by his own team.
Tight end starved teams like the Redskins and Browns could make sense. However, I wouldn’t rule out a swap with Green Bay for the under-performing Jermichael Finley, or a trade with the Falcons to secure a sound replacement for the supposedly retiring Tony Gonzalez.
Whatever happens, expect a lot of buzz to surrounding the above players, and a few of them could get moved. Feel free to comment below on who else you think could or should be traded in the NFL in 2012!