Kaye’s Take: Six NFL preseason trades that should be made before final cuts

This week's Kaye's Take includes NFL preseason trade proposals for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, and more.

The NFL preseason is entering Week 2, and that’s typically when front offices start picking up phones to try and get trade value for players who aren’t going to stick to their final rosters. GMs tend to favor player-for-player trades in order to make the most of a player who isn’t a scheme fit but has enough talent to possibly make difference elsewhere.

Six NFL preseason trades that should be made before final cuts

With the preseason in full swing, now is the time to trade players to avoid wasting reps and prevent potential injuries that could result in injury settlements. While San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains the most popular name on the trade block, he’s not the only player who could be worthwhile in a late-summer swap.

49ers trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo to Browns for conditional fourth-round pick

As the Cleveland Browns continue to wait on the final ruling of Deshaun Watson’s suspension, they are likely to prepare for the worst. With the 49ers anxious to rid themselves of Garoppolo, and the QB’s shared desire to move on, it makes sense for all three parties to make a trade work with the Browns.

In this scenario, the Browns trade a conditional fourth-round pick to the 49ers for Garoppolo. As part of the deal, Garoppolo reworks his deal to shrink his salary from $24.2 million to $15 million with incentives to push his salary up to $20 million if he plays the entire season.

The conditional fourth-round pick can become a third-round selection if Garoppolo plays 75% of the offensive snaps this season. It can also turn into a third-round pick if Garoppolo plays 70% of the snaps and the Browns make the playoffs. The blueprint for such a deal follows the Philadelphia Eagles’ trade of QB Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts last offseason.

No matter how long Watson’s suspension ends up being, the Browns — who are seemingly going for it all — get a former Super Bowl QB. At the same time, Garoppolo gets to show off his skills with an impressive roster, and the 49ers get something for their former signal-caller. It’s a win-win-win situation for everyone.

Dolphins trade WR Preston Williams to Texans for LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

The Miami Dolphins have an over-abundance of wide receivers. Likewise, the Houston Texans have quite a few linebackers. Both could use improved depth at the opposite positions.

Preston Williams has been very vocal about wanting more playing time, and a trade to Houston could provide that opportunity. Meanwhile, Kevin Pierre-Lewis is a special-teams ace and a former starter, who has scheme versatility and can provide a nice depth complement to starters Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts at the stack positions.

Williams can provide a size complement (6-4, 220 lbs.) to starters Brandin Cooks and Chris Conley. He can also make up for the unfortunate loss of John Metchie III. The Dolphins and Texans have already tried to trade with each other once this month with the failed Adam Shaheen trade. Perhaps they get back on the phones and try to work out another swap.

Broncos trade OT Cameron Fleming to Colts for a fifth-round pick

The Indianapolis Colts are a mess at the left tackle position. While Cameron Fleming isn’t a world-beater at the position, he’s a cost-effective upgrade — via trade and salary.

With Matt Pryor struggling to hold down the blindside for Matt Ryan, Fleming could provide much-needed competition and insurance. Pryor is better off being the primary backup for four of the five offensive line spots anyway.

The Denver Broncos are overloaded with offensive linemen, and they could afford to deal Fleming for future draft considerations, especially after trading a plethora of picks to the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson this offseason.

Falcons trade C Matt Hennessy to Browns for RB Kareem Hunt

The Browns lost starting center Nick Harris to a knee injury during their preseason opener. As the team looks to go for it all, they’ll need a worthwhile replacement. While they could always decide to re-sign veteran JC Tretter, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to do so on the team’s part.

With running back Kareem Hunt wanting more playing time and a new deal, perhaps the Browns could try to salvage value for the disgruntled playmaker. The Atlanta Falcons are having a competition for their starting center spot, but they could end that competition with a trade of Matt Hennessy, who would fit in well with Cleveland’s offense.

The Falcons plan to start Cordarrelle Patterson at running back, but he could use some help in the backfield. While Damien Lewis has a nice résumé, he’s nowhere near the talent that Hunt is at the position.

Atlanta is rebuilding, but they need to have some sort of focus in Year 2 of the Arthur Smith era. Hunt could take a lot of pressure off Marcus Mariota (or rookie Desmond Ridder) this season.

Eagles trade WR Jalen Reagor and 2023 sixth-round pick to Ravens for S Chuck Clark and a 2023 seventh-round pick

The Philadelphia Eagles are seemingly spotlighting wideout Jalen Reagor — a former first-round pick — for a trade. The Ravens had some interest in Reagor during draft weekend, but a move never materialized.

That said, with A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal ahead of Reagor on the depth chart, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles wanting to hang onto the wideout, especially given his tendency to get frustrated when faced with adversity.

That said, the Eagles do have a need at safety and the Ravens are stacked with safety talent. The team signed Marcus Williams in free agency and drafted Kyle Hamilton in the first round. They also have veteran Tony Jefferson, and Geno Stone stood out in the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Chuck Clark, a Philly native, is a proven starting safety, so the Eagles might need to sweeten the pot with a pick swap. Getting Reagor a fresh start and swapping late-round picks would make a lot of sense for Philadelphia. Reagor could slide behind Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay and rotate at the Z and slot spots.

Panthers trade OT Cam Erving to the Dallas Cowboys for DT Trysten Hill

Sometimes, you just need to trust the experts. Noted offensive line guru Duke Manyweather proposed the Dallas Cowboys trading for Cam Erving, and PFN took the ball and ran with it.

The Carolina Panthers could use depth at defensive tackle, and the Cowboys need a better outlook at swing tackle. This seems like a player-for-player deal made in heaven, or Arlington, Texas, at least.

Erving played for the Cowboys in 2020 before heading to Carolina in 2021. This move would reunite him with a familiar offense, and he could hit the ground running as Dallas’ primary swing tackle. Trysten Hill is currently listed as a third-team DT on the Cowboys’ depth chart, and he’s good enough for more playing time at this point in his career at the 3-technique.

Still only 25, Hill has untapped potential and could be worth trading Erving, who is part of a crowded offensive line room in Carolina.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.

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