The NFL preseason is coming to a close this weekend, and naturally, NFL fans have questions about their favorite franchises. That’s why Pro Football Network opens up its mailbag every Friday to answer questions about the most important topics in the league.
NFL news and rumors mailbag: Jets, roster cuts, and Raiders
Who could trade for Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims?
Before you say, “The Jets aren’t going to be able to get anything for Denzel Mims,” remember that the Philadelphia Eagles were able to unload wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for DB Ugo Amadi, who then was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a 2024 draft pick swap. Yeah, that’s not super noteworthy, but that’s probably a comparable trade value for Mims, whose agent just went very public with his trade demands.
During the summer, I have been to three separate Jets training camp practices and covered their preseason opener against the Eagles. It’s hard to understand why Mims and his agent are so oblivious as to why he hasn’t climbed the depth chart. He looks to be in great shape and is playing fine enough with the second- and third-stringers. But he’s not playing well enough to supplant starters like Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Garrett Wilson.
Mims, a 2020 second-round pick, has caught 31 passes for 490 yards in 20 games during his two-year career. He’s not an Arcega-Whiteside-style bust, and he’s probably a bit more appealing than N’Keal Harry. Yet, the public trade request hurts the Jets’ leverage. The request also kind of sends a big red flag to other teams who probably don’t want to put up with the qualms of their third- or fourth-best wideout during a playoff push.
That said, a few teams are genuinely desperate for receiver help, and Mims could carve out enough of a role that he could at least be content for a season or two. The Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans would all offer a promotion for Mims in the lineup.
Still, Jalen Reagor of the Eagles, Preston Williams of the Miami Dolphins, and Darius Slayton of the Giants could present better options on the trade market than Mims. The Jets have added Davis, Moore, and Wilson since Mims’ rookie season, and there’s a valid reason for that: Mims hasn’t been dependable.
Who are a few teams that have glaring needs ahead of final cuts that will need to make waiver wire claims?
This is a great question and something I have pondered for weeks. On Thursday, PFN asked Giants head coach Brian Daboll about his tight end depth chart, and his answer was refreshingly honest:
“There’s not a lot of it. There’s a bunch of young players that are competing. They’re improving every day. You know, [Daniel] Bellinger and Chris [Myarick] and Austin [Allen]. We just added another player. So, it’s a good opportunity for those players to go out there and prove and earn the right to play.”
Daboll isn’t fond of 12 and 13 personnel, with the proof being how rarely he lined up multiple tight ends on offense in Buffalo. That said, there isn’t a lot of juice at the position — even at the top — so that could be a position on GM Joe Schoen’s list.
The Giants practiced with the New York Jets on Thursday, and Gang Green is stacked with tight end talent. There’s a possibility that the two teams work something out after their preseason game on Sunday, or the Giants put in a claim for one of the TEs the Jets cut.
The Dallas Cowboys have a clear need at left tackle after Tyron Smith suffered a major hamstring injury on Wednesday. With Smith reportedly set to miss several weeks, the Cowboys are in a rough spot in their starting lineup and their depth chart in general at offensive tackle. The Cowboys are deep down on the waiver wire, so they might need to swing a trade in order to find an upgrade or replacement there.
Sticking with the NFC East, the Eagles could use an upgrade at safety. While Marcus Epps will be one of the two starters, veterans Anthony Harris and Jaquiski Tartt have left a lot to be desired this summer. K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere, and Josiah Scott have all had their moments in camp, but they’re all probably best fit as part-time role players. GM Howie Roseman will monitor the trade market and wavier wire for a possible upgrade at safety.
The Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers — like the Cowboys — should look for upgrades along the offensive line. The Eagles are stacked in the trenches, and the Bears and Steelers should pay close attention to Philly’s transaction list. The Seattle Seahawks have several needs entering final cuts, but that’s a rebuild that will need more than a waiver wire intervention.
Who is the next Raiders player who will get thrown overboard by the new regime?
According to the great Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are open to trading 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. That’s not particularly surprising given their MO this offseason with dealing off Mike Mayock’s leftovers at a stellar pace.
PFN asked an NFC personnel exec about Leatherwood’s value on the trade market, and they said the offensive lineman, a Day 1 pick last year, would probably be valued at a fifth-round pick. The source, who was granted anonymity to speak freely about a player on another team, suggested another team could give up a fourth-round selection for Leatherwood if the squad loved him in the draft and still believes in him.
Another Mayock leftover worth keeping an eye on is DE Clelin Ferrell. The fellow former first-round pick has been an incredible bust through three seasons, and the Raiders would probably like to move his salary off the books for anything.
Who are a few running backs who could be available on the trade market?
A couple of running backs I’ve heard rumblings about are Buffalo Bills RB Zack Moss and Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
While Vaughn is probably more of a “he’s available for the right price” situation, Moss seems primed to be dealt with Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook forming a strong tandem this summer. Moss has had to battle for the No. 2 gig for the last three summers, and it just seems like he’s not a long-term option for Buffalo.
Moss could be of interest to the Eagles, who need a north-to-south rotational back. Moss also makes sense for a team like the Minnesota Vikings if they move Alexander Mattison, who is in the final year of his rookie deal. Moss has two years left on his contract.