The Las Vegas Raiders made a stunning move on Thursday night, acquiring All-Pro wideout Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers for first- and second-round picks. And while that blockbuster deal took the NFL’s breath away, the NFL trade rumor winds will continue to flow as free agency develops. There are plenty of deals still on the way.
NFL Trade Rumors: Quarterbacks on the move?
As the NFL recovers from the shock of the Adams blockbuster, there is still more movement afoot. The Deshaun Watson trade sweepstakes appear to be nearing their conclusion, as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons await his decision. Once Watson gets his new home decided, the rest of the NFL’s QB dominos will fall.
Here are the signal-callers to watch on the trade market.
Well, duh. Watson has narrowed his list of potential teams to the Falcons and the Saints. Watson reached out to the Falcons, so it would appear that they are his “favorite” heading into the final days of his Houston Texans tenure. Clearly, the Saints and Falcons are comfortable trading for Watson despite his 22 open civil cases stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct.
Ryan is likely the next domino to fall after the inevitable Watson trade. While Ryan’s contract would probably need to be restructured before the Falcons could acquire Watson — if that’s his chosen destination — the longtime Atlanta QB is waiting on the finality of an agreement. The Indianapolis Colts should be at the top of Ryan’s list of landing spots. The Falcons will incur a massive dead money hit for trading Ryan, but that doesn’t seem to matter now.
Mayfield has requested a trade away from the Cleveland Browns after the organization publicly flirted (and failed) with Watson in trade discussions. Mayfield wants out, but the Browns have publicly denied their interest in moving him. Set to play on his $18.8 million fifth-year option, Mayfield shouldn’t draw a ton of value on the open market. That said, the Browns will eventually need to prove their decision is firm by the draft in April.
Coming off of shoulder surgery on his non-throwing arm, Garoppolo is in wait-and-see mode. The San Francisco 49ers seem to be ready to trust last year’s first-round pick, Trey Lance, with the offense, so Garoppolo will most likely be moved. That said, his options are dwindling, and if the Colts trade for Ryan, Cleveland might be his only saving grace.
Minshew, the Philadelphia Eagles’ backup, is the cost-effective solution for a team that wants to create a QB competition. Minshew is likely the perfect trade target for the Carolina Panthers after they struck out on Watson. He could battle Sam Darnold in a worthwhile training camp showdown. He only costs $2.5 million this season.
Other veterans who could be traded
Aside from the quarterbacks, which NFL players could be shipped out via trade?
Brandin Cooks, WR
Cooks’ name gets thrown around on the trade block like burgers on a grill every offseason. He’s been traded so many times that it’s almost a running gag in the NFL. With the Texans trying to start fresh without the Watson distraction, they might want to get another asset for Cooks.
Brandon Linder, C
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ longtime center might not be in the long-term plans for Duval County. He doesn’t necessarily fit the Doug Pederson aesthetic at center, and he’s in the final year of his deal. The Jaguars can save more than $9.5 million by moving Linder to a center-needy squad like the Cleveland Browns.
Cody Ford, G
The former first-round pick hasn’t lived up to his draft pedigree, and with several teams in need of guard help, the Bills could try to recoup some value. The Bills are all-in on a Super Bowl run, and upgrading every position will be their goal.
Jawaan Taylor, OT
The Jaguars’ starting right tackle just doesn’t seem like a great fit for the long-term outlook in Jacksonville. While Taylor clearly has talent, his inconsistency has been apparent over the past two seasons. Maybe another team could look to help him blossom in their system.
Andre Dillard, OT
Dillard is a former first-round pick who could be viewed as a longtime answer at left tackle for another team. As Pro Football Network reported earlier in the week, teams have called the Eagles to inquire about Dillard’s availability. He likely could be had for a mid-round pick.
Nate Herbig, G
Herbig, 23, is a restricted free agent. Like Dillard, teams have talked to the Eagles about Herbig’s availability. A young guard who is built like a refrigerator, Herbig could be a long-term starter at right guard for another squad.
Robert Woods, WR
With Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp, and Van Jefferson already in the lineup, and Odell Beckham Jr. potentially returning to LA as well, Woods could be expendable. The veteran wideout is coming off ACL surgery but could be seen as a strong presence in the locker room and in the slot on the field.