NFL’s 2020 training camps are just around the corner, and with that, the offseason has finally come to an end. But, while some teams are prepping for a postseason run, others are set with rebuilding for the future. If the Jamal Adams transaction taught us anything, the trade window is never closed.
During the upcoming 2020 season, several players will likely find themselves on the trading block. Some could bring a hefty reward to a downtrodden team, while others will be used as a final piece to contend for a Lombardi this season. In the end, everyone wants to walk away a winner. With these moves, it certainly will look that way on paper.
NFL trades that should happen before 2020 training camps
Kerrigan crosses Maryland’s conference
The Baltimore Ravens are going to be considered the NFL’s hottest team. Eric DeCosta nailed the offseason with additions in Calais Campbell, Patrick Queen, and J.K. Dobbins, but the team is built to win on both sides of the ball. With Matthew Judon officially signing his franchise tag, the Ravens will have their leading edge rusher. However, they could still use help on reaching the quarterback in 2020.
As the Chase Young era begins in Washington, this could free up Ryan Kerrigan on the market. In nine years with Washington, the 31-year-old has finished with at least 7.5 sacks in eight seasons, to go along with a minimum of 14 quarterback hits. A better fit in John Harbaugh’s 3-4 system and entering a contract year, Washington could force Baltimore’s hand to up the price.
The Ravens need to have an advantage over Kansas City. If they’re in win-now mode, Kerrigan should put them ahead of the defending Super Bowl champs.
Baltimore trades 2021 fourth-round pick to Washington for EDGE Ryan Kerrigan
King Njoku to the Queen City
The Carolina Panthers will need to give Teddy Bridgewater as many weapons as possible. Christian McCaffrey will succeed out of the backfield with Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore as proven starters on the outside. That third option of either Ian Thomas or Curtis Samuel just isn’t enticing entering training camp.
Related | PFN’s Top 100 NFL Players of 2020
Earlier in July, Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku requested a trade after the signing of Austin Hooper. The 2019 campaign was a down one for the fourth-year pass catcher, but 2018 showed promise with 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns. While Njoku isn’t as reliable as Greg Olsen, his upside makes him one of the more promising players at the position.
Njoku still has two years left on his rookie contract, thus giving Carolina more than a rental. He has since rescinded his original trade request, but it wouldn’t hurt the Panthers any to try and entice the Browns to give him up. If the price is right, Marty Hurney should pull the trigger for King Njoku to enter the Queen City.
Cleveland trades 2021 fourth-round pick to Carolina for TE David Njoku
Washington grabs Haskins’ security blanket
Love it or hate it, the Washington Football Team (I still can’t believe that’s the name) will be gearing up for 2020. With Ron Rivera calling the shots, perhaps this team could at least be exciting in the future while the rebuild takes place. Former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins will have to prove to the new coach that he’s the starter moving forward.
His supporting cast won’t do him any favors.
Washington will have Terry McLaurin leading the way. Perhaps Trey Quinn is the most proven receiver on the roster with Kelvin Harmon out. Jordan Reed was released this offseason, recently signing with San Francisco, thus making the tight end position a need. Since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one to spare, O.J. Howard, another Alabama player, seems like the most likely option.
Even though the Washington Crimson Tide is a running joke, Howard would be welcomed as the new number two option for Haskins. With two years left on his rookie deal, Rivera could have a new Olsen to build his offense around.
Washington trades 2021 third-round pick to Tampa Bay for TE O.J. Howard
Seattle goes Yonkers for Yannick
Russell Wilson is still playing at an MVP level and isn’t getting younger. With Seattle trading for Adams late last month, that likely shuts the door on a Jadeveon Clowney reunion, who is looking for a $20 million per year offer. However, if Seattle wants to contend in 2020, they have to fix their pass rush — making an all-in scenario more than likely for the season.
Yannick Ngakoue has made it clear that he will not suit up for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season despite being franchise tagged. Jacksonville will need to get something in return for the Pro Bowl defensive end if they hope to walk away from this deal as winners. For Seattle, adding a defender who averages eight sacks per season would give their defense a revitalized feel.
If the Jaguars continue to wait, they could see Ngakoue’s value diminish. Seattle can’t offer much, but if this deal goes through, you can push the Seahawks to an NFC favorite.
Seattle trades 2021 second-round pick to Jacksonville for DE Yannick Ngakoue
Packers want Watkins as Aaron Rodgers’ No.2
The Green Bay Packers took plenty of heat for their 2020 NFL Draft class. In a loaded receiver pool, the team didn’t use a single pick to strengthen what was already the weakest receiver room. After going 13-3 with really only Davante Adams as his option, Aaron Rodgers will look to create magic once more.
Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst is one piece away from being a favorite in the NFC. With Kansas City having plenty of weapons in Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins could be expendable. The former top-five pick already restructured his contract this offseason but is still set to make $16 million for the impending year.
No longer a number two option for the Chiefs, Watkins would become a solid secondary player for the Packers. If the Chiefs are willing to eat some of the money, a mid-round pick should close this deal.
Green Bay trades 2021 compensation third-round pick for WR Sammy Watkins
Douglas to Denver, Hamilton to Fly High
Sometimes two teams could swap a player and contend once more. The Philadelphia Eagles have been cursed at the wide receiver position since Carson Wentz arrived in 2016. In Denver, the Broncos offense looks rebuilt, but the secondary still has issues at the cornerback position.
Two players who have outgrown their welcome could undoubtedly make sense here.
Rasul Douglas is fighting for a starting job after the addition of Darius Slay this offseason. Should he be used in a rotational, this could put him on the trade block. The same could be said for Denver’s DaeSean Hamilton, who’s competing for reps against rookies Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. Should the two parties switch, Hamilton could rebound as the Eagles’ young slot option while Douglas fills the need for a boundary corner in Vic Fangio’s defense.
There’s no downside to this trade anyway you look at it. John Elway, make the call.
Denver trades WR DaeSean Hamilton & 2021 sixth-round pick to Philadelphia for CB Rasul Douglas
Bill Belichick trades with Bill O’Brien…again
Two teams that could thrive or fall flat are the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots. Houston’s secondary is loaded with issues despite the offense losing DeAndre Hopkins via trade this offseason. On the opposite side, newly-signed Cam Newton will have no one to throw to, but the defense should continue to dominate another season.
If the rumors are true that J.C. Jackson is available, the Texans should be all over it. The third-year cornerback only improved in 2019 with 10 pass deflections, five interceptions, and 36 tackles in coverage. Houston would have to offer more than just a mid-round pick, but Kenny Stills could be the odd man out in a crowded receiver room.
If New England wants to remain in contention, they need more weapons for Newton. Jackson would bring in an excellent return as Belichick once again turns an undrafted gem into more picks for his future.
Houston trades WR Kenny Stills and 2021 third-round pick for CB J.C. Jackson