1 Player Each NFL Team Should Put on the 2023 Trade Block This Preseason

1 Player Each NFL Team Should Put on the 2023 Trade Block This Preseason

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    Trey Lance

    Trey LanceEthan Miller/Getty Images

    Now that the first week of preseason games is done, expect to start hearing some trade rumors throughout the NFL in the coming weeks.

    A few end-of-training-camp trades occur every year as coaching staffs across the league get a better grasp of what their best 53-man roster looks like and which players are expendable.

    Here, we’ll take a look at one player on each team who should hit the trading block before the end of August. All players selected are veterans who have a young player behind or ahead of them on the depth chart and likely carry an expiring contract but could still provide value to another club.

Arizona Cardinals: Zach Ertz

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    Zach Ertz

    Zach ErtzAdam Bettcher/Getty Images

    Zach Ertz ended last season on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL in his knee, which has also kept him from participating in training camp so far.

    However, news broke Monday that he’s been fully cleared for football activity, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN. That’s good news for Ertz, but the Arizona Cardinals should look into trading him.

    Arizona is a young team that is developing for the future more than winning the Super Bowl or even competing for the playoffs this season. So, keeping around a tight end who turns 33 years old in November and only has two years left on his contract doesn’t make a ton of sense, especially since they have a second-year player behind him.

    Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network reported last month that the Cardinals will expand sophomore tight end Trey McBride’s role this season. One way to accomplish that is to trade the guy who is in front of him on the depth chart.

    Ertz had 47 catches for 406 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games last season, so he can contribute to a contending team’s offense while giving Arizona more draft picks to build toward the future.

Los Angeles Rams: Tyler Higbee

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    Tyler Higbee

    Tyler HigbeeKatelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

    Tyler Higbee has been a consistent weapon with the Los Angeles Rams, logging at least 500 yards and three touchdowns in each of the last three seasons, including last year when he had 72 catches for 620 yards and three scores with four different quarterbacks.

    The point is he’s been productive and could be an intriguing trade piece for another team.

    While Higbee is the Rams’ second-best pass catcher on the current roster, he’s going to be a 31-year-old free agent next offseason. L.A. would save $6.75 million in cap space by trading him and still have a couple of young players to fill the void in Hunter Long and Davis Allen.

    Plus, the Rams could use some extra draft picks after giving up so many of them en route to their Super Bowl LVI run.

Seattle Seahawks: Darrell Taylor

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    Darrell Taylor

    Darrell TaylorSteph Chambers/Getty Images

    With 16 sacks in his first two seasons, Darrell Taylor has certainly been productive for the Seattle Seahawks. He’s also coming off a campaign in which he logged 9.5 quarterback takedowns, meaning his trade value is high right now.

    The problem is the 26-year-old is going to be a restricted free agent (RFA) in the offseason and Seattle has a handful of other young and promising edge-rushers in Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe and Derick Hall, all of whom are signed through 2025.

    Also, Nwosu is only a few months older than Taylor while Mafe and Hall are both younger.

    While the Seahawks could place a first- or second-round tender on Taylor in the offseason since he’s an RFA, they could also use that as a bargaining chip with any potential trade partners.

    Dealing him ahead of the season would also give their young pass-rushers more reps to develop during training camp and early in the regular season.

San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance

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    Trey Lance

    Trey LanceIan Maule/Getty Images

    While the San Francisco 49ers haven’t outwardly said Brock Purdy is their starting quarterback this season, they listed him as the starter on their first unofficial depth chart and specified that Trey Lance ‘or’ Sam Darnold is QB2.

    That’s pretty much an admission that the 2021 No. 3 overall pick will begin the campaign as a backup.

    Technically, the 23-year-old could still develop, but time is running out as he only has two years left on his contract. Additionally, the 49ers would save about $3.75 million in cap space this season and another $5.3 million next year by trading him, per Over The Cap.

    So, while San Francisco is attempting to make another Super Bowl run with Purdy at the helm, it could send Lance to a team that is looking for a young quarterback with promise while potentially getting a veteran for its championship push in return.

    Also, the 49ers would still have decent backup quarterback options in Darnold and Brandon Allen.

Denver Broncos: Kareem Jackson

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    Kareem Jackson

    Kareem JacksonScott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Kareem Jackson has provided a strong veteran presence in the Denver Broncos’ defensive backfield over the last four years, accumulating 342 total tackles, four interceptions and 19 pass breakups during that time.

    However, he’s now a 35-year-old who is playing on a one-year deal and looking at a reduced role in 2023.

    The Broncos are expected to start Justin Simmons and Caden Sterns at safety this season, both of whom won’t be free agents until the 2025 offseason, and they drafted JL Skinner in April.

    Granted, Skinner was a sixth-round pick, but he would have gone much higher had he not torn a pec right before the NFL Combine.

    Denver could send Jackson to a team that has a bigger role in store for him this season while simultaneously getting something in return for a player it likely won’t use much in the fall and could lose in the spring anyway.

Las Vegas Raiders: Amik Robertson

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    Amik Robertson

    Amik RobertsonMichael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

    Last season, Amik Robertson proved to be valuable for the Las Vegas Raiders. He began the year as a reserve cornerback but ended up playing in all 17 games with seven starts, 38 total tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended due to injuries elsewhere. He also had a scoop-and-score 68-yard fumble recovery.

    The problem is the Raiders made several additions at corner this offseason and the 25-year-old is entering a contract year.

    Nate Hobbs and recently signed Marcus Peters are expected to hold down the top two spots at the position entering the season while free agents Brandon Facyson, Duke Shelley and David Long Jr., along with rookie Jakorian Bennett, will battle for third on the depth chart.

    Robertson can factor into that equation too, but his expiring contract makes it difficult to justify keeping him around. It doesn’t help that he and Bennett share a similar skill set, so the Raiders would be wise to see what they can get in return for the fourth-year pro.

Los Angeles Chargers: Joshua Palmer

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    Josh Palmer

    Josh PalmerCourtney Culbreath/Getty Images

    Statistically, Joshua Palmer enjoyed a breakout campaign last season. He hauled in 72 catches for 769 yards and three touchdowns, but that could be a bit of fool’s gold.

    The 23-year-old put up those numbers while ranking second behind Austin Ekeler for the most targets on the Los Angeles Chargers with 107. The primary reason for that was because the team’s top two wide receivers—Keenan Allen and Mike Williams—missed 11 games between them.

    Barring another injury to Allen or Williams, the 2021 third-round pick won’t see that many passes thrown his way this time around. Plus, the Chargers spent their first-round pick on another wideout in Quentin Johnston, which could mean even fewer targets for Palmer in the fall.

    Los Angeles would be wise to strike while the iron is hot and see what it can get for the Tennessee product. Even though he won’t be a free agent for two more seasons, his trade value is likely higher now than it will be in the offseason.

Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

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    Clyde Edwards-Helaire

    Clyde Edwards-HelaireCooper Neill/Getty Images

    Trading a running back in this market?

    Yes, the position’s value is arguably lower than it’s ever been in the NFL, but the Kansas City Chiefs should at least see what they can get for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

    With Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon emerging in Kansas City’s backfield last season, Edwards-Helaire, 24, is expected to serve as the offense’s third back in 2023. Seeing as this is the last year of his rookie deal, that’s not a good situation for him or the Chiefs.

    A veteran player or even a late-round pick would be more valuable for Kansas City, especially since it has undrafted free-agent signing Deneric Prince as an insurance policy for the third spot on the depth chart if Edwards-Helaire gets traded.

    At worst, the 2020 first-rounder costs the team that trades for him a low draft pick; and at best, he proves to be the dynamic threat he was in college for LSU with a bigger opportunity than he’ll get with the Chiefs this season.

Atlanta Falcons: Cordarrelle Patterson

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    Cordarrelle Patterson

    Cordarrelle PattersonCooper Neill/Getty Images

    Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most unique weapons in the entire league.

    In 10 career seasons, he has 2,330 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns to go along with 2,757 receiving yards, 15 receiving touchdowns and nine scores as a kick returner. However, he’s also 32 years old and is entering a contract season.

    There’s also a question of how big Patterson’s role will be with the Atlanta Falcons in 2023. They have a lot of young talent at their skill positions, headlined by pass-catchers Kyle Pitts and Drake London as well as running backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier. Robinson is also expected to take on the third-down back role.

    So, Atlanta would be wise to see what it can get on the trade market for an aging Patterson who is set to be a free agent in March. It could bring in some more reinforcements for quarterback Desmond Ridder or add some help on the other side of the ball to make a push for the NFC South crown.

Carolina Panthers: Yetur Gross-Matos

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    Yetur Gross-Matos

    Yetur Gross-MatosIan Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last season, Yetur Gross-Matos was finally healthy and got a chance to be a full-time starter. He logged a career-high 54 total tackles but saw a slight dip in his pass-rush production, going from 3.5 sacks the year before to 2.5 in 2023 despite playing in three more games and recording 15 more starts.

    It’s pretty clear the Carolina Panthers don’t see the 25-year-old in their future plans after recently signing veteran edge-rusher Justin Houston to play alongside Brian Burns while Gross-Matos enters the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. Carolina also spent a third-round pick on DJ Johnson, who plays the same position.

    If the Panthers can get a late-round pick or a veteran player for the Penn State product, that would be more valuable than a third or fourth edge-rusher who likely won’t be on the team next year.

New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston

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    Jameis Winston

    Jameis WinstonSean Gardner/Getty Images

    It feels like Jameis Winston has been the topic of trade conversations for several years now, even going back to his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    However, that comes with the territory of being such a volatile player. The quarterback has had plenty of highs, but his lows include a 30-interception season in 2019 that was the most of any QB since 1980.

    In the present day, Winston is expected to sit behind free-agent addition Derek Carr while entering a contract year. Riding the bench isn’t the way for him to build his value as a 30-year-old on the open market, and the constantly up-against-the-cap New Orleans Saints would save about $7.3 million in 2024 dead cap space by trading him.

    If another team’s starter goes down over the next few weeks, the Saints should pick up the phone and see if they’re interested in adding the low-floor, high-ceiling Winston.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaquil Barrett

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    Shaquil Barrett

    Shaquil BarrettCliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    During his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Shaquil Barrett emerged as a top pass-rusher in the league with 37.5 sacks and two Pro Bowl appearances as well as a second-team All-Pro selection.

    A torn Achilles tendon limited him to just three sacks and eight games last year, but he can still contribute to a team that could use some help on the edge.

    While Barrett does have two years left on his contract, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in rebuilding mode without a significant starting quarterback option, and he turns 31 in November. Also, the team would save over $31 million in cap space over the next two seasons by trading him, and it might want to save some cash for Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s potential contract extension.

    The Bucs spent two of their first three picks in last April’s draft on pass-rushers Calijah Kancey and Yaya Diaby in addition to already having linebacker Devin White, so they should be able to still put pressure on the quarterback even if they send Barrett elsewhere.

Houston Texans: Jerry Hughes

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    Jerry Hughes

    Jerry HughesJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    With a rookie quarterback and new head coach, does it really make sense for the Houston Texans to keep 35-year-old Jerry Hughes, who will likely be a backup to the much younger Will Anderson Jr. and Jonathan Greenard this season?

    Hughes also enters the last season of his two-year deal, adding another reason why the Texans should explore his trade options.

    The well-established veteran played at a high level last year with nine sacks—the third most of his career—and 10 tackles for loss, so he could be an attractive asset on the market. He also plays a premium position as a defensive end that a contending team in need of some help on the edge could pay a hefty price for.

    Houston needs to be thinking about the future this season, and if it can get some extra draft picks for an older veteran who might not be around next year, that should be a no-brainer.

Indianapolis Colts: Mo Alie-Cox

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    Mo Alie-Cox

    Mo Alie-CoxJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    Put simply, the Indianapolis Colts have way too many tight ends on the roster.

    Jelani Woods had a solid rookie season last year and is the favorite to be the starter in the fall. Then there’s Kylen Granson who can be a decent receiving threat and, for good measure, the Colts drafted Will Mallory last April. That’s a lot of bodies in one meeting room and that could make Mo Alie-Cox expendable.

    Alie-Cox is about to enter his age-30 season and has two years left on his contract. At 6’5″ with a basketball background, he’s proved to be a good red-zone target and has nine touchdowns over the last three years.

    He’s also a decent run-blocker, which makes him an intriguing trade target for any tight end-needy contending team.

Jacksonville Jaguars: K’Lavon Chaisson

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    K'Lavon Chaisson

    K’Lavon ChaissonScott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    To say things haven’t worked out for 2020 first-round pick K’Lavon Chaisson with the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a bit of an understatement. In three years with the club, he’s had three sacks, one each season.

    The LSU product hit a low point in 2022 as he only played in nine games due to a knee injury and recorded zero starts with a career-low 10 total tackles.

    Who knows how much the Jaguars could get for him, but a team could buy into his pre-draft potential, and Jacksonville isn’t going to need him much this year. It added Yasir Abdullah in the draft last April, and he could easily replace the 24-year-old’s production.

    Admittedly, it was hard to find a potential trade piece for the Jaguars as they’re more likely to be buyers with a young roster and postseason hopes. However, Chaisson is an impending free agent, and combined with his underwhelming performance, he’s expendable for the Jags.

Tennessee Titans: Malik Willis

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    Malik Willis

    Malik WillisQuinn Harris/Getty Images

    Would the Tennessee Titans give up on Malik Willis a year after drafting him? Well, there had to be a reason why they not only drafted Will Levis in the second round this spring but also traded up to get him.

    The Titans also brought in a new general manager this offseason in Ron Carthon, adding fuel to the fire when it comes to trade rumors surrounding Willis. Now that the new executive has “his guy” as a potential future of the franchise, the 2022 third-round pick becomes expendable.

    Willis, 24, notably wasn’t good as a rookie, but his big arm and athletic ability give him plenty of potential to entice another team/trade partner. Also, him being on a rookie contract for the next three years would help increase the return for Tennessee compared to him spending another year on the bench and then trying to deal him in the offseason.

Chicago Bears: D’Onta Foreman

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    D'Onta Foreman

    D’Onta ForemanJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    D’Onta Foreman has always been a solid back but never good enough to stick around in one place, which is why he’s about to play for his fourth team in six years.

    That being said, the 27-year-old is coming off of a career season in which he had over 900 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 17 games and nine starts for the Carolina Panthers, which should give him some trade value for his new club, the Chicago Bears.

    Sure, Chicago just signed the journeyman in the offseason, but that was before it took Roschon Johnson in the fourth round of the draft. Plus, its lead back is still expected to be Khalil Herbert, who is under contract for two more years while Foreman inked just a one-year deal.

    In other words, the Bears would still have two young running backs at their disposal even if they sent Foreman elsewhere, and they would pick up some more assets in the process.

Detroit Lions: Romeo Okwara

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    Romeo Okwara

    Romeo OkwaraFrederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Over the last couple of years, injuries have put a damper on Romeo Okwara’s tenure with the Detroit Lions.

    The Notre Dame product has only played in nine games and has three sacks with just 14 total tackles during that time, and he’s likely going to play a reserve role behind Aidan Hutchinson as Detroit’s rush end this season.

    However, Okwara is still only 28 years old and two years removed from a double-digit sack campaign, which could make him an intriguing option for a team that’s looking for some pass-rush help.

    The Lions should be willing to move him seeing as that would save them about $2.15 million of cap space this season and he’s going to hit free agency in the offseason. Keeping some cash while picking up assets for a backup player would be a pretty good deal.

Green Bay Packers: Rashan Gary

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    Rashan Gary

    Rashan GaryScott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    After looking like a bust as a rookie, Rashan Gary quickly turned his career around by logging 20.5 sacks over the last three seasons. He was off to a hot start a year ago with six quarterback takedowns in nine games until a torn ACL shut him down and has continued to sideline him during the early stages of training camp.

    The 25-year-old is about to enter a contract year and has proved he can be productive when healthy, which should make him a coveted asset on the trade market. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers have Preston Smith under team control until 2027 and just spent their first pick of the draft on another edge defender, Lukas Van Ness.

    So, the Packers would still have plenty of pass-rushers if they dealt Gary, especially since they also selected defensive linemen Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks last April, plus Devonte Wyatt the year before.

Minnesota Vikings: Andrew Booth Jr.

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    Andrew Booth Jr.

    Andrew Booth Jr.Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

    To say the least, Andrew Booth Jr.’s NFL career hasn’t gotten off to a hot start. He barely played last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury, participating in six contests with one start as a rookie. And it doesn’t seem like that will change much in year two.

    The Minnesota Vikings signed Byron Murphy Jr. during free agency and drafted another cornerback in Mekhi Becton with a third-round selection. That, combined with fellow 2022 pick Akayleb Evans reportedly taking reps with the first-team defense during training camp, has pushed Booth down the depth chart, according to Alec Lewis of The Athletic.

    However, the Clemson product has plenty of potential as he’s only a year removed from being a second-round pick. Someone should be willing to take a chance on him and it doesn’t sound like the Vikings are going to use him, so why not make a deal?

Baltimore Ravens: Michael Pierce

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    Michael Pierce

    Michael PierceScott Taetsch/Getty Images

    After a year away from the Ravens, Michael Pierce returned to Baltimore last season but a torn bicep limited him to just three games. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been his biggest issue over the last two seasons as he’s played in just 11 games in total.

    As a result, the Ravens asked the 30-year-old to take a pay cut and he obliged, making him a free agent in the offseason.

    Being over 30 with an injury history could leave the defensive tackle’s trade market rather dry, but he can still be a decent run-stuffer for a team that needs one. And it helps that he’s now on a cheap deal.

    As for the Ravens, third-round pick Travis Jones showed some promise as a rookie and could benefit from a bigger role in year two.

Cincinnati Bengals: Jackson Carman

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    Jackson Carman

    Jackson CarmanIan Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    As Jonah Williams recovered from offseason surgery, he and Jackson Carman were reportedly splitting the first-team reps at right tackle during the first couple of weeks of the Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp.

    However, now that Williams has had time to recover and Carman struggled in the first preseason game, the latter has been relegated to second-string left tackle, according to John Sheeran of A to Z Sports.

    The Bengals also have plenty of options at offensive tackle as Orlando Brown Jr. mans the left side, Williams is on the right and La’el Collins continues to work his way back from a late-season knee injury. So, Carman is somewhat expendable.

    Granted, the 23-year-old’s trade value likely took a hit after this past week, but Cincinnati should be able to get something for a 2021 second-round pick who has two years left on his rookie contract, even if the return is minimal.

Cleveland Browns: James Hudson

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    James Hudson

    James HudsonNick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

    During his two years in the league, James Hudson has served as a quality swing tackle for the Cleveland Browns. He’s participated in 29 games with seven starts, taking reps at both left and right tackle spots.

    While they’re often overlooked by fans, those types of players are valuable on the trade market because they play on either side of the center in a pinch, and it helps that Hudson has two years left on his contract.

    So, why would the Browns make the 24-year-old available? Well, they already have a couple of decent starters in Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin, and they drafted Dawand Jones in the fourth round, meaning they have plenty of offensive tackles on the roster.

    Cleveland could put Hudson on the market, see what it can get for him and then make a decision from there. But it’s at least worth doing the homework to see if another club can make a decent offer.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Levi Wallace

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    Levi Wallace

    Levi WallaceJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    There’s no doubt Levi Wallace has some impressive ball skills with 23 passes defended and six interceptions over the last two years combined.

    However, Pro Football Reference had the 28-year-old surrendering a career-high 8.4 yards per target last season, his first with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    That’s part of the reason why the Steelers were so aggressive in the cornerback market this offseason, signing veteran Patrick Peterson to a two-year deal and taking Joey Porter Jr. in the second round of the draft.

    Meanwhile, Wallace is set to hit free agency in the offseason, and a team looking for more of a ball hawk than a shutdown corner could be interested in his services.

    Pittsburgh could add another draft pick for next April while still having two-starting caliber outside corners by dealing the 2022 free-agent signing.

Dallas Cowboys: Michael Gallup

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    Michael Gallup

    Michael GallupMichael Owens/Getty Images

    After racking up nearly 2,500 yards and 13 touchdowns during his first three years in the league, the last two have been frustrating for Michael Gallup.

    The 27-year-old has battled injuries and posted back-to-back seasons with career lows in receiving yards with 445 in 2021 and 424 in 2022.

    The Dallas Cowboys had to bring in some reinforcements and that’s why they traded for Brandin Cooks during the offseason. That alone puts Gallup’s future with the team in doubt, and Patrik Walker of the team’s website noted that second-year wide receiver Jalen Tolbert has been emerging during training camp.

    Since Dallas now has two other options to serve as a second or third target behind CeeDee Lamb, Gallup is even more expendable. His contract is also team friendly as he’s signed through 2026 but it also includes a potential out after this season, increasing his value on the market.

New York Giants: Sterling Shepard

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    Sterling Shepard

    Sterling ShepardMike Stobe/Getty Images

    The New York Giants currently have an abundance of slot receivers. Parris Campbell projects as their starter on the inside while Wan’Dale Robinson enters his second NFL season as the second-stringer, which could leave Sterling Shepard out to dry.

    The 30-year-old has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, missing 34 games over the last four seasons combined. However, he has been productive when on the field with a career average of 11.2 yards per catch, including 11.8 YPC on a small sample size a year ago. He’s also just two years removed from posting 656 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games.

    Shepard is also about to enter a contract year, and the Giants have spent top 100 picks on wideouts during the last two drafts; Robinson in 2022 and Jalin Hyatt in 2023, adding even more reasons for them to trade the Oklahoma product.

Philadelphia Eagles: Milton Williams

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    Milton Williams

    Milton WilliamsTim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

    By taking Georgia defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter in the first round of the draft in back-to-back years, the Philadelphia Eagles made it clear that investing in their defensive line is important to them.

    However, it has also pushed Milton Williams further down the depth chart.

    Playing behind Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave during his two-year career, the 24-year-old has participated in 34 regular-season games but only logged two starts. Given the limited reps, his six sacks are pretty impressive, and he likely would be more productive if given the opportunity to be a first-stringer elsewhere.

    With Davis and Carter serving as the heir apparent to Cox and Hargrave—the former is a free agent in the spring and the latter has already left—the Eagles could trade Williams and not skip a beat.

    Plus, they’ll likely spend the draft pick(s) they get in return on another defensive lineman, anyway.

Washington Commanders: Chase Young

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    Chase Young

    Chase YoungFrank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Washington Commanders are about to be in a tough spot this offseason. Both of their edge-rushers, Montez Sweat and Chase Young, are set to have their rookie contracts expire, and it’s going to be very difficult financially to sign both to long-term deals.

    That being said, picking who to pay between the two should be an easy decision: Sweat. He’s been healthy (relatively speaking) and productive every year while Young shined as a rookie and has struggled to stay on the field ever since.

    If the Commanders are being realistic with themselves heading into the regular season, they know they’re not going to be competing for a playoff spot. So, it would make sense to get something for the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year while they still can.

Buffalo Bills: A.J. Epenesa

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    A.J. Epenesa

    A.J. EpenesaMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    Make no mistake about it, the Buffalo Bills are going all-in on a Super Bowl run this season and are in the business of acquiring talent and not giving it away.

    For this exercise, though, defensive end A.J. Epenesa makes the most sense.

    The 24-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and unless the Bills want to get rid of Von Miller or Greg Rousseau, Epenesa will likely be looking for a bigger opportunity on the open market. He’s played in 43 career games but only has three starts due to the depth at the position at Buffalo.

    The good news is the 2020 second-round pick should fetch a good-sized return on the trade market as he’s coming off a career year with 6.5 sacks. Also, the Bills would still have Shaq Lawson and Leonard Floyd to serve as their backup edge-rushers.

Miami Dolphins: Andrew Van Ginkel

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    Andrew Van Ginkel

    Andrew Van GinkelTimothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

    The Miami Dolphins re-signed Andrew Van Ginkel in the offseason to a cheap deal, but their roster construction doesn’t really require his presence.

    Miami’s starting edge-defenders are in place with Bradley Chubb and Jaelen Phillips, and they also brought in Malik Reed during free agency to serve as a backup.

    Meanwhile, Emmanuel Ogbah is returning from injury and can play some edge if needed as he’s currently listed behind Zach Sieler at defensive end on the team’s depth chart.

    But Van Ginkel, 28, still has some value in the league. In 2021, his most recent season as a consistent starter, he logged 71 total tackles, nine for loss and four sacks.

    A team would give the Dolphins something for him, and it makes sense for Miami to make the move seeing as he projects to have a limited role in the fall and is going to be a free agent again in the spring.

New England Patriots: Deatrich Wise Jr.

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    Deatrich Wise Jr.

    Deatrich Wise Jr.Billie Weiss/Getty Images

    Throughout his tenure with the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has been known for getting rid of veteran players who have spent several years with the team and has typically ended up on the right side of those decisions.

    One has to wonder if that’s what was running through his mind when he spent a second-round pick on Keion White last April.

    Deatrich Wise Jr. has been a good player in New England over the last six years with 231 total tackles, 26 for loss and 24.5 sacks. He’s even coming off the most productive season of his career with 59 tackles, seven TFL and 7.5 quarterback takedowns, which should increase his trade value.

    Belichick could turn the reins over to White and use Trey Flowers, who is working his way back from an injury, as a backup for a year while picking up an asset for Wise. The latter only has two years left on his contract, giving the Pats more incentive to trade him.

New York Jets: Carl Lawson

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    Carl Lawson

    Carl LawsonJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Between Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Michael Clemons, Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald IV, the New York Jets have plenty of talent at defensive end. Even Bryce Huff played well in a limited role last season, and Solomon Thomas can take some reps on the edge if needed.

    So, the Jets could trade Lawson, and their defense probably wouldn’t notice his absence.

    After rupturing an Achilles ahead of the 2021 campaign in what would have been his first season playing for the Jets, the 28-year-old enjoyed a seven-sack performance in 2022 which should increase his trade value.

    Of course, New York has its sights set on a Super Bowl run this year, but getting something in return for a player who is an impending free agent at a position where it has an abundance of talent wouldn’t be a bad idea for Gang Green.


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