|Reggie Bush would fill a need for the Steelers, while Mike Wallace would greatly help a young offense in Miami.|
According to the always-entertaining Twitter feed of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, trade winds are swirling in the NFL as the regular season approaches. Looking at rosters across the league, what is one sensible trade that you'd like to see before the 2012 season kicks off?
Cowboys could send CB Jenkins to Lions for WR BurlesonThe Cowboys have repeatedly stressed that they aren't trading Mike Jenkins. But if the disgruntled cornerback suddenly gets healthy, and first-rounder Morris Claiborne continues to impress, they just might. Can you think of a better place for Jenkins than in Detroit?
After shedding cornerback Aaron Berry following two offseason arrests, the Lions need a corner. The Cowboys are still searching for a third receiver, and he might not be on the roster. How about the Cowboys send Jenkins to the Lions for receiver Nate Burleson? He did receive a $3.125 million signing bonus this year while restructuring his salary, so the Lions would have to eat some money. But it might be worth it for both sides. With Titus Young and Ryan Broyles possibly ready, Burleson could be expendable.
Steelers and Dolphins would help each other out with blockbuster dealGo big or go home, right? Mike Wallace is unhappy, and the Pittsburgh Steelers need a running back. The Miami Dolphins have no wide receivers and a little bit of depth in the backfield. Mike Wallace for Reggie Bush solves both of those issues.
The Dolphins need to help rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill with a cornerstone receiver if they expect him to succeed. With this deal, Daniel Thomas inherits the starting job he was drafted for a couple of years ago. You have to find out how talented he is. The Steelers would get a clear-cut No. 1 back, and still have enough weapons at receiver to get by. (Not to mention, Bush catching balls out of the backfield will help make up for any lost production.)
Boom. I make things happen.
Cowboys could certainly put Packers WR Jones to good useThe Cowboys desperately need a competent wide receiver. The Packers are drowning in them. James Jones would immediately upgrade Dallas, and Jerry Jones is certainly in win-now mode.
In theory, cornerback Mike Jenkins makes sense in return. But Jerry Jones giving up any assets this year? Feels like fantasy football. Packers GM Ted Thompson would probably rather have a mid-round pick for next year anyway.
Dolphins, Tannehill could also greatly benefit from acquiring Packers WR JonesMiami needs a wide receiver. Green Bay has depth at receiver. How about the Dolphins make a deal with the Packers for James Jones? He is better than any wideout on Miami's current roster and will know at least some of the system (seeing as new Miami head coach Joe Philbin spent the past five seasons as Green Bay's offensive coordinator). Jones has good size and strength, as well as above-average speed. He would be a valuable weapon for rookie QB Ryan Tannehill.
Miami could send a mid-round pick to Green Bay. Ted Thompson loves draft picks. Both teams help themselves.
Packers need a better backup quarterback; how about Colt McCoy?Cleveland's handing the keys of the offense over to first-round pick Brandon Weeden, a soon-to-be 29-year-old quarterback who doesn't have time to learn from the sidelines. Trade rumors surrounding last year's starter, Colt McCoy, have swirled since the Browns made that pick. Right now, Green Bay seems the most likely destination.
Graham Harrell has struggled this preseason, while rookie B.J. Coleman is still catching up with the speed of the NFL game. Getting McCoy for a Day 3 pick in next year's draft could help the Packers stay afloat this season if something happens to 2011 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Let's find new homes for Jones-Drew, Fitzgerald, Allen and PetersonThe NFL trails the other major sports (and the NBA) when it comes to big-time moves. Don't tell me Carson Palmer was a "blockbuster" deal last year. It only seemed large because it rarely happens in the NFL.
That said, I'd love to see some big-name players on teams headed for the cellar get traded to contenders -- like a real-life version of the trade generator in "Madden NFL." For starters, the Jacksonville Jaguars sending Maurice Jones-Drew to the Detroit Lions. That would give the Lions a credible running attack, plus he's pretty good as a receiver out of the backfield, too, so he would fit right into the offense.
The Cardinals are going to need some help in the future, and Larry Fitzgerald is just languishing there. Send him to the Dallas Cowboys and see what he could do for that oft-injured receiving corps.
The Vikings aren't going anywhere, so send Jared Allen to any team needing a pass rusher, like the San Diego Chargers. Then again, Allen prefers the 4-3 defense, so the New England Patriots would be more logical. And Adrian Peterson could make a splash in Washington, where Mike Shanahan could finally settle on a long-term answer at running back. But probably not.
Andrew Luck, meet Wes WelkerWould it take some careful placing of the Jenga pieces? You bet. But Wes Welker to the Indianapolis Colts makes some sense and would be enjoyable. The particulars:
a) Bill Belichick can sell high while Welker is still valued as a premium player (122 catches in 2011, mind you).
b) Piggybacking the last point, Belichick comes from the Jimmy Johnson school of acquiring picks and grabbing as many names off his draft board as possible (Johnson is one of Belichick's confidants).
c) ... thus, this would likely be a Welker trade for multiple picks, a la Brandon Marshall to the Bears for a pair of third-rounders. Now, Marshall is three years younger than Welker, so there is no way the Pats would get two 3's, but how about a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder?
d) Andrew Luck gets the best slot target in the NFL, while Reggie Wayne can play the X or the Z. With Austin Collie's future in doubt, and two rookie tight ends, having a veteran presence like Welker would not be the worst thing in the world.
e) Welker's contractual drama has been well covered, and sometimes these things lead to a change of scenery. However, while the Colts are in the AFC, this change of scenery would not represent a divisional issue for the Patriots. Nor are the Colts one player away, so Belichick wouldn't be running the risk of strengthening a true contender.