Big-time trades in the NFL used to come along once every few years. Now we sometimes get three whoppers in five minutes. The extra salary cap room throughout the league has allowed more teams the flexibility to use their players like "assets," ala the NBA.
That's why we expect this week's draft to be active on the trade front. The five deals below are not necessarily likely to happen, but they are moves that we would love to see. Consider this our wishlist for a fun week.
Philip Rivers to the Titans in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick
Call it a straight-up Rivers-for-Marcus Mariota swap. All parties get what they want. * -- Chris Wesseling*
Cowboys trade up to draft Todd Gurley
Cowboys executive Stephen Jones said Dallas doesn't plan to trade draft picks for a veteran player (i.e. Adrian Peterson). How about trading for a rookie running back being called the runner since Peterson entered the NFL? Zoning in on Todd Gurley, the Cowboys trade their No. 27 pick, No. 60 overall and a 2016 third-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 15 overall pick.
We know Trent Baalke loves to trade back to bank picks and will get value in this scenario. The Cowboys jump ahead of the likes of the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens to grab Gurley -- if he lasts till No. 15. Behind Dallas' offensive line Gurley would provide the power back they lost when DeMarco Murray left for Philly. The rookie is a player the Cowboys can rebuild a stout running game around for years to come. * -- Kevin Patra*
Bears swing megadeal for Tampa's No. 1
"This trade allows the Bucs to build deep into the future while giving us a veteran quarterback we believe in. Jay Cutler can take us where we need to go." - Lovie Smith, Thursday night
Chicago wants to start over at quarterback. So do the Bucs. That leads Bears general manager Ryan Pace to pick up the phone and offer Tampa a slew of picks -- this year's seventh overall selection and next year's first and second -- to move up six spots into No. 1. Chicago also throws in Matt Forte (with one year left on his deal) and Jay Cutler.
The upshot: John Fox and Adam Gase land their young quarterback of the future in Jameis Winston while Lovie strolls down a familiar path: fawning over veterans from his time with the Bears. For a team with so many needs, though, the trade gives Tampa plenty of ammunition to build with. * -- Marc Sessler*
Vikes deal A.P. to Arizona
Adrian Peterson doesn't want to play for the Vikings anymore. Instead of engaging in a depressing, protracted standoff, the Vikings should grant Peterson his wish and deal the star to the Cardinals post-haste. Timing is key here as the former MVP enters his age-30 season. Even if he delivers another monster campaign, the combination of age and the position he plays will inevitably depress his value. The Vikings should accept that too much has happened to move forward together and make the most of a bad situation. The Cardinals are an ideal fit -- a possible Super Bowl contender with an extreme need in the backfield and a first-round pick to give up. As for the cost: A first-round pick in 2015 (24th overall) and a conditional third-rounder in 2016 makes sense to me. DO IT. -- Dan Hanzus
Robert Griffin III to the Bills for EJ Manuel and change
To repeat: This column is about what we'd love to see, and we readily admit this isn't going to happen. But wouldn't it be great? Robert Griffin's latest comments are a reminder of how poisoned the atmosphere in Washington has become. The coaching staff and management may not be on the same page with RGIII, which is not a healthy situation for anyone. Anyone that loved watching Griffin play as a rookie wants to see him get a true second chance. It's hard to imagine that happening in Washington.
While we acknowledge this trade is more than unlikely, it makes plenty of sense. The Bills have a creative offensive coordinator in Greg Roman that has a history with Colin Kaepernick, a similar quarterback, in San Francisco. Griffin could compete to start with Matt Cassel and try to prove he's a long-term option. The Redskins would be better off just starting fresh with a quarterback that coach Jay Gruden actually wants like Kirk Cousins. Manuel would give Gruden another option to compete. If we've learned anything about the Grudens at the NFL level, they usually don't stick with one starting quarterback for long. -- Gregg Rosenthal