The NFL trade deadline usually falls far short of the excitement and anticipation other sports bring. However, that could change this year for one big reason. The lockout has shown players don't need as much time to get ready as teams have thought in the past.
Teams would hesitate to pull the trigger on a deadline deal because the common belief was a player needed a month or more to get acclimated. Considering players had only about a month with their respective teams after the lockout ended, that theory might be obsolete and make teams more aggressive.
There are generally two types of teams that should be looking to make a move before Tuesday's deadline: Ones that feel they are a player away from going to or making a deep playoff run -- the Texans and Raiders for example -- and those who are already out of contention and need to think about the future. There are also cases of a team with high expectations looks to shake things up after a poor start -- the Jets.
I made more than 50 trades during my time in the NFL and realize there's a lot that goes into finding a fit for both sides. With that in mind, I have come up with a list of deals that would make sense for all involved. One caveat: these trades are irrespective of what the cap situations are for each team because organizations know how to massage the numbers to get things done.
To trade or not to trade Palmer?
Bengals send Palmer to Seahawks
In turn, Seattle would send receiver Doug Baldwin, the undrafted free agent who is off to a great start, and draft choices. The quality of the picks would be based on Palmer's performance over the next two years. I'm not talking about numbers here, I mean wins and losses. If Seattle makes the playoffs in either year and Palmer starts 50 percent of the games, Cincinnati could get a first rounder. If he doesn't start much, Seattle could potentially only give up a third-rounder.
This trade would give Seattle a QB for some years to come, as Palmer is only 31. Baldwin gives Cincinnati a good young receiver to pair with Dalton and A.J. Green.
Patriots must address defense
First, the Patriots should reach out to the Vikings to see if they would be willing to part with Jared Allen. He has 8.5 sacks this season, but Minnesota must start over at 1-4, so adding a first-round pick from New England would help that process. Second-year end Everson Griffen can take Allen's spot and the Patriots could also throw in Mark Anderson to help depth at the position.
New England shouldn't stop there. The next call ought to be to Philly in a potential swap of defenders.
The Eagles need a linebacker and Guyton would help shore up their poor run defense. Even at 1-4, Philly isn't out of the playoff race. Rodgers-Cromartie is good, but time is running out and cornerback is a position of strength.
Adding Allen or Rodgers-Cromartie would help New England. Getting them both would make the Patriots scary.
Swap between NFC East rivals
Texans not done dealing
Adding a situational pass rusher like Jason Taylor makes sense. He wouldn't cost much, potentially a seventh-round pick that escalates if he plays and produces, and might get fired up to move from a last-place team to one with a good chance to make the playoffs.
Secondary issue in Detroit
The Lions have a weakness at safety, and it needs to be addressed if they're going to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Packers have to protect Mr. Rodgers
» For the sixth time in team history, the Packers have started a season 5-0. The previous five times that has happened, they went on to win the NFL title (1929, '30, '31, '62 and '65).
» Cam Newton is the first player in NFL history to pass and rush for at least five touchdowns in his first five games.
» Calvin Johnson is the first player in NFL history with nine touchdown catches in the first five games of the season.
» The Cowboys will wear their blue uniforms for the first time since 2009 when they played at New England.
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