The Trent Richardson trade may have set into motion a series of moves around the National Football League before the deadline that could make it more like Major League Baseball. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was put in place prior to the 2011 season, pretty much guaranteed this. Both sides agreed to push the deadline back to late October, a move that will enable teams to understand where they stand and if they should make a move.
Looking specifically at the 2013 season, there are a few players that seem to be on the trading block at this point.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they benched Josh Freeman in favor of Mike Glennon on Thursday, there were numerous reports that a few teams expressed interest. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, who were initially mentioned as possibilities, don’t seem to be interested at this point. In addition, the Oakland Raiders, another team that was said to be interested, have a young quarterback in the form of Terrelle Pryor and haven’t expressed much interest in dealing draft picks for veterans.
There is a chance that Tampa Bay decides Freeman isn’t worth it. He’s due nearly $7 million for the remainder of the season, and may be nothing more than a distraction behind Glennon in what has become a circus-like atmosphere. Either way, there seems to be a good chance that Freeman is moved before the end of next month. It just remains to be seen if the Buccaneers can get a late-round pick for his services.
Sources indicate that the Browns have expressed interest in Houston Texans’ running back Ben Tate, but that’s about it. We find it hard to believe that Houston would be willing to part with a valuable backup when its looking to contend for a conference title. While Tate is set to become a free agent following the 2013 season, Houston needs to have someone behind Arian Foster, who has slowed down a bit during the early part of the year. If Cleveland, or another team, were to throw a nice pick Houston’s way, it might have to think about it. Though, it’s highly unlikely that the Browns would do that after sending Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts earlier in September.
There are a few receivers that are currently being talked about as viable trade chips.
Immediately after Cleveland sent Richardson packing, there were rumors out there that wide receiver Josh Gordon was on the trade block. The second-year receiver from Baylor responded by recording 10 receptions for 146 yards and a score against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. The Browns are still seeking out suitors for Gordon, even after trading Richardson away. Teams that have shown some interest include the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints. Cleveland yielded a second-round pick in April’s draft by selecting Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft. It’s reasonable to think that the Browns would seek like compensation for the talented young receiver. Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy and faces a 16-game suspension for his next violation. That’s sure to lower his value.
The one team that could afford sending a pick or two, one of which would be of the higher-round variety, is San Francisco. Depending on whether Kansas City wins eight games this season, the 49ers could receive an additional second-round pick in the Alex Smith trade. That would leave them with a minimum of two second-round picks and three third-round picks. Even after defeating the St. Louis Rams 35-11 on Thursday, San Francisco is still in need of wide receiver help.
Kenny Britt also appears to be on the trade block. The veteran receiver has dealt with multiple off-field issues and injuries during his career with the Tennessee Titans. He’s currently on the injury report once again and may soon lose out to rookie Justin Hunter on the depth chart. Tennessee wouldn’t necessarily be seeking much in return for the volatile receiver, who is set to become a free agent following this season. The New England Patriots seem to make the most sense at this point. With that said, the Saints, Lions and 49ers could show some interest before the deadline.
Another player who could find himself on the trade block is New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks, who is set to become a free agent and seems a bit disgruntled this far this year. Nicks went off on a bit of a rant after New York’s 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 and doesn’t seem to be too happy with his role on the Giants. With Victor Cruz locked up long term, it’s highly unlikely New York retains Nicks in free agency. Combine that with the real possibility of starting 1-5 or 0-6 before the deadline and it just makes sense for New York to get whatever it can for the former first-round pick.
Other Players Potentially on the Trade Block
Christian Ponder, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings: Injured and possibly out of a starting job in Minnesota, it appears that Ponder may be running on fumes with his original NFL team. With a year still remaining on his contract, it seems unlikely that Ponder will find a starting gig anytime soon. His value is pretty darn low at this point.
Mark Ingram, Running Back, New Orleans Saints: Speaking of selling on the cheap, Ingram has proven absolutely nothing in his time with the Saints and seems to have fallen out of favor. The former first-round pick is averaging less than two yards per rush this season and has one year remaining on his deal. Mid-to-late round value here.
Vincent is the head sports editor at eDraft, co-host of eDraft Sports Radio (which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. ET) and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus. He’s also the news director at PFC and co-host of Football Debate Central with Ryan Riddle every Friday. He’s also a former league-wide featured columnist at Bleacher Report.