The trade deadline in the NFL came and went, and nothing of note happened. Unlike many other sports that have a trade deadline as the push for the playoffs mount the NFL trade deadline is basically at the halfway point of the season, and few teams make changes. In fairness players need time to learn the complex systems and plays called by a new team, so switching at the halfway point is really not fair to anyone. But that doesn’t stop me from finding some trades I think should have happened.
1. Mark Sanchez to the New York Jets for a 3rd round pick: The Philadelphia Eagles really hedged their bets when they picked up Mark Sanchez in the offseason. In fairness Tim Tebow would have been a better fit for the fast paced offence Chip Kelly likes to run. With that said, Sanchez was lucky to get over two million on his offer sheet. The Eagles looked good under Nick Foles, but with him possibly out for the season, and the departure of Michael Vick (to the Jets) left a void at backup. The Jets won’t part with top draft choice Geno Smith just yet, and sending Vick back to the Eagles wouldn’t work, so giving up a 3rd rounder I would say is generous for a man of Sanchez’s talents. The Eagles could take a QB with that pick this coming season or they could flip it for another backup. Sanchez works for the Jets because he knows the system, and wouldn’t throw picks like the current QB one and two. Geno and Vick are giving the ball away like it’s candy on Halloween. “Oh, look, you’re dressed as a player of the opposing team, here, have a football.” Mark Sanchez gets a chance to play football, the Jets get a quarterback that can run the system and the Eagles get a high third round pick. Everyone wins.
2. Adrian Peterson to the Dallas Cowboys for a 4th round pick: The Minnesota Vikings aren’t looking good right now. The team is in shambles and their best player is in court in Texas. AP has been the face of the franchise since he was a rookie, but the legal issues are going to force the team to rethink his spot on the roster. Dallas could use someone to spell DeMarco Murray or replace him (as this is the last year of his contract). Peterson would be closer to home, and wouldn’t count towards the cap until the team wants to take him off the Commissioners list. Peterson gets a change of scenery, Dallas gets a premier running back and the Vikings get out of a bad situation.
3. Jay Cutler to the Houston Texans for Ryan Fitzpatrick and a 2nd round pick: The Chicago Bears and the Houston Texans are underachieving this year. That is sort of tough to say for the Texans as they finished with the worst record in football last year, but it’s true. The team had hoped to flip the script like the Indianapolis Colts did just a few years prior. Finding a quarterback hasn’t been easy, but the defense is playing great. In Chicago the defense is falling apart faster than a Jenga tower at a Daycare Center situated on a fault line. The team needs to rebuild, and Cutler may have never been the right fit. Chicago would get a QB that would still be able to distribute the ball and a pick to work into the defense next year, Houston gets a better quarterback that might benefit from a change in scenery and both players get a fresh start.
4. Cameron Wake to the New Orleans Saints for a 1st and a 3rd round pick: It’s safe to say that Wake has lived up to the hype of his high draft status. On a poor team he is still getting to the QB, and the Saints need a LOT of help on defense. The Saints are likely not making the playoffs even with a sweep of their remaining games, but the addition of a player like Wake would go a mile towards the next season. He’s worth the first round pick, and the third has to be there to sweeten the deal. The Dolphins would be hard pressed to trade a potential cornerstone player, but the team needs a lot more depth on both sides of the ball to compete, so the third rounder might do the trick. The Saints get some much needed help on the D-line, the Dolphins get some needed picks for the next year, and Wake gets to play for a potential contender in years to come.
5. Doug Free to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional 3rd/4th round pick: The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been incredible this year. When Doug Free went down the right tackle spot had some question marks as the depth chart showed a player (Jermey Parnell) who had played defensive line earlier in his football career. I think the line has looked better under Parnell than it did with Free there, so Free becomes expendable. I expect Free to ride the bench even when he comes back after the performance by Parnell. The Falcons need offensive line help in the worst way, and Free has played both right and left tackle in his career. The conditional pick would be based on how many games Free would be able to start. A third round pick if he’s able to play in six or more games, a fourth if it’s less than six. The Falcons get a player who can start right away and will play consistent ball, the Cowboys get a pick to help improve the defense next year and Free gets to start.