It may be playoff season for twelve franchises, but for the other twenty NFL franchises that didn’t qualify for the postseason, it is the offseason. The offseason features franchises closely monitoring draft prospects to further improve their respective teams. They evaluate their coaching personnel as to which pieces are vital and which pieces are obsolete. Franchises closely examining their front office to see where the strengths and weaknesses are.
The offseason also features teams manufacturing trades in order to acquire talents from other teams. Sometimes free agency or the draft aren’t the answer, but a player who a franchise likes is available via another team. The 2016 offseason will be no different from any other and will see its fair share of trades. Here, we take a look at fifteen players who will be traded in the 2016 offseason.
15. Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating season-ending injury on August 30th, 2016 when he tore his ACL and dislocated his knee joint. Less than a week later, the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford as they gave up their 2017 first round selection and a conditional fourth round pick in 2018. Bradford made sure to not let the Vikings down as he led Minnesota to his sixth straight season… in missing the postseason. Despite this, Bradford had the best year of his career. He even eclipsed Drew Brees’ completion percentage record of 71.2 as he posted a 71.6 average for the season. Bradford also threw for a career high 3,877 yards and a career low 5 interceptions. Bradford’s career year along with Bridgewater coming off the injury will pave the way for the Vikings to trade the former Louisville QB.
14. Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon has largely been out of the league since 2014 as a result of a number of off the field incidents, primarily related to his inability to say no to marijuana. Gordon dominated in the 2013 NFL season as he gained 1,646 receiving yards to go along with 87 receptions and 9 trips to the end zone. Unfortunately for both Gordon and the Cleveland Browns he has only seen the field five times since the 2013 season. Gordon hasn’t been able to stay on the field in Cleveland and checked himself into rehab in September of 2016, one week prior to when he was eligible to return from suspension. Gordon and the Browns both need a fresh start and the best way to do is by parting ways by facilitating a trade for the talented but troubled wideout.
13. Colin Kaepernick
With Chip Kelly out as head coach and Trent Baalke out as GM, a new regime will be put in charge for the 2017 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Current QB, Colin Kaepernick is likely the most polarizing player in the NFL today due to his comments and beliefs regarding standing for the American flag. Baalke was responsible for drafting Kaepernick in 2012 and he negotiated a restructure of Kaepernick’s contract in October of 2016. Prior to the 2016 season commencing, the Niners were fielding offers for Kaepernick. Teams such as the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos showed interest in the former Nevada product. Kaepernick may not be a starter in 2017; but what is certain is that he won’t be a 49er in 2017.
12. Jay Cutler
The likelihood of finding a Chicago Bears fan who isn’t ready to move on from the Jay Cutler is about as good as seeing the Cleveland Browns play the Detroit Lions in next year’s Super Bowl. Cutler has been with the Bears for eight seasons and in those eight seasons he has led them to a lone playoff appearance. He’s also been prone to the injury bug as he missed six games in 2010, five games in 2013 and a career high eleven games in 2016. However, in years in which Cutler has played in at least fifteen games he has surpassed the 3,000 yard mark every year. Cutler is now thirty-three years old and his best days are well behind him. The Bears may indeed go with Matt Barkley next year or attempt to make a splash in free agency or the draft; but, Cutler will not be calling the Windy City home come the 2017 season.
11. Nick Foles
The former Arizona Wildcat Nick Foles began his career in Philadelphia as a rather promising QB. He especially thrived in the 2013 campaign when he made his first and up to date only Pro Bowl as he posted a spectacular 119.2 QB rating to go along with 2,891 yards thrown for, 27 TDs and perhaps most impressive, just 2 INT’s. Yet, after the 2014 season in which Foles season ended prematurely at the hands of a broken collarbone, Chip Kelly decided to move on from Foles. In eight starts in 2014, Foles had thrown for 2,163 yards, 13 TD’s and 10 picks. Granted, Foles numbers were nowhere near as good as they were in 2013, but he was still on pace to surpass 4,000 yards thrown for. In 2015, Foles struggled immensely with the St. Louis Rams; in fairness, Jeff Fisher was adamant about keeping his 7-9 record in tact, so Foles had to save face. In 2016, Foles was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs where he’s served as Alex Smith’s backup. Foles’ past success in Philadelphia will line up suitors for him.
10. Torrey Smith
In March of 2015, Torrey Smith departed the state of Maryland, where he played both all of his college and all of his pro career in. The San Francisco 49ers signed Smith to a 5 year, $40 million deal. With a new regime set to enter in San Francisco, a rebuild is set to commence. Smith is one of the team’s most valuable commodities and arguably its most valuable player on offense. However, with the 49ers nowhere close to competing look for them to move on from Smith. At twenty-seven years old Smith is still relatively young and could be an ideal number two receiver for almost any team in the league. Smith is coming off an injury plagued season in which he only saw the field in six out of sixteen games and while this may hurt his value, it won’t deter teams from making calls for the former Maryland Terrapin.
9. Eric Berry
Eric Berry received the franchise tag in 2016 from the Kansas City Chiefs. General Manager John Dorsey said the following upon tagging Berry, “our goal is to keep Eric in Kansas City for the foreseeable future. He’s a special player that means a lot to our organization, the city, and has been a critical piece in building our foundation”. Berry’s 2016 season was nothing short of stellar as he racked up his fifth Pro Bowl selection and his third First-Team All Pro. Translation: Berry has shown that his amazing return from Hodgkins lymphoma wasn’t only going to result in him being the NFL’s Comeback Player in 2015, but that he was here to dominate for as long as he can see the field. The Chiefs may have hesitated to pay Berry; that doesn’t mean other teams will.
8. Jamie Collins
If you ask Siri on the iPhone where the Factory of Sadness is, it points you to none other than FirstEnergy Stadium, better known as the home of the Cleveland Browns. Now imagine that you’re Jamie Collins, one of the NFL’s most promising LB’s who plays for one of the NFL’s most dominant franchises, the New England Patriots. Now imagine that you’ve been traded from Foxboro to the forenamed Factory of Sadness. Collins claimed that when he was traded “this is my new home. This is my focus. I’m ready”, when he was asked if he was ready to sign a long term deal with the Browns. Collins experienced 1 win and 7 losses during his time as a Brown. He experienced thirteen losses in 3 1/2 seasons in New England; do we really think he wants to remain in “CLEAVEland”?
7. Sheldon Richardson
The New York Jets have the likes of Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams at DE which makes Sheldon Richardson (who currently plays OLB, but is originally a DE), expendable. Richardson’s also displayed poor judgment off the field. On July 2nd, 2015, Richardson was suspended by the league for four games because of marijuana usage. On July 14th, 2015 Richardson was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for street racing and driving at 140 MPH along with resisting arrest. Did I mention that Richardson was resisting arrest? Richardson’s off the field record isn’t good; fortunately for Richardson his on the field record is. The Jets are talented at the DE spot and Richardson is the odd man out. Look for Richardson to not sport green and white come the 2017 season.
6. Brandin Cooks
New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks put up a cryptic Instagram post in November 2016. Cooks caption read, “they tell you its a business. Well I guess I have to turn into a businessman #shootyourarrows”. Cooks reasoning likely had to do with the fact that he received zero targets against the Los Angeles Rams. To make matters worse, the Saints scored 49 points in this game! Cooks had all the right to be upset as he is the team’s number one receiver. Cooks looks like he is frustrated with his role in New Orleans and he will have plenty of suitors that would vie for his services. Cooks is also even more valuable considering he has two years left on his current contract (not including his fifth year option).
5. Joe Haden
He’s one of the league’s highest paid Cornerbacks and is paid more than the likes of Richard Sherman and Janoris Jenkins despite not playing at the level the two forenamed player play at. Haden was dangled as trade bait by the Cleveland Browns at the 2016 trade deadline but the Browns were unable to find a deal that pleased them. After a 1-15 season its clear, as in its clear to everyone including the Browns that the team is in rebuild mode. Haden is one of, if not the team’s most valuable commodities. The Browns will once again look to move Haden and they should have more suitors in the offseason as compared to the trade deadline of 2016. Look for the Browns to target a number of draft picks in exchange for Haden.
4. Darrelle Revis
The head of Revis Island, Darrelle Revis had his worst season in the NFL in 2016 and it all began in Week 1 when Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green torched him for 12 receptions, 180 yards and 1 TD. The trend would continue as Revis would get burned week by week, something Jets fans and Jets haters were not accustom to seeing. Revis recently made headlines when he told the New York Post, “would I love to be here? Yes. “Will I be back? That’s a great question. My thing would be this: Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here?”. Based on Revis comments it looks like the two parties are going in different directions as Revis is unsure of the franchise’s motives. If Revis has any intentions of playing longer he should do it far far away from the Jets as they are nowhere near contending.
3. Adrian Peterson
At thirty-one years old Adrian Peterson has quite the amount of mileage on him. Peterson only suited up in two games in the 2016 season as he suffered a torn meniscus in Week 2 against division rival Green Bay. Peterson is no stranger to injury as at he tore his ACL and MCL towards the end of the 2011 season. Peterson followed this up with an unbelievable MVP campaign in 2012, but he was twenty-six then. Peterson’s injury history along with the amount of miles on his body aren’t exactly things a trade suitor looks for. Yet, Peterson’s ability to contribute will make him a trade target for a number of teams. Peterson’s days as a lead back are likely over in Minnesota; his lead days as a lead back period are likely over; his days in the NFL somewhere else likely aren’t.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo
The asking price for Jimmy Garoppolo will be high; that doesn’t mean that a team(s) won’t be willing to pay it. Jimmy Garoppolo began the 2016 season as the starter for the New England Patriots as Tom Brady was out due to suspension. In Week 2, Garoppolo went down as he sprained his AC joint in his shoulder. He didn’t see the gridiron again for the season. In less than two full games, Garoppolo impressed as he accumulated 498 passing yards, 4 TD’s and a spectacular 123.5 passer rating. Garoppolo’s sample size was minuscule, but there are plenty of teams that are in need of a starting QB or could be interested in gambling on Garoppolo. Garoppolo will command plenty of interest in the 2017 offseason.
1. Tony Romo
In 2013, Jerry Jones broke out the checkbook as the Cowboys signed Tony Romo to a six year deal worth 108 million dollars. In 2016, the Cowboys selected Dak Prescott in the forth round with the 135th pick. With Romo going down at the hands of a back injury in the 2016 preseason, Prescott was handed over the reigns. Prescott led the team to a 13-3 record and now appears to have a stronghold on the QB job for today, tommorrow and beyond. With the salary Romo commands it makes no sense for the Boys to keep him on payroll any longer. Romo and the Boys will mutually part ways and look for Jones to orchestrate a trade that is beneficial for Romo and to a team that Romo wants to play for.
Prediction: Tony Romo is traded to the Denver Broncos.