Just because the NFL regular season has begun doesn’t mean that individual teams are done with making transactions. There are still a bevy of players who are slated to be on the trading block, and others who no doubt want to be on the trading block. While some of them will ultimately remain on their current team for the entire season, there will undoubtedly be others that are dealt to another team by mid-season.
Some of these players have good reason for their desire to be traded, as their current circumstances and outlook have obviously deteriorated. Because of this, other teams around the league stand to gain some truly elite talents, and provide a better situation to these players than what they have presently. Whether they end up being traded during this season or not, there’s no question that these players want out of their current situation, for a variety of reasons.
Keep tabs on these names as the season goes on, or as the main acquisition period of next offseason gets going. Most of them will probably be seeing a new home eventually.
Ranked below are 15 NFL players who can’t wait to be traded.
15. Jimmy Garoppolo
The longer the Patriots keep granting the starting job to Tom Brady, the more restless Garoppolo is likely getting. A former 2nd-round draft pick in 2014, he’s been Brady’s backup for the past three seasons, and his patience has to be wearing thin. Of course, the Patriots haven’t even come close to revealing their true plans for Brady and the possibility of Garoppolo succeeding him, but one way or another, he’ll have to be looking at a starting job soon.
If they let him walk in free agency, they’ll be left without a confirmed replacement for Brady, so it’s not an ideal scenario. However, trading him could yield a draft pick that could be used to draft a replacement, if they feel Garoppolo is worth the move. No telling how it will play out, but Garoppolo’s personal frustration must be mounting at this point.
14. Spencer Ware
It only took one injury to Ware just before the season started to cement rookie Kareem Hunt as the Chiefs’ primary running back. Ware must be seeing the writing on the wall right now, given how well Hunt has played, and how high the franchise and Andy Reid are on him at the moment. The best scenario for Ware is a trade to a team that could better utilize his services as a go-to running back.
Of course, any trade would have to happen after the conclusion of the season, given his injury which projects him to miss the entirety of the 2017 campaign. Though some teams may be wary about trading for a player coming off of major injury, Ware is good enough to garner some kind of trade value. The Chiefs certainly don’t need him anymore, so they should be a willing participant.
13. Trumaine Johnson
Contract disputes over the offseason led to Johnson being franchise tagged for the second time now, and that has to signify some kind of disconnect between him and the Rams. No doubt that the 27-year-old Johnson would command a massive trade value if Los Angeles wanted to go that route, as he’s one of the absolute best cornerbacks in the game right now.
If a deal couldn’t be reached over the past two years, then it’s unlikely one ever gets done for the long-term here. The Rams should be wanting to see what they can get for Johnson when he’s still in his prime, instead of dragging out his tenure with the team. Expect him to be moved before the start of next season, one way or another.
12. Bryce Petty
The idea that Petty was ever going to be a franchise NFL quarterback was always a long-shot, but now he’s barely even treading water with the Jets at the moment. The team has invested many resources into the quarterback position over the past couple of seasons, and Petty has gotten lost in the shuffle, with little hope of winning the starting job. With the Jets likely to be taking a quarterback off the board in next year’s draft, Petty will be gone sooner rather than later.
And he has to be itching to get a legitimate chance to make another roster, even as a backup. Petty may not have the skill set of the game’s best, but he could potentially earn a 2nd-string role that could sustain his career for years to come. He won’t get that in New York, with the clutter of quarterbacks on the roster right now. A trade to another team is the best option for him right now.
11. Jarvis Landry
Landry has been one of the best possession receivers in the league during his time with the Dolphins over the past three years. There’s no question that they’d ideally love to keep him, but the inability to come to a long-term deal during the offseason was concerning, given that he’s set to hit the free agent market following the conclusion of this season. The two sides may just be too far apart to get a deal done at this point.
Not to mention that Jay Cutler has seemed to have found a primary target in DeVante Parker, and already has an established deep threat in Kenny Stills on the receiving corps. Landry may feel that he’s on the outs, and if that’s the case, Miami should be looking to trade him mid-season for a premium return from a team desperate for receiving help. Definitely a situation to keep an eye on.
10. Adrian Peterson
It remains to be seen how well this three-headed-monster that is the Saints’ backfield is going to work out over the season. There’s been some contention from Peterson already, regarding how many carries he’s been getting per game. If he expects to be the bell-cow running back every week, then maybe this isn’t the best fit for him after all. It’ll depend on how much Sean Payton uses him going forward.
If it doesn’t change, Peterson is likely to request a trade at some point. He’s in the twilight of his career, and no doubt wants to be competing for a Super Bowl; an achievement that’s eluded him for his entire career. The relationship between Peterson and the Saints could go south very quickly.
9. Jeremy Hill
Though Hill remains the primary running back in Cincinnati right now, there’s little doubt that Joe Mixon will eventually usurp him for the lead role going forward. It’s really just a matter of when, and Mixon has already been incorporated into the offense on a consistent basis. This would likely prompt Hill to request a trade mid-season, or simply walk in free agency after the season is over.
While Hill has produced very well for the Bengals in the past, he’s been less effective in recent years, giving the team further reason to cooperate in moving him. Hill still has ability for sure, but he’ll have to go to a different offense to maximize it, as he’s somewhat fallen out of favor in his current situation. There will be buyers for a running back as the season goes on, so Cincinnati should keep their eyes open.
8. Tyrod Taylor
The Bills made no bones about the fact that they were rebuilding in the first year under new head coach Sean McDermott. They sold off several marquee players, including Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, which in turn prompted free agent receiver Anquan Boldin to retire before the season started. Needless to say, it created quite a bit of chaos in just a few weeks, and the one left hung out to dry is Taylor, who has less options to throw to from under center.
After surprisingly winning the starting job in 2015, Taylor has been a solid quarterback for the Bills, but it’s clear that he isn’t in the team’s long-term plans. Being traded to a team in need of a quarterback would be the best case scenario for him, but it’s likely to happen after the season. But Buffalo clearly doesn’t want him as a franchise player, so there should be a decent market for him, given his relatively consistent play.
7. T.J. Yeldon
Yeldon received every opportunity to win the Jaguars’ starting running back job over the past few seasons, but squandered most of the chances he got. The former 2nd-round pick was definitely expected to play better than he has, which led to Jacksonville drafting Leonard Fournette in the 1st-round this year, to be their lead runner.
There’s just little left for Yeldon to do in Jacksonville other than fill in for a potentially injured Fournette. With another team (with a better offensive line) his skill set could be better utilized, so he should be looking for a change right about now. If he could yield a mid-round pick in next year’s draft, the Jaguars should have mutual interest in moving on. Fournette is clearly the primary runner now in the Jacksonville backfield.
6. Latavius Murray
Even though he was just signed by the Vikings in the offseason, it seems that Murray’s time as a viable starter for Minnesota has already passed. If the early part of the season has been any indication, it’s clear that rookie Dalvin Cook has commanded the bulk of the work in the backfield for Minnesota, and will continue to do so going forward. There were questions about Murray even as a starter in Oakland, and that hasn’t changed with a change of scenery.
Frankly, there may not be a team in the league willing to give Murray a starting role as a running back right now, but he should still be looking for a way out. At 27-years-old, he’s squarely in his prime and it’s pretty much his last chance to be a starter in the league at all. Given his spot on the depth chart in Minnesota, he could be be looking for a way out early.
5. Aaron Donald
It’s evident that Donald is not happy with the Rams management right now, having just returned to the team after a contract dispute that lasted the entire offseason. Donald held out of offseason team activities through the entirety of training camp, and didn’t play in the opener because he had only then reported to the facilities. While he’ll suit up for the rest of the season if healthy, there is a strained relationship between the two sides, and Donald clearly wants to be elsewhere.
He’s one of the best young defensive linemen in the league, and the former 1st-round pick has lived up to expectations in full. The Rams technically could keep him under team control for the next two seasons as he plays out his rookie deal, but it may not be worth it from an interpersonal perspective. There will be a ton of buyers for Donald if they want to trade him.
4. Mark Ingram
We’ve talked about the potential mess that the Saints backfield could be, and Ingram is just another runner being affected by the amount of carries. After being the lead back in New Orleans for the past few years, Ingram now finds himself in a timeshare for touches. With rookie back Alvin Kamara likely to take over the bulk of the carries in the near future, Ingram’s wheels have to be turning at the moment.
The Saints would be smart to trade him while he still has some degree of legitimate value. He won’t command the highest price, but a solid return is still likely. Between Ingram and Peterson, New Orleans should really consider moving one before mid-season.
3. Richard Sherman
While nothing came of the rumors during the offseason of a trade for Sherman, that doesn’t mean that he’s fit to stay in Seattle for the rest of his career. It’s easy to see why he may be fixing to leave. The Seahawks defense isn’t the same one that it was a few years ago, and Sherman will have to gauge whether it’s actually possible to win another Super Bowl with them in the near future, given his age.
If Seattle begins to falter around mid-season, or fails to make an impact on the playoffs, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world. Teams will pay out for Sherman, who has proven to still be an effective corner, and the Seahawks can rake in value for him while they’re still able to.
2. LeSean McCoy
As mentioned earlier, the Bills have made it clear that they’re undergoing a rebuild for the 2017 season. What looked like a formidable offense merely a month or two ago, has been gutted of a fair portion of the talent that projected to serve a major role this year. The one elite player who stayed was McCoy, who will be entering his third season in Buffalo.
For obvious reasons, he can’t be too pleased with the current trajectory of the Bills, which would make them a contender right about the time he’s a year or so into retirement. If he hasn’t requested a trade yet, then it will happen in the next few months, barring some kind of miracle that sees Buffalo in the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season. McCoy needs to win now, and this isn’t the optimal situation for that.
1. Andrew Luck
It’s not hard to believe why Luck is likely irate with the Colts’ brass right now. Indy has been one of the most mismanaged teams in the league over the past few years. While Ryan Grigson has finally been relieved of general manager duties, it doesn’t mean that the effects of his personnel decisions aren’t still making waves throughout the organization.
Though Luck is hurt at the moment, he still has the ability to survey the situation, and realize the massive deficiencies the team has right now. He’s attached to a massive long-term contract, but the right team would be willing to pay out for it in the event of a trade, as Luck is one of the league’s best arm talents when he’s healthy.
As it’s becoming increasingly easy to believe that Luck contemplating a request for a trade, we may see him move on to another franchise as soon as the next offseason. If he can get healthy and play at his usual level, there will be confirmed buyers if he’s placed on the trading block. This is one of the most interesting situations to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
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