The 2020 NFL deadline is quickly approaching and with a number of teams that look like their seasons are already over, selling off pieces to stay under an uncertain 2021 salary cap could prompt a rush of activity at the deadline. Here are a few trades that make sense for both teams.
Michael Thomas – Indianapolis Colts
The New Orleans Saints unloading Michael Thomas after signing him to a $100 million dollar contract sounds ludicrous but here we are. I understand that Saints Head coach Sean Payton recently tweeted that Thomas wasn’t going anywhere, the fact remains that the team has imposed punishment for allegedly striking another teammate. Those details usually remain in-house unless the team is sending out mixed signals in hopes of generating interest.
The Colts have just over $10 million dollars of cap space this year but have over $76 million projected for 2021 making them one of the few teams that can absorb a hefty contract. No matter what anyone tells you, Micheal Thomas has a contract that can be easily traded. The Saints would only have $6 million dollars of dead space while creating $1 million dollars of room. This should appeal to New Orleans as they are projected to be a whopping $78 million dollars over the cap in 2021. Other teams that also make sense is Seattle, Baltimore, and Buffalo.
Odell Beckham Jr. – Green Bay Packers
It looks to me like OBJ is more in love with the limelight than the grind of the NFL season. With that said, I would imagine running routes for a future Hall of Famer would make his job unbelievably easier. This pairing would not only give the Packers two legitimate outside weapons, but it would also keep Aaron Rodgers happy.
The Cleveland Browns are a team loaded with talent but have a signal-caller in Baker Mayfield that could divide the locker room if his poor play doesn’t rise to the level of the number one overall pick expectations. It is my belief that Beckham has already overstayed his welcome with his displeasure of the quarterback’s inability to consistently get the ball to him. Other teams that could make a play for Beckham is Tennessee and Seattle.
Quinnen Williams – Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys appear to be done so this trade is not only about filling a major need at the position but also for the future. Williams was the third overall pick just a year ago so trading him now looks like the Jets front office is in full fire sale mode. Regardless, the New York Jets have to rebuild their team all over again and keeping players that will no doubt leave once the rebuild is complete only hinders progress.
The Dallas Cowboys would acquire a player that would be asked to do what he does best. Clogging the middle of the line would allow their other defenders to simply read and react without lineman in their face. This trade would fill a major hole without the Dallas Cowboys having to give up a first round pick. The Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are teams to watch out for Williams also.
J.J. Watt – Baltimore Ravens
The J.J. Watt era in Houston looks more like a stroll down memory lane rather than a valuable chess piece ready to pounce. The roster is now devoid of talent after former head coach and acting G.M. Bill O’Brien allowed his heart to make moves his head shouldn’t have allowed. Houston allowing Watt to leave and chase a championship would be a nice symbolic thank you for all that he provided that city.
The Baltimore Ravens have been masterful when acquiring talent without having to give up premium draft capital. This would instantly give Baltimore one of the most feared defensive fronts and could give them an edge if they happen to face the Kansas City Chiefs again. Baltimore appears to be up against the salary cap but they do have over $40 million dollars of space next year. Watt does not have any guaranteed money left in his deal, making him a very easy trade target when talking about money. The Packers and Seahawks could use his services as well.
A.J. Green – New England Patriots
A.J. Green looks like he has thrown in the towel in Cincinnati. He apparently mouthed the words “trade me” during a game earlier this year signals the time has come for the Bengals to move on. A trade just a year ago could have netted the team a first-round pick but I would be surprised if they got anything more than a 4th.
Enter the New England Patriots who could use Green this year to try and win another AFC East crown. Bill Belichick seeing Tom Brady succeed in Tampa while his team is under.500 could lead some to believe that the team’s success was more on Brady than the coach could prompt such an aggressive move. He would fit in Baltimore but there is no way I could see such hated division rivals make a trade with each other. Indianapolis could also be a trade destination as well as Philadelphia.