NFL Pre-Draft Trade Rumors
April 2, 2012 Leave a Comment
With the NFL Draft coming up later this month, NFL teams are not only preparing their draft boards, but deciding if they are in the market for a trade.
The Draft has been a platform for teams to get trades done. In fact, the 2010 offseason saw an amazing 18 trades done in the month of April.
Players such as Donovan McNabb, Brandon Marshall,Santonio Holmes, Leon Washington, Ted Ginn, Tony Scheffler, and Jason Campbell were traded in April 2010.
Without a doubt, April is the most active month of trades for the NFL.
Lets take a look at this April’s trade possibilities:
1.) Matt Forte, Running Back:
There is no question Forte is one pissed off player. After carrying the Bears offense in 2011, the Bears rewarded Forte with a franchise tag and signing Michael Bush in Free Agency to a long-term contract.
Not exactly what he was expecting from Chicago this offseason.
Forte has not made it easy for Chicago, as he has made his unhappiness felt with every opportunity he is presented with by the media. Forte WANTS a new deal and he does deserve it.
Will Chicago give him a deal?
The Bears will not give a Forte a new deal, when the Bears signed Michael Bush they made Forte an expendable player. Bush is a starting caliber running back and also, with running backs getting drafted in later rounds, the Bears can easily find a player in the 3rd-4th round range to pair up with Bush to replace Forte’s productivity.
Now where will Chicago trade him?
My Prediction: Denver Broncos
The Broncos have the need at running back and the salary cap space to sign Forte long-term. Also the Broncos have the draft picks to make this trade.
The Broncos trade a 2nd and 4th rounder in 2012 for Matt Forte and give Peyton Manning his dynamic playmaker in the backfield.
2.) Asante Samuel, Cornerback:
Samuel is still a high-caliber cornerback even at the age of 31, however the eagles have $9.9 Million reasons why they would like to trade Samuel and have his salary off their books.
If Samuel wants to make it easier to get traded, he will need re-work his contract in order to make it more cap-friendly for his suitors.
Assuming Samuel does that, Where will he land?
I think it is very obvious..
My Prediction: Detriot Lions
The Lions nearly traded for Samuel last off-season, offering two 2nd day draft picks to the Eagles which they backed out of at the last-minute.
However, this offseason the Lions make their push and get their man. Samuel would bring MUCH needed help in the secondary for the Lions and provide them with a solid man-to-man corner that can play in Jim Schwartz’s defensive scheme.
Add the Lions Pass rush with Asante’s anticipation ability and we could have our league leader in interceptions next season.
The price Detroit will pay for Samuel?
4th rounder in 2012 and 2013.
3.) Dwight Freeney, Defensive End:
With Freeney being unwilling to move from his defensive end position to outside linebacker in new head coach Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme, the Colts started to field calls to see his trade value.
The Colts were met with no offers due to Freeney’s age (32) and his contract (1-year $14 Million)
Recently, Colts GM Ryan Grigson said “Freeney is a Colt. Period.”
Yeah, I do not buy this for a second.
Yet, I find it hard to find a suitor for Freeney with the cap space to afford him. Despite that, the demand for defensive ends is very high, especially for a team that is a push rusher away from being a serious title contender.
Well, what team with a 4-3 defense needs a pass rushing specialist off the edge that can impact games?
My Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
This is a bit of stretch, but I will go out on a limb here and pick Cincy as Freeney’s new team. The Bengals have the picks and the need for an experienced pass rusher off the edge. Not to mention, Freeney is a class-act, something that has been a problem for the Bengals before this past season.
Although he spent his whole career in a dome, so did Peyton Manning and that did not stop him from signing with the cold weather Broncos.
As for the Bengals, they will continue the trend of bringing in solid players as their acquire one of the best defensive ends in the league.
Jonathan Stewart, Running Back:
After signing Mike Tolbert in free agency, I have to believe the Panthers will deal Stewart. Despite reports that Tolbert is the fullback, I just do not believe it.
Why don’t I believe it?
The Panthers have invested $52 Million in their backfield including the acquisition of Tolbert and they will just not to able to afford Stewart after this season, so they might as well get value for him while they can.
Stewart is in the last year of his rookie contract and the team he is traded to will have the option to franchise tag Stewart after the 2012 season. So Stewart’s new team has a chance to get a young running back (25 years old) for two seasons which will amount to $ 9 Million (assuming they use the franchise tag after the 2012 season).
Not a bad bargain for young running back in his prime.
Where will Stewart land?
My Prediction: New England Patriots
With the departure of BenJarvis Green-Ellis, the Patriots are in need of a Running Back. Green-Ellis led the Patriots in rushing and touchdowns the past two seasons and was a very productive back for New England. Stewart is the perfect fit for New England and his contract situation is perfect for a franchise that is very timid to giving out big contracts.
5.) Matt Hasselbeck, Quarterback:
The Titans have a young quarterback in Jake Locker that seems ready to take the reins as the starting quarterback of the Titans.
With a year under his belt and some playing time last season, Locker seems like the logical choice for the franchise to move forward with.
As for Hasselback, he has been often injured and a shell of what he used to be in Seattle.
However, maybe a re-union is in the works?
I see Hasselbeck reuniting with Mike Holmgren in Cleveland.
Cleveland seems to waffling on McCoy and wondering if he is the man or not, Hasselbeck brings a veteran presence behind McCoy, gives some competition in training camp, and a mentor for McCoy to help him develop. No one knows Mike Holmgren’s system better than Matt Hasselbeck.
There is once exception to this happening, if Cleveland takes quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the draft with the 4th overall pick. In the end, I just don’t see the Browns picking Tannehill as they will elect to build around McCoy, not replace him (yet).
Bart Scott, Linebacker:
Bart Scott wanted out, so the Jets gave him permission to seek a trade, but Scott is still a Jet.
Sorry Bart, but in reality you are a two-down inside linebacker with much more bark than bite at this point in your career. Also, Scott is 32 years old and has $4.2 Million guaranteed to him this season, which is very high for linebacker that is very one-dimensional.
Bart Scott in coverage is a nightmare, he is an easy target for quarterbacks because Scott lacks the speed and range to cover quicker tight ends and running backs.
Rex now claims the Jets plan to keep Scott, but that could be an issue either of Ryan lacking foresight (which is very possible), or a leverage play by the organization. Teams will have interest in Scott if he’s released. They just aren’t going to take on his contract.
I honestly see the Jets either releasing him Scott after the draft OR trading him to Indianapolis for a 6th round pick.
What are your predictions?
Please, feel free to comment!