We’ve seen a number of blockbuster NFL trades go down recently. They are no longer an exception to the rule in the modern league.
This could continue to be the case during the 2020 offseason. The Las Vegas Raiders appear hellbent on moving on from Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr. What would an ideal trade look like in that regard?
On the other hand, the Carolina Panthers are likely to trade former NFL MVP Cam Newton. What teams would best help him overcome recent struggles and injuries?
It’s in this that I check in on blockbuster trades that we would love to see this offseason around the NFL.
Derek Carr to the Chicago Bears
Is Carr going to follow the Raiders to Las Vegas? It sure the heck seems like that’s not going to be the case. He has not had the best of relationships with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. They also seem to have their eyes on bigger prizes, in that of Tom Brady, among others.
Should Carr be traded, Chicago makes the most sense. The team’s brass has given struggling young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a not-so-ringing endorsement after a dismal 2019 campaign. The Bears have also been linked to a lesser quarterback.
This deal makes sense for several reasons. First off, Chicago gets a dramatic upgrade at quarterback in a player that has averaged north of 3,900 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 picks over the past five seasons. Secondly, Las Vegas picks up the second-round pick it yielded to Chicago in the Khalil Mack trade. It’s a win-win.
Todd Gurley to the New England Patriots
The Rams already seem to be regretting their decision to sign Gurley to a four-year, $57.5 million extension back in July 2018. The former Offensive Player of the Year is averaging just over 1,000 rushing yards per season since signing said deal. It could lead to general manager Les Snead looking to move the 25-year-old back.
If so, New England makes a ton of sense. It has been reported that Tom Brady is more worried about getting better skill-position players than cashing in on the first free-agent period of his career. Even if the Pats somehow lose Brady on the open market, Gurley makes sense as a key cog moving forward. Despite some struggles with usage, the dude is an all-purpose weapon and is averaging 1,447 total yards and nearly 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Something akin to New England giving up former first-round pick Sony Michel and a third-round pick could make this trade worth it for Los Angeles. The Pats are currently $44.1 million under the cap. Even if they were to re-sign Brady, Bill Belichick and Co. could make this work. Meanwhile, one of the reasons Los Angeles is considering trading Gurley is just how poorly its roster is structured from a salary cap standpoint.
Jamal Adams to the Minnesota Vikings for Dalvin Cook
I focused on this potential blockbuster to an extent in previewing Minnesota’s offseason. However, let’s delve into it a bit further. Is Cook looking to potentially pull a Melvin Gordon-like holdout? If so, does it make sense for the Vikings to play hardball with him?
Before putting up 1,654 total yards and 13 touchdowns last season, Cook played 15 total games in his first two seasons. It led to Minnesota exhausting a third-round pick on running back Alexander Mattison in the 2019 NFL Draft as insurance. He impressed to the tune of 4.6 yards per rush as a rookie. While Mattison would be a downgrade from Cook, he’d make much more sense from a financial perspective.
As it relates to the Jets, this would be a no-brainer. Le’Veon Bell has proven to be a free-agent bust. He does not fit Adam Gase’s offense. Meanwhile, there’s been rumors out of Jersey that the Jets might trade Adams. Why not get a Pro Bowler to team up with youngster Sam Darnold in the backfield? New York could also up the ante by demanding a third-round pick in addition to Cook for Adams.
O.J. Howard to the Seattle Seahawks
A top-10 pick of the Buccaneers back in 2017, Howard is never going to live up to expectations in a Bruce Arians offense that doesn’t cater to tight ends. Despite Jameis Winston tallying north of 5,100 passing yards last season, Howard caught just 34 passes for less than 500 yards. It’s time to free this talented pass catcher.
Enter into the equation a Seahawks team that could use an upgrade over restricted free agent Jacob Hollister. It’s the same Seahawks squad that needs to give Russell Wilson more help on offense. Howard would be a much better fit in this offense. That’s not even in question.
Boasting an additional second-round pick from the Frank Clark trade with Kansas City, the Seahawks could offer that up with their fourth-round selection for the Buccaneers third-round pick and Howard. That would be the equivalent of a late third-round pick. It seems to be fair-market value for the talented tight end.
Darius Slay to the Buffalo Bills
It’s already known that Slay wants to reset the cornerback market as we know it. He’s been pretty vocal about this on social media. The last thing the struggling Detroit Lions need is a contract stalemate with their best defensive player. Instead, Matt Patricia and Co. look to acquire a huge bounty for the three-time Pro Bowler.
In turn, Buffalo could make its scary defense even better. While the team needs to think about extending Tre’Davious White, adding Slay to go with that All-Pro performer would be a coup for Sean McDermott and Co. Having a quarterback in Josh Allen playing under his rookie deal makes this work from a salary cap perspective.
Could Detroit net the No. 22 overall pick from Buffalo for Slay? Unlikely. Instead, the Bills could hypothetically offer up their second-round pick, one of their fifth-round selections and a future mid-round pick for the star corner. This allows Detroit to build up draft capital as it continues with a rebuild.
Cam Newton to the Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are going to make a splash in their first offseason in Las Vegas. That much is already known. For Jon Gruden and Co., that starts at quarterback. We’re still hard-pressed to believe that Tom Brady is going to leave New England. Should nothing come to fruition on that end, Newton makes a ton of sense.
Las Vegas has the cap room to make a move of this ilk. It could also hypothetically offer up two of its three third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft to entice Carolina. This would still enable the Raiders to seriously consider a quarterback with one of its two first-round selections come April.
Imagine the optics. Hosting the NFL Draft this season, the Raiders decide to pull off this blockbuster trade. It would have fans going wild on the Vegas strip. We couldn’t ask for a better storyline. And from an on-field perspective, it makes too much sense.