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5 wild NFL trades that could still happen after 2021 draft shakeup

After all the realignment of the 2021 draft order on Friday, what other wild NFL trades could be on tap this offseason? Read on for five amazing scenarios.

Matt Fitzgerald

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The 2021 NFL Draft got shaken up with two huge trades on Friday involving the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles, but more wild NFL trades could still be on the horizon.

With San Francisco now in position to take a new quarterback and replace Jimmy Garoppolo, there’s a possibility that Jimmy G gets shipped out of the Bay Area.

While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Garoppolo go, it’d still be crazy to see a signal-caller who, in his last full season in 2019, led the 49ers to a Super Bowl berth.

Let’s take a closer look at what a trade around Garoppolo could look like, along with four other blockbuster deals.

Read More: 49ers GM John Lynch will pick QB 3rd in 2021 NFL Draft, hear Jimmy Garoppolo trade offers

New England Patriots reunite with Jimmy Garoppolo

Wild NFL trades that could still happen: Jimmy Garoppolo to Patriots
Aug 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick drafted Garoppolo to eventually replace Tom Brady. Then, plans changed as Brady defied the odds and continued to thrive far beyond any reasonable expectations. Now at the old age of 29, Garoppolo is already being forced out of San Francisco as the 49ers seek to replace him.

The interest is there for New England to bring Garoppolo back. After a hyperactive free-agent spending spree, Belichick will likely sacrifice draft picks more willingly than he ever has before.

Cam Newton doesn’t fit the traditional mold of what Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels likes to do on offense. Garoppolo does. There was a plan in place before he left to make Jimmy G the GOAT’s heir apparent. Based on what the 49ers just did, that plan could still come to fruition.

It’d be nice to see Newton get another shot, because the deck was completely stacked against him in Foxborough in 2020. Alas, as long as San Francisco general manager John Lynch is taking phone calls, Belichick will probably offer him enough to end up acquiring Garoppolo.

Read More: New England Patriots ‘sniffing out’ Jimmy Garoppolo trade

Miami Dolphins finally close deal for Russell Wilson

Wild NFL trades that could still happen: Russell Wilson to Dolphins
Oct 4, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks on after defeating the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
  • Miami Dolphins get: QB Russell Wilson
  • Seattle Seahawks get: Three 1st-round picks, one 2nd-round pick, QB Tua Tagovailoa

This is the only trade on this list that involves (probably) more than one first-round pick or player, so it’s necessary to spell out what the Seahawks would be getting in return so that it looks like a worthwhile deal for both parties.

Tagovailoa was a top-five draft pick for a reason. The trade Miami made on Friday was likely in good faith, with the presumed intention of building around him.

With a month still leading up to the draft and even more assets in tow now, however, it’s hard to imagine Dolphins general manager Chris Grier won’t be sitting there, thinking about the possibility of having Wilson. Unlike other potential suitors, Grier has a young, promising Wilson successor to offer to Seattle.

Since Seahawks head coach wants to run the ball a lot and work off play-action, he might like Tagovailoa. That’s exactly the situations in which he thrived at Alabama, and it’d definitely help to have two legitimate playmakers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to throw to.

Wilson in Miami would just be so much fun. The Dolphins have more than enough ammunition to get it done. Trade the sixth, 18th, and 36th picks in this year’s draft, a 2022 first-round and Tagovailoa. Get Wilson. Seems like a no-brainer for both sides.

Read More: The case for, and against, Miami Dolphins committing to Tua Tagovailoa as franchise QB

Pittsburgh Steelers salvage Sam Darnold’s career

Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

You can’t tell me that Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph are an acceptable contingency plan to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh right now.

Big Ben had to rework his contract to help the Steelers out of serious salary cap trouble, but based on the decline he had in 2020 after beginning the year 11-0, there’s not much left in the tank for the aging field general. Everything could fall apart very quickly in Pittsburgh.

While Haskins is a former first-round pick, he’s squandered his opportunity in Washington already and is so far behind the curve. Rudolph has never really shown he has what it takes to be a long-term starter in the NFL.

Darnold is far and away a higher-upside QB at this point than either of those two. It probably wouldn’t take much for Pittsburgh to get him. Maybe a second-round pick since it’s an in-conference trade, but that might be more than other suitors offer Darnold, since everyone knows the Jets are likely to take BYU’s Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick.

Read More: New York Jets rumors: BYU QB Zach Wilson becoming likely option in 2021 NFL Draft

Denver Broncos move up to 4th overall in 2021 NFL Draft

Wild NFL trades that could still happen: Broncos move up in draft
Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In an AFC West division featuring Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr, the Broncos have to realize how far behind they are at the most important position on the field.

Drew Lock isn’t bad. He’s just not on the level of any of his divisional counterparts. Denver head coach Vic Fangio can get his defense in as good of shape as he wants. It won’t matter unless Lock delivers.

It’s time for the Broncos to stop messing around. Trade up with the Atlanta Falcons, who are out of conference and in dire need of cheaper, younger players to alleviate their salary cap woes and build out their defense.

According to the Drafttek.com trade value chart, the ninth and 40th overall picks would do the trick. Kick in an extra third-rounder in 2022 to spice it up, Denver. With this prized new asset, take Justin Fields out of Ohio State, or if the 49ers select him, then Trey Lance out of North Dakota State.

Fields and Lance have the type of high-end talent you look for in a franchise quarterback. They both also probably needs to sit a year in an ideal situation. Such was the plan with Herbert on the Los Angeles Chargers last season, though, and look how that turned out.

At least give Lock something to fight against. If he emerges as a legitimate winner in a QB competition, then hey, maybe he has something. If he’s not up to the task, well, then the Broncos know it’s time to move on.

Read More: Denver Broncos draft picks: Best 2021 NFL Draft targets, potential draft selections

Baltimore Ravens rescue Allen Robinson from Bears

Wild NFL trades that could still happen: Allen Robinson to Ravens
Sep 27, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) runs against Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee (27) during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Ravens signed Sammy Watkins in free agency, they need to give their MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson a legitimate, reliable No. 1 wideout. That’s exactly who Robinson has been despite the lackluster players who’ve thrown him the ball throughout his career. He has 200 receptions over the past two years.

Imagine thinking you’ll go into 2021 catching balls from Andy Dalton, only to find out it’s actually the dynamic, dual-threat Jackson who’ll be slinging it around the yard to you. That has to sound good enough for Robinson to bail on the Windy City.

After signing his franchise tag tender, Robinson is now eligible to be traded. There’s no way he wants to stay in Chicago as things stand with the Bears’ quarterback depth chart, which has still gone largely unaddressed for years on end.

Not only does Robinson fill a huge need for the Ravens — he’d also be a huge confidence boost to Jackson, and the two could spend the primes of their careers together competing for Super Bowls.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens GM says Lamar Jackson contract won’t be influenced by Dak Prescott