We’ve seen a tremendous amount of blockbusters already go down during the young NFL offseason.
In no way does this mean we’re done. Certain teams filled holes during free agency — making incumbent players more available on the trade block. Meanwhile, other teams are holding out hope that they can trade a player before ultimately releasing the veteran.
It’s in this that we look at seven NFL stars that could still be traded this offseason.
Le’Sean McCoy, running back, Buffalo Bills
The decision to sign Frank Gore probably doesn’t change a whole lot from Buffalo’s perspective. He’s no longer a three-down back. Though, the team has also kept fellow 30-plus year old veteran Chris Ivory. That makes for one crowded backfield, especially given that McCoy is slated to count nearly $9.1 million against the cap in 2019.
Instead of paying that out while Buffalo continues its rebuild, the team could easily fetch a mid-round pick for Shady. There’s certainly running back-needy contenders out there such as McCoy’s former Philadelphia Eagles team as well as the Indianapolis Colts.
Xavien Howard, cornerback, Miami Dolphins
Coming off a breakout performance in 2018, there’s been chatter that the 25-year-old Howard could be had in a trade. He posted 35 tackles, a league-high seven interceptions and 12 passes defended en route to earning a Pro Bowl spot last season. The issue here is that Howard is slated to become a free agent following the 2019 campaign and wants to be among the highest-paid corners in the NFL.
Miami has no shot at contention this coming season. It just traded away the only starter-caliber quarterback on the roster while missing out on other options in free agency. General manager Chris Grier simply needs to find that franchise guy under center. If it means packaging Howard with the 13th picks in April’s draft and other pieces to move up, that’s the price it’s going to take.
A.J. Green, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Much like the Dolphins and Bills, these Bengals are in the beginning stages of a rebuild. Even if Andy Dalton were to return as a stopgap option under first-year head coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals are in need of a quarterback of the future. With very little assets to offer in a trade-up scenario during the 2019 NFL Draft, Green is Cincinnati’s best chip.
Even if it’s not to move up for a signal caller, what’s the point of keeping a 30-year-old Green around during a rebuild? He’ll be far past his prime once the Bengals enter playoff contention. Still a capable receiver, the seven-time Pro Bowler could probably land the same return as Pittsburgh did in the Antonio Brown trade. It’s something to think about.
Janoris Jenkins, cornerback, New York Giants
As this stage in his career, the 30-year-old Jenkins is a prime release candidate. New York has the opportunity to move on from him while saving $7.5 million against the cap. Given that this has yet to happen, embattled general manager David Gettleman is either holding out hope that he can find a trade partner or that Jenkins can rebound following a disappointing 2018 campaign.
What we do know is that starter-caliber corners are not a dime a dozen. It was just a couple years back that Jenkins recorded 18 passes defended and three interceptions en route to earning a Pro Bowl nod. How short-term are the memories of potentially interested teams? We’ll find out soon enough.
Nelson Agholor, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Agholor’s $9.39 million salary for the 2019 season became guaranteed earlier this month. That happened about about the same time Philadelphia acquired DeSean Jackson in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. One now has to wonder what the plan is behind Alshon Jeffery at wide receiver.
Agholor could continue playing the slot. However, paying someone of this magniture north of $9 million doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. After all, Agholor has failed to put up as much as 800 receiving yards in a single season. Philadelphia could net something in return for the still-young 25-year-old receiver. It’s something the team should seriously consider.
Gerald McCoy, defensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even after deciding against moving on from McCoy prior to the start of free agency, it’s still hard to imagine the rebuilding Buccaneers paying $13 million against the cap to this defensive tackle. He’s 31 years old and has taken a step back in recent seasons.
This isn’t to say other contending teams might not be interested. McCoy was still able to rack up 21 quarterback hits and six sacks last season. There would be a market for his services if Tampa Bay put McCoy on the block. That’s for sure.
Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville can talk about Ramsey not being on the block until its blue in the face. How did that work out with Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants? A huge personality, Ramsey is already clashing with president Tom Coughlin. And we know that Coughlin doesn’t put up with much. How this dynamic plays out leading up to the draft could tell us about Ramsey’s future in Duval.
From an on-field perspective, the Jaguars now must focus on adding weapons for newly-signed quarterback Nick Foles. They simply don’t have reliable targets on the outside. If moving a Pro Bowler like Ramsey can net another first-round pick, the Jags have to think long and hard about doing it.