It appears that blockbuster NFL trades will be the name of the game this offseason after the deal that sent Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams for a package that included Jared Goff.
Quarterbacks will be on the move. There’s a couple wide receivers that could change cities, too. It is going to be a lot of fun over the next few months.
It’s also in this that we look at some blockbuster NFL trades that could shake up the foundation of the league moving forward into the 2021 season.
Five blockbuster NFL trades that should happen
Deshaun Watson trade to the Carolina Panthers
At this point, Watson has drawn a line in the sand. He will not play another game in a Houston Texans uniform. In what could be among the biggest trades in NFL history, I am projecting that Houston deals Watson to Matt Rhule and the Panthers for a whole host of assets. That includes the No. 8 pick in April’s draft as well as first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, Teddy Bridgewater and Brian Burns.
The idea of Carolina teaming Watson up with Christian McCaffrey in Rhule’s offense has to be too hard to pass up on. Sure yielding this capital is not a great scenario for the Panthers from a team-building philosophy, but acquiring someone of Watson’s ilk doesn’t come about too often. Houston grabs a solid edge rusher in Burns to replace a likely to be departed J.J. Watt. It also picks up three first-round picks and a stopgap starter in Bridgewater. This is the definition of a win-win trade.
Odell Beckham Jr. trade to the Philadelphia Eagles
Whether it is Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts under center for the Eagles next season doesn’t really matter. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman must get better weapons at wide receiver. Simply put, a group headed by injury-plagued veterans in that of Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson just won’t cut it.
In a less-than-stellar cap situation, Philadelphia pulls off one of the bigger blockbuster NFL trades in recent memory by sending Fletcher Cox, a second-round pick in 2021 and conditional third-round pick in 2022 to the Browns for OBJ. We already know that Beckham Jr. did not work well with Baker Mayfield before suffering a torn ACL last season. Cleveland could move off him this offseason. This would be a match made in heaven.
Michael Thomas trade to the Miami Dolphins
It just seems to be a matter of time before Dolphins general manager Chris Grier pulls off a blockbuster trade. A lot of the talk recently has surrounded Deshaun Watson. Even then, I have a hard time believing Miami is going to move off Tua Tagovailoa less than a calendar year after selecting him No. 5 overall — especially given that the team had been targeting him for years ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Instead, the Fins give Tua that elite-level weapon he needs. Even after a solid 10-win season, it’s become apparent that the Dolphins lack necessary skill-position talent to be viable. Here, the team deals away the 18th pick and Xavien Howard to New Orleans for a receiver that broke multiple records in 2019 and has fallen out of favor in the Bayou. In return, the Saints get a corner to team up with Marshon Lattimore and positions themselves to find Drew Brees’ heir-apparent in that of Mac Jones in the first round this coming April.
Dak Prescott trade to the Las Vegas Raiders
If we’re actually being honest, the Cowboys rolling with Andy Dalton in 2021 doesn’t seem like a horrible option. That’s especially true with Prescott coming off a serious injury and the contract stalemate that has defined the relationship between these two over the past year. Dallas is said to be more than alright with placing the franchise tag on Prescott again this spring. However, his injury coupled with Jerry Jones’ comments about the quarterback’s play style leads me to believe that might not be the end result.
Instead, Dallas adds draft capital and more wiggle room under the cap by acquiring the 17th pick in April’s draft, a second-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick from Vegas for Prescott. It gives the team cheaper options. That’s no small thing given Dallas’ salary cap issues. Heck, the Cowboys could even package the first-round pick it acquires in this hypothetical trade with its original first-rounder to move up for either Zach Wilson or Justin Fields.
As for the Raiders, recent talk that they are set with Derek Carr does not cloud the fact that Jon Gruden and Co. attempted to move him during the NFL Scouting Combine last year. Gruden has always been looking for an upgrade at quarterback. Needless to say, Prescott would provide that.
Aaron Rodgers trade to the San Francisco 49ers
It’s time to get bold when looking at NFL trades. There was talk surrounding a potential Aaron Rodgers trade after his Packers, once again, lost in the NFC Championship Game. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer and Northern California native played right into that after said loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cooler heads have since prevailed.
In no way does this mean that the 37-year-old Rodgers is long in Green Bay. The team selected fellow quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft — something that rightfully didn’t sit well with Rodgers. He responded by putting up one of the greatest statistical seasons for a quarterback in NFL history.
What does this all mean? In no way would I be shocked if Rodgers were dealt to the 49ers at some point soon. The connections are obvious stemming from San Francisco passing up on him in 2005. He’s from the region and grew up a 49ers fan. San Francisco missing out on Matthew Stafford while looking for an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo also plays a role here. The 49ers yield their first-round pick in 2021, a second-rounder in 2022 and a couple mid-round picks to right the wrong of 16 years ago.