The NFL trade deadline is approaching and rumors are already swirling about potential players who could be dealt before Nov. 3. While plenty of marquee names will be thrown around in the weeks leading up to the deadline, some of them are already being overrated.
Father Time is undefeated. For many of the NFL’s biggest stars, years of fighting through injuries have taken a toll on their bodies. Unfortunately, for the likes of A.J. Green and Alshon Jeffery, this means their name recognition is greater than their on-field contributions.
Of course, they aren’t alone. From Pro Bowl sensations to former top-40 draft picks, big names are still mentioned as impactful additions available for trade. Here are five overrated players who could be moved by the NFL trade deadline.
A.J. Green, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Green was one of the best receivers in the NFL during his prime. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection, he posted incredible numbers despite never playing with a great quarterback. Yet, the 6-foot-4 receiver kept putting up gaudy stats every time he touched the field. Sadly, due to recent injuries, that’s no longer the case.
He missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury, adding to a growing list of lower-body problems. While he hasn’t missed a game this year, he doesn’t look like the same player. Green is averaging 8.5 yards per catch, a steep drop from his career averages (14.7). Just as concerning, his career-worst catch rate (42.4%) this season. The Bengals would be wise to trade him, netting a mid-round pick and opening up the No. 2 role for Tee Higgins. A change of scenery might help Green, but it’s time for everyone to realize he is a shadow of his former self.
Le’Veon Bell, running back, New York Jets
The NFL knows the story with Bell. While he generated some interest before the 2019 trade deadline, New York never got the offer it wanted. After failing to find him a new home this offseason, the Jets rolled with Bell into the season and hoped he would rebuild some of his value. He hasn’t come close to accomplishing that.
While Bell carries a $15.47 million cap hit this season, he can easily be cut in a cap-saving move next spring. He struggled in training camp and that trend will likely continue upon his return in Week 5. It would be a wise move for the Jets to trade Bell for any draft pick, even a 2021 seventh-round selection. Bell can make a positive impact in a quality offense, but his days of being a Pro Bowl player are long gone.
Ryan Kerrigan, edge rusher, Washington Football Team
Kerrigan has earned four Pro Bowl selections since joining Washington as a 2011 first-round pick. Along the way, he became the face of its defense and the franchise leader in sacks (92). While Ron Rivera may keep him, valuing depth off the edge, now is the time to move Kerrigan.
It’s about obtaining value, while it still exists. Kerrigan delivered a two-sack performance in Week 1 and hasn’t done anything since. Despite seeing more snaps, the veteran edge rusher hasn’t recorded a quarterback hit or a tackle for loss in the past three games. He has a 54.9 grade from Pro Football Focus, a steep drop from his usual standard. Kerrigan could still be a situational pass rusher for a contender, but his best days are far behind him.
Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Since joining the Eagles in 2017, Jeffery has given everything he has in him for this team. He has played through cracked ribs, a torn rotator cuff and suffered a Lisfranc injury during the 2019 season. We’ve seen the 6-foot-3 receiver have some incredible moments, using his size and physicality to dominate defensive backs. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to play this season and will miss Week 5 with an illness.
Jeffery is owed $13 million next season and is a guarantee to be cut next spring. However, the Eagles are likely going to shop him around the league before that happens. He could draw some interest, but Philadelphia won’t get much back. It’s possible he can make an impact as a complementary weapon, but trading for Jeffery and hoping he stays healthy is a massive gamble.
Kerryon Johnson, running back, Detroit Lions
A darling of draft analysts, many believed Detroit landed its featured running back in 2018 with the No. 43 pick. Johnson impressed in his first season, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and racking up 854 total yards. Since then, the former Auburn star has slid further down the depth chart.
Adrian Peterson will continue to handle a majority of the carries. At the same time, D’Andre Swift dominates as a pass-catching threat and will earn an even larger role moving forward. It makes Johnson expendable. The thing is, Johnson is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry this season. After spending a top-50 pick on him a few years ago, the Lions might be fortunate to receive a fifth-round pick for Johnson at the trade deadline.