NFL trades will certainly be part of the offseason due to the financial uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. Heck, we already saw a blockbuster that included the Los Angeles Rams acquiring Matthew Stafford for a package including Jared Goff.
While a lot of the focus has been on potential blockbuster NFL trades moving forward, there’s some underrated moves teams can make to shape the next several months.
Underrated NFL trades that could shape 2021 offseason
From a couple former first-round picks at quarterback to a Super Bowl signal caller, there’s some underrated NFL trades that could happen in the next few months. Below, we look at five of them.
Related: Top 20 NFL free agents of 2022
Carolina Panthers trade Teddy Bridgewater to the Indianapolis Colts
We already know that the Colts are in the market for a quarterback after the retirement of Philip Rivers. They missed out on the above-mentioned Matthew Stafford and are an unlikely destination for Deshaun Watson from the division-rival Houston Texans.
This leaves an otherwise good Colts team in a bind. They have been linked to Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo in trades. While both could work, getting someone like Teddy Bridgewater on the cheap could make more sense. Sure he’s slated to count $26 million against the cap in 2021. However, the Colts would only be on the hook for about $17 million of that.
Bridgewater would also likely come cheap in a trade assuming Carolina finds a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former first-round pick put up 20 total touchdowns against 11 interceptions in his first full season as a starter since 2015. Indy could also bring in some veteran training camp competition.
Baltimore Ravens trade Orlando Brown to the Minnesota Vikings
In terms of potential NFL trades this offseason, it’s looking more and more like Brown will be moved. He’s not happy being relegated to right tackle duties in Baltimore and wants to play the blindside moving forward. This is a hard stance to argue against given that the 24-year-old Brown is coming off consecutive Pro Bowl seasons.
Up against the cap and with Riley Reiff likely to be a salary cap casualty, the Vikings could make a ton of sense in a trade for Brown. Specifically, they could entice a wide receiver-needy Ravens team with Adam Thielen. Minnesota could afford to do this after Justin Jefferson showed out big time as a rookie.
Cincinnati Bengals trade Giovani Bernard to the Green Bay Packers
Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are slated to hit free agency. Rookie second-round pick A.J. Dillon did nothing of substance for the Packers in 2020. Even if Green Bay were to re-sign either Jones or Williams, the team would need a third-down back with receiving ability to help out Aaron Rodgers.
That’s where Bernard comes into play. The 30-year-old back put up 771 total yards at a clip of 4.5 yards per touch for Cincinnati last season. He also caught 47-of-59 targets, proving his worth as an elite receiving threat out of the backfield. Acquiring Bernard would cost a mere $3.7 million against the cap in 2021 and a likely late-round pick.
San Francisco 49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the New England Patriots
We’ve read the rumors on a near never-ending loop. Bill Belichick potentially wanting to run it back with Garoppolo after he was forced to trade the former Patriots second-round pick back in 2017. From New England’s perspective, this makes sense. The 29-year-old Garoppolo knows Josh McDaniels’ offensive system. He’d be an immediate upgrade over Cam Newton after a disastrous one season with the Patriots.
More high-profile NFL trades would likely have to go down if this were to come to fruition. Primarily, the 49ers being able to acquire Deshaun Watson. Even then, New England would be able to acquire the Super Bowl quarterback on the cheap. Prior to an injury-plagued 2020 season, Garoppolo accounted for nearly 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2019. Those numbers are similar to what we saw from Tom Brady in his final season with the Patriots.
New York Jets trade Sam Darnold to the Chicago Bears
Rumors have linked the Bears to a potential Carson Wentz trade. However, it’s not yet known just how substantive said rumors are given the Eagles’ reported asking price. We also have no idea whether Mitchell Trubisky will return to the Bears in 2021. He’s slated to hit free agency and was benched at times last season for Nick Foles.
Perhaps, the Bears look to buy low on Darnold as a way to get their quarterback of the future. He might cost less than Wentz in a trade. He also boasts much more upside than his older counterpart in the NFC East. A change of scenery could do this talented former No. 3 pick well.