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The one NFL trade that would make your team perfect

Imagine if your team could add any player in the NFL to help them reach the Super Bowl this season? Who would it be?

For this video game-like exercise, we’ll briefly describe how each team is just a star player away from reaching Super Bowl LVI. Since, as far as I know, we cannot clone Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Donald, no duplicates will be chosen. To avoid complete chaos, we’ll act as if no team has to patch what gets taken by another team.

Arizona Cardinals: Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Green Bay Packers

nfl team trades: jaire alexander, arizona cardinals
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As a team primed for contention, the Arizona Cardinals are in a fairly good position to start the year. Adding J.J. Watt next to Chandler Jones could be a deadly duo. 

After longtime Cardinal Patrick Peterson left town, the secondary might be the most problematic area on this roster. Adding Jaire Alexander’s speed may be the missing piece this defense needs to clinch a Super Bowl berth.

Related: Check out our most-recent NFL power rankings

Atlanta Falcons: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Cleveland Browns

nfl: myles garrett, cleveland browns
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Even with the trade of Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons figure to have a powerful offense. After hiring defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the Dirty Birds are switching to a 3-4 scheme with multiple looks mixed in. 

How the defense performs will be crucial to any chance at success. Imagine adding a wrecking-ball like Myles Garrett to a front seven featuring Grady Jarrett, Dante Fowler, and Deion Jones? That should strike fear in most opponents.

Baltimore Ravens: Christian McCaffrey, running back, Carolina Panthers

nfl running back christian mccaffrey
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It may be surprising this isn’t a wide receiver, but the Ravens did a good job revamping their corps this offseason. Rashod Bateman is the perfect fit in this offense with Lamar Jackson

The J.K Dobbins injury is a big loss. Losing Justice Hill hurts too. Having LJ paired with Christian McCaffrey in the Baltimore backfield would simply be unfair. Not only would CMC add a lot as a rusher, he could become Jackson’s best friend, taking short passes for long gains.

Click here for our Baltimore Ravens 2021 season predictions

Buffalo Bills: Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
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The Buffalo Bills got really close to a Super Bowl berth last season. We saw what adding Stefon Diggs did to this offense for Josh Allen. What if we kept adding weapons?

Travis Kelce has dominated in the AFC for years. Pair him with Diggs and grab your popcorn.

Carolina Panthers: David Bakhtiari, offensive tackle, Green Bay Packers

Packers news: David Bakhtiari
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If the Carolina Panthers hope to supply Sam Darnold with a positive atmosphere, giving the young QB a stout offensive line will be crucial. As it stands, the entire line is questionable outside of right tackle Taylor Moton. 

Inserting left tackle David Bakhtiari to protect Darnold’s blindside should at least provide a formidable group for this offense to thrive going through Christian McCaffrey. If Darnold can’t get it done, just add Tom Brady and call it a day.

Chicago Bears: Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL wide receiver Tyreek Hill
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, a QB is the answer here, but we’ll operate like the Bears have their solution already with Justin Fields. Without knowing just how much a player like Fields can elevate the team, it seems the offense could use more playmakers. 

Tyreek Hill would solve that in a flash. ‘Da Bears would have the best WR duo in the NFL with Hill and Allen Robinson III.

Cincinnati Bengals: Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Seattle Seahawks

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
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We’re banking on the Cincinnati Bengals offense to improve with another year under Zac Taylor and hopefully a full year from Joe Burrow. As long as the line holds up, scoring should be an easy task.

Defensively, there are a lot more questions. Some nice additions along the D-line and secondary will help but this squad lacks playmakers. 

Since entering the league in 2012, Bobby Wagner has been one of the best linebackers in the game. For a group looking to earn their stripes, Wagner would provide a steady 3-down presence.

Cleveland Browns: Darius Leonard, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

indianapolis colts darius leonard cowboy hat
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On paper, the Cleveland Browns may be the team to beat. Offensively, this is a Pro Bowl cast led by Baker Mayfield

Defensively, they have three players who were drafted in the top four selections in their respective drafts. Linebacker may be their most glaring weakness. If Darius Leonard magically ended up on the roster, the Browns defense would read like a Pro Bowl roster, too.

Dallas Cowboys: Xavien Howard, cornerback, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Xavien Howard
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While the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t struggle to score points in 2021, holding teams under 30 may be a tougher task. For a defense lacking impact players in the secondary, what better way to address inefficiencies than by adding possibly the NFL’s best ball-hawk at corner? 

Xavien Howard has led the league in interceptions twice in the past three years and would help patch up a coverage unit with several holes.

Denver Broncos: Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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This one’s easy. Though the Denver Broncos may be able to squeeze competent QB play out of both Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock this season, neither will be enough to bring a team to the Super Bowl. 

Meanwhile, in Mile High, they have an incredibly talented group of offensive skill position players in Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, and Courtland Sutton. They just need a QB capable of elevating the crew. If there’s one thing we’ve seen from Aaron Rodgers in the past, it’s that he can carry a team to the Super Bowl.

Detroit Lions: Jamal Adams, safety, Seattle Seahawks

nfl: jamal adams
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Losing Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay hurts, but Detroit’s offense should still be above-average. Fixing the defense could be a taller task after finishing dead last with 32.4 points per game allowed last year.

Both the D-line and LBs have respectable talent among the group, but the secondary has some glaring holes. Add safety Jamal Adams to the mix and the Lions would have another playmaker who can impact the game in many ways.

Green Bay Packers: Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

nfl: eric kendricks, minnesota vikings
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As long as Aaron Rodgers is in Green Bay, the Packers are in good hands. AR12 can elevate the offense to elite levels.

While the Packers have stars sprinkled throughout their defense, they have been a revolving door at inside linebacker since Blake Martinez left for New York. Steal Eric Kendricks away from the Vikings and Joe Barry’s defensive unit would take a major step forward.

Check out our Green Bay Packers 2021 season preview

Houston Texans: Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Donald assault accuser recants, lawyer apologizes
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Even though he’s not playing, the Houston Texans still have Deshaun Watson on the roster. Without him, this would easily change to a quarterback. 

After losing J.J. Watt, the Texans will have to find a new way to get after the QB. The player the Texans could use to propel their team to contender status is none other than Aaron Donald. 

Indianapolis Colts: DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 18-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having to replace some structural pieces this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts patched up the joint nicely. Going from a sudden Andrew Luck retirement in 2019, they did pretty well to end up with Carson Wentz not long after.

Missing T.Y. Hilton for at least the first three weeks of the season could cause the Colts to struggle offensively. How about adding the player who used to torture them as division rivals when DeAndre Hopkins played in Houston? Having Hopkins would give Wentz the best target he’s ever played with.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Simmons, safety, Denver Broncos

justin simmons, nfl safety
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Earning the No. 1 pick last year, the Jags have a lot of room for growth. You could go in a few different directions to improve this Jacksonville Jaguars roster. 

Weaknesses at offensive tackle, tight end, defensive tackle, and safety should all lead to strong competition. Adding a potential franchise QB such as Trevor Lawrence should help the offense step up in a big way. 

But the defense allowed 30.8 points per game, a safety like Justin Simmons, who plays with great instincts and is capable of lining up at either starting position, would add some bite to their secondary.

Kansas City Chiefs: T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Oct 1, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt (90) defends a pass against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

By revamping the offensive line for Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs should be much better this year. What a strange and scary thing to say. 

After reaching the Super Bowl, the Chiefs couldn’t protect Mahomes, but they also had trouble containing Tom Brady (who doesn’t?). Having an elite edge rusher like T.J. Watt constantly breathing down opponents’ necks would make this team damn near impossible to beat. 

Las Vegas Raiders: Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Los Angeles Rams

Dec 6, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the Las Vegas Raiders have injected four picks from the first two rounds into their secondary in the past two drafts, so far none of them have made an impact. Rookie Trevon Moehrig will try to buck that trend.

For a defense lacking playmakers, bringing Jalen Ramsey aboard could help the pass rush be more effective on top of patching up what was a terrible coverage unit in 2020.

Los Angeles Chargers: Khalil Mack, EDGE, Chicago Bears

chicago bears, khalil mack
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Boosted by drafting Justin Herbert last year, suddenly the Chargers have a very bright future in LA. Their offense should continue to improve and the defense has a lot of talented young pieces. 

One particular area of concern is the pass rush. Adding Khalil Mack next to Linval Joseph inside with Joey Bosa coming off the edge would give the Chargers a menacing defensive front.

Los Angeles Rams: Fred Warner, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

Fred Warner signs monster contract extension with San Francisco 49ers
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By swapping Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford, the Los Angeles Rams are already strong contenders. While they may already have a nearly impenetrable defense, the linebackers could use some help. 

One of, if not the best in the game is Fred Warner. Getting some elite talent in the middle would make everyone’s job easier, likely leading to better pressure and more efficient coverage. Warner would put this team in the Super Bowl.

Miami Dolphins: Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook
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How great the Miami Dolphins are will largely depend on Tua Tagovailoa. The defense is fairly stout. Tua might have some nice weapons at wide receiver, but what about running back? 

Not trying to manifest anything here. Dalvin Cook is a Miami native, he attended Florida State, and well he probably loves it there. But Cook would be perfect for the Dolphins, making defenders miss with the best of them and carrying this offense to the promised land.

Minnesota Vikings: Quenton Nelson, guard, Indianapolis Colts

nfl star guard quenton nelson
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The offensive line has long been an issue for the Minnesota Vikings. In recent years, they’ve taken strong steps toward patching their woes up front. 

Yet whether the interior OL is strong enough will be the key to reaching their ceiling as an offense. Plug in Quenton Nelson anywhere he’s needed and the Vikings would have no further issues along the O-line.

New England Patriots: Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

Contract talks between Green Bay Packers, Davante Adams reportedly still stalled
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The New England Patriots had a nice offseason, though it’s hard not to like after such a spending spree. Since they drafted Mac Jones, we’re going to say QB has been addressed. 

At wide receiver, the Pats have some depth, but no true No. 1 option. If they somehow added Davante Adams, suddenly that pass-catching corps looks pretty good.

New Orleans Saints: Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

nfl star stefon diggs
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Some may say after Hall of Famer Drew Brees retired, the New Orleans Saints are in trouble. But Jameis Winston is one of eight QBs to have ever thrown for 5,000 yards in a season. 

Winston’s more than capable. Give the 2015 No. 1 overall pick a field-stretching dynamo like Stefon Diggs and the offense will be lethal in the Big Easy.

New York Giants: Corey Linsley, center, Los Angeles Chargers

los angeles chargers corey linsley
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While I’m not sure the New York Giants did enough to address what was a lackluster pass rush in 2020, the offense needs even more work. All eyes will be on Daniel Jones in what should be a boom-or-bust season. 

One particular area of concern is along the offensive line where the G-Men have few proven starters. Specifically, center is an area of weakness. 

Corey Linsley was a free agent this offseason and would have been a great solution to continue building in the trenches. Maybe Linsley’s not the hog molly GM Dave Gettleman had in mind

New York Jets: Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans

Cardinals vs Titans, Derrick Henry
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For Zach Wilson to have immediate success in the win column, he’ll need a strong supporting cast. The New York Jets have some nice firepower in the arsenal, but no true three-down back.

Stick Derrick Henry in the backfield and suddenly this Jet offense looks nasty. With Henry, Wilson could ease into things instead of being asked to shoulder the load right away.

Philadelphia Eagles: Julio Jones, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

nfl star julio jones
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GM Howie Roseman made some wise free agent signings but the Philadelphia Eagles still some question marks heading into the season. 

Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Smith both offer starting wideout potential, but let’s give Jalen Hurts another option by adding Julio Jones to the mix as well. 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Trent Williams, offensive tackle, San Francisco 49ers

Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers agree to historic contract
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Not being able to run the ball effectively tore the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season apart after starting so strong. The Steelers operated a quick-passing approach perhaps to protect Ben Roethlisberger after coming off elbow surgery or maybe it was because their O-line was shoddy. 

After failing to address the OL this offseason due to limited cap space, it could be a rough year in the trenches in the ‘Burgh. Having a franchise left tackle like Trent Williams would sharpen their steel.

San Francisco 49ers: Stephon Gilmore, cornerback, New England Patriots

new england patriots cb stephon gilmore
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Trey Lance was a nice get for the San Francisco 49ers. Now the ‘Niners need to continue developing receivers for him to thrive, a case could be made for one here. 

Defensively, this team has a lot of nice pieces, but not much depth. They have two solid corners, though adding a consistent veteran like Stephon Gilmore would give the defense top-five talent at every level.

Seattle Seahawks: Denzel Ward, cornerback, Cleveland Browns

cleveland browns denzel ward trade seattle seahawks
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While the Seattle Seahawks could never go wrong continuing to add to the offensive line, they at least made some progress this offseason. The ‘Hawks can become a nasty force by landing a top cornerback. 

While he’s not the tall corner prototype that Seattle had great luck with in the past, Denzel Ward has the speed to keep up with nearly any receiver. Ward would immediately become the best cornerback on the Seahawks roster.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Terron Armstead, offensive tackle, New Orleans Saints

nfl: terron armstead
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As the 2020 Super Bowl champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in prime position to repeat. Especially after becoming the only team with a ring to retain all 22 starters after winning a Lombardi. 

When Tom Brady is on the roster, protecting him is the top priority and the key to another Super Bowl run. The Bucs got by last season just fine, but if we’re getting nitpicky, Terron Armstead would protect TB12’s blindside even better than Donovan Smith could.

Tennessee Titans: Chase Young, EDGE, Washington Football Team

NFL players: Chase Young
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This Tennessee Titans team already appears ready to compete for a Super Bowl, especially after adding Julio Jones. Essentially swapping out Jadeveon Clowney for Bud Dupree should help the pass rush, which was atrocious last year. 

But will it be enough? Either way, they need to pressure QBs more than in 2020. Budding star Chase Young would give the Titans a building block for a decade-plus.

Washington Football Team: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

kansas city chiefs qb patrick mahomes, nfl mvp
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The addition of Ryan Fitzpatrick could be nice for the Washington Football Team, but will it get them back to the playoffs? While Fitz has some really nice moments, he also is a bit careless at times with the ball. 

Perhaps the best way to put the WFT over the top is by ensuring QB isn’t a need. Imagine pairing the speedy Terry McLaurin with Patrick Mahomes’ Bazooka arm?

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