NFL Players Most Likely to be Traded at the Deadline

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For the NFL, the clock is ticking for its annual trade deadline as its set to end at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday after being open since March. From Sunday’s slew of games giving a final look at some players, look for the next 48 hours to have some movement. There will be some surprises as well as others making a move as rumors had been circulating.

Here’s a look at some players likely to be traded (in no particular order).

Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals): One of the new names to emerge with the approaching deadline, Fitzgerald has been the topic of conversation on Sunday thanks to a story by ESPN’s Adam Shefter. He has reported that “Larry Fitzgerald will be in play this off-season, in likely event a deal not completed before Tuesday’s trade deadline.” The talented player sits on a 3-5 Cardinals team and to date, while batting a hammy injury, has 32 receptions for 422 yards and four touchdowns through Week 7.

He may be ready to make a move now with his disappointing new quarterback and last season’s few wins. He has five years remaining on his 2011, eight-year, $128.5 million contract.

Possible teams: Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots

Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants):  Playing in a contract year and entering it as the Giants’ top receiver, Hicks’ production has been down. The team hasn’t indicated they’ll trade him but recently coach Tom Coughlin said of Nicks that he “hasn’t been reliable this year.”

To keep him next season, they’re not going to pay a lot so look for the Giants to possibly trade for a lower-round pick or a package of picks.

Possible teams:  Indianapolis Colts, New England, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs

Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns): Gordon’s name has been circulating for a possible trade for quite some time. The sophomore player has said he’d like to remain with the Browns and the supposedly they haven’t been shopping him around but their ears are open. They had no problem getting rid of running back Trent Richardson and they could do the same with Gordon, one of the team’s few bright spots as he’s averaged 16.7 yards per catch to-date and in his career, 16.3 yards.

He does bring off-the-field baggage (substance problems) but teams will likely over look this.

Possible teams: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers

Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars): Similar to Gordon, Blackmon’s had some substance abuse issues and a suspension, but he’s a talented player and with his recent return, Blackmon’s contributions were appreciated. This team could go winless for the season at the rate they’re going. Is it time to look ahead for the 2014 season?

Possible teams: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots

Greg Little (Cleveland Browns): Little is from the team’s earlier coaching regime and is also a member of the off-field issues/suspension team. He’s supposedly available at the right price (for 2014, he’s set to make less than $800,000) and according to NFL.com, he had been touted in the 2011 NFL draft as a Anquan Boldin-type player with is catch-and-run-ability.

Through Week 7, he has 20 catches for 210 yards and one touchdown.

Possible teams: Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts

Fred Davis (Washington Redskins): The Redskins have acknowledged they may trade Davis but whether there’s a market for him remains to be seen; previously the New York Jets had shown interest in him. Davis’ contract is set to expire and with rookie Jordan Reed emerging as a viable weapon (last week against the Chicago Bears, he had nine catches for 134 yards and one touchdown), the team could make do without Davis on the depth chart.

Possible teams: Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Jets.

Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons): Between Gonzalez saying he doesn’t want to go anywhere as well as the team saying the future Hall of Famer will stay put, but if the team loses against the Arizona Cardinals, there could be some movement. After deciding to come back for one last shot at the Super Bowl, it’s not going to happen on this team for Gonzalez. He could change his mind if the phone starts ringing.

Possible team: Kansas City

Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints): Battling a toe injury, Ingram hasn’t played in weeks and even before then, he didn’t have a lot of time on the field. Undrafted rookie Khiry Robinson has been playing in his place and has been averaging 5.3 yards per carry.  He’s in the final year of his contract and could come at the right price if the Saints are willing to part with him. Ingram could be open to a trade after seeing his teammates find success elsewhere (see Reggie Bush and Chris Ivory).

Possible teams: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs

Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars): In another case of a team saying its player won’t be traded, Jones-Drew could move on if the right price comes the team’s way. He production has hit a career low this year (3.1 yards per carry). Hard to believe just two seasons ago he led the league in rushing.

Is Jones-Drew really that bad or it just the team he is playing on?

Possible teams: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets

Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders): McFadden has battled his share of injuries while in the league over the last six years. His rookie contract is up at the end of this season and the team could be looking for a rookie to fill his shoes. McFadden could probably add value to a team who wouldn’t expect to play him all the time.
Possible teams: Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

And because it would be fun to include a quarterback on this list, what about Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings)? The team has been playing quarterback roulette this season and on Sunday, they’ll return the reins to Ponder against their division foe, the Packers. If Ponder implodes, it may finally be time for the Vikings to wave the white flag.

Then again, if Ponder real does stink, who’d be willing to take him? One possibility is the St. Louis Rams as suggested by Shefter but could Ponder really learn a new offense and add value?

 

 

Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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