Five teams that should be buyers at NFL trade deadline
As we look across the league, plenty of teams will have an opportunity to be buyers in the next few weeks. © Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports Will New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick make some moves at the NFL trade deadline? While the COVID-19 pandemic creates a new hurdle for organizations to overcome before the trade deadline, it shouldn’t stop aggressive general managers from making deals. With the NFL Playoffs expanded this season, even more teams should be active before the Nov. 3 trade deadline.
Sean Payton continues to push back against reports that the New Orleans Saints are contemplating a Michael Thomas trade, with the head coach’s latest retort easily the most comical. © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
There has been rampant speculation that the Saints are open to dealing the supremely talented wide receiver, but the team has put on a united front in an effort to dispel such rumors.
One of the more recent reports concerning whether the Saints will move Thomas before the Nov. 3 trade deadline came this week from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The NBC Sports insider relayed Monday that while Thomas is unlikely to be dealt, there have been efforts to drum up interest and potentially an offer.
Philadelphia Eagles open to Zach Ertz trade?
Even if Ertz has declined slightly, he would still generate plenty of interest before the NFL trade deadline. Teams such as the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers could all benefit from adding Ertz to their offense.The Eagles might have to settle for a mid-round pick in return, but it’s a better outcome than losing Ertz next offseason for nothing. It might also give him a chance to compete for a Super Bowl, which probably won’t happen this year in Philadelphia.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.
Florio’s report Monday is something of a walk-back from his earlier reporting, which Payton humorously pointed out with a social media dispatch reacting to a PFT tweet.
Payton’s response? A GIF showing a guy riding a bike backwards. In other words, Payton is trolling Florio over the backpedaling nature of his report.
Payton’s snarky tweet follows one just a few days earlier in which he dispelled another Thomas trade report by replying, “Insiders on the Outside where they belong” in response.
Thomas is in the throes of a frustrating and controversial season following a phenomenal 2019 campaign. The two-time First-Team All-Pro missed three games after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 1. He was then sidelined for the Saints’ Oct. 12 game after being suspended by the team over an altercation during practice with a teammate.
Cowboys shopping DE Everson Griffen?
For a team that entered the year with Super Bowl aspirations, it’s a pretty dramatic admission of defeat. Obviously the impact of Dak Prescott’s injury can’t be overstated, but the defense has been a complete mess, and the coaching staff led by Mike McCarthy appears on the verge of losing the locker room.Griffen, 33 in December, signed with the Cowboys in August looking to compete for a title. He’s been playing a little more than half of the defensive snaps this season, racking up 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks through seven games.
Then, a hamstring tweak in practice last week upon his return to the team resulted in him missing Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers.
Whether or not the Saints do indeed trade Thomas — which would result in a $20 million cap hit — remains to be seen, but Payton sure seems to be enjoying throwing shade at the reporters and media outlets who are passing along information about the resulting speculation.
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Related slideshow: The worst trades in NFL history (Provided by Yardbarker)
Patriots All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore could be traded?
If Belichick decides to trade Gilmore, practically every NFL contender will be calling. In a pass-heavy league, opportunities to land a shutdown cornerback rarely come around. The Patriots could land a first-round pick in a loaded 2021 NFL Draft class and that’s a price plenty of teams would be willing to pay for Gilmore’s services.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
The worst trades in NFL history
NFL fans often wonder what could have been after their favorite teams make terrible, head-scratching trades. Here's a look at the worst trades in the history of the NFL.
2020: Texans acquire David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins
The results of the trade have yet to play out, but Houston's return for Hopkins looks quite iffy on paper. Bill O'Brien acquired Johnson, a second-round pick, and swapped fourth-round picks with Arizona for Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. Johnson saw only 130 touches in 2019 and last averaged 4 yards per carry in 2016, while Hopkins has clearly established himself as one of the top wide receivers in football. Given the suppressed value of running backs in today's NFL, it's hard to see this deal looking like anything but a disaster when it's revisited.
2019: Raiders acquire Antonio Brown for two draft picks
Brown went to the Raiders for what was thought to be a cheap price of third- and fifth-round picks after quitting on the Steelers late in the 2018 season. The drama got even worse when Brown arrived to Oakland, however, as he missed part of training camp with frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear during cryotherapy and then refused to adopt the NFL's new helmet requirements. The Raiders finally released Brown late in camp after he missed additional practices, had guaranteed money voided in his contract and had an altercation with GM Mike Mayock.
2018: Bears trade up for Mitchell Trubisky
The Bears dealt first-, third-, and fourth-round picks as well as a third-round selection in 2018, to San Francisco to move up just one spot in the 2017 draft for the rights to draft Trubisky. Not only has Trubisky struggled to develop in his first three NFL seasons, but the Bears also bypassed Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in favor of the UNC alum. As time goes on, the trade and draft choice look worse and worse for Chicago.
2016: Browns acquire Jamie Collins for third-round pick
Despite making the Pro Bowl the previous year and starting six games in early 2016, the Patriots traded Collins to the lowly Browns for a third-round pick. Collins signed a contract extension with Cleveland following the year but was cut only two years into the deal. Of course, Collins returned as a top performer in 2019 for the Pats.
2013: Colts acquire Trent Richardson for first-round pick
Just one year after selecting Richardson third overall in the draft and seeing him run for 950 yards and 11 scores during his rookie season, Cleveland traded the young running back to the Colts for a first-round pick only two weeks into the 2013 season. It was a trade that shocked the league, but the Browns would end up the clear winners after Richardson struggled with the Colts over two seasons. Richardson was cut after the 2014 season and never played another down in the NFL.
2012: Redskins trade up for Robert Griffin III
Targeting Heisman Trophy winner Griffin III, the Redskins sent three first-round selections and a second-rounder to the Rams, who were set at quarterback with former first overall pick Sam Bradford. The blockbuster move was ill-fated for Washington — RG3 hurt his knee at the end of his rookie season, leading to a downward spiral for his career.
2008: Cowboys acquire Roy Williams for draft picks
The Cowboys acquired Williams, a former Texas Longhorn, from the Lions in October, 2008, for a first-, third- and sixth-round pick. The former Pro Bowl wideout wasn't able to come close to matching his early career performance while with the Cowboys, failing to reach even 600 yards in a season, and he was released following the 2010 season.
2007: Dolphins trade Wes Welker for draft picks
A slot receiver and return man in his first three NFL seasons, Welker was traded from Miami to New England in 2007 for second- and seventh-round picks. The wideout went on to become a star with the Patriots, leading the NFL in receptions three times and making five consecutive Pro Bowls.
1999: Saints trade up for Ricky Williams
Desperate for a lead back, New Orleans traded first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks in 1999, along with first- and third-round picks in 2000, to the Redskins for the second overall pick to take Williams. Williams had a productive NFL career as a running back but played only three seasons with the Saints.
1998: Chargers trade up for Ryan Leaf
San Diego sent two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two players to the Cardinals to move from No. 3 to No. 2 in the first round. Leaf, the player San Diego selected, set the organization back years. Drafted after Peyton Manning went No. 1 overall to the Colts, Leaf is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time.
1997: Bears acquire Rick Mirer for first-round pick
Mirer looked like a huge bust four years into his NFL career with the Seahawks, going 20-31 while completing only 53 percent of his passes. Yet somehow he still fetched a first-round pick from Chicago in a trade. The quarterback started only three games for Chicago, going winless. He was released following the season.
1996: Rams trade Jerome Bettis for draft picks
Bettis made the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons with the Rams but struggled during 1995 after the franchise moved to St. Louis and hired a new coaching staff. Team and player decided to move on, with the Rams trading Bettis to Pittsburgh with a third-round pick for the Steelers' second- and fourth-round picks in 1997. St. Louis turned to draft bust Lawrence Phillips with its first-round pick in 1996 instead, while Bettis went on to produce six straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons in Pittsburgh and eventually was enshrined in Canton.
1996: Rams trade Sean Gilbert to acquire first-round pick (Lawrence Phillips)
The Rams moved defensive end Sean Gilbert to Washington for the sixth-overall pick. St. Louis brushed Phillips' off-field issues aside to take the former Nebraska running back. He lasted just over one year with the Rams, and Phillips also spurred the team to trade future Hall of Fame back Jerome Bettis.
1990: Colts trade up for Jeff George
In a blockbuster trade with Atlanta, Indianapolis dealt Chris Hinton, Andre Rison, a 1990 fifth-round pick and 1991 first-round pick for the first overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a conditional pick. George, selected No. 1 overall, went 14-35 in four seasons with the Colts at quarterback.
1990: Vikings acquire Herschel Walker for five players and eight draft picks
Jimmy Johnson set up the Cowboys dynasty with an unbelievable trade in 1990, moving star running back Herschel Walker and four draft picks to Minnesota for five players, three first-round picks, three second-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick. Walker played only two seasons in Minnesota, failing to rush for 1,000 yards in either campaign.
1987: Bucs trade Steve Young to San Francisco
The Bucs selected Young with the first pick in the 1984 supplemental draft, but he went 3-16 in two seasons in Tampa Bay before getting traded to the 49ers for second- and fourth-round picks. Young would have to wait his turn behind Joe Montana, but he eventually emerged as the full-time starter in 1992 and went on an incredible seven year run as arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs replaced Young with 1987 first overall draft choice Vinny Testaverde, who went 24-48 in six seasons with the team.
1983: Colts trade John Elway to Denver
Elway was drafted first overall by the Colts in 1983 but refused to play for them. The Broncos sent Chris Hinton, Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick to Baltimore for his rights, and Elway went on to become a Hall of Fame quarterback in Denver.
1992: Falcons trade Brett Favre for a first-round pick
Atlanta took Favre 33rd overall in the 1991 draft, but a falling-out with head coach Jerry Glanville caused the team to trade him to Green Bay for a first-round pick just one year later. Even that high return proved to be far too little, as Favre had a Hall of Fame career that included 16 seasons and three MVP Awards with the Packers.
1976: Oilers trade Steve Largent for eighth-round pick
Selected in the fourth round by the Oilers, Largent didn't even make it to Week 1 in Houston, instead getting traded to Seattle for an eighth-round pick in 1977. The Oilers' impatience proved costly, as Largent went on to have a Hall of Fame career in 14 seasons with Seattle. He made seven Pro Bowls and still ranks in the top 10 all-time with 100 receiving touchdowns.
1974: Packers acquire John Hadl for five draft picks
Desperate for a quarterback, Green Bay gave up a king's ransom to the Rams for Hadl during the 1974 season. The Rams got a huge return with five draft picks. Hadl finished the season 3-3 as a starter but struggled the following year, going just 4-9 in 13 starts.
NBA front offices expect LaMelo Ball to go No. 1 overall? .
The Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder have been named by NBA executives as teams that might be willing to trade up to No. 1 to select Ball. For all the chatter about a mediocre pre-draft process, Ball seems entrenched at the top of the draft. This makes it sound like the only question is which team he’ll go to, not which pick. The Timberwolves have made no secret of the fact that they’re open to a trade. For now, though, nothing appears close. © Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images LaMelo Ball Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.