With the 2015 NFL trade deadline less than a mere week away, NFL rumors will begin to swirl like a hurricane as they’ve been brewing over the past few weeks. This is the last chance teams have to improve their roster as they enter the last stretch of the season. Now, I know the NFL’s trade deadline is a sleep show year after year – it’s the most irrelevant of the four majors sports. Regardless, this year’s venue has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory with some big names that could be on the move:
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
After the firesale that seemed to be going on in Chicago following their slow start to the season, Matt Forte was one of the names mentioned in players that could be on the move. The 8th year running back’s contract expires at the end of the season, and it’s unlikely the Bears will re-sign him considering the rebuilding state they’re entering. In Forte, you’re guaranteed mass production from the backfield as both a runner and a receiver.
Teams that could strike interest are the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. The Cowboys have had struggles and inconsistencies in the backfield all season long. Joseph Randle hasn’t lived up to expectations and they can’t rely on Darren McFadden to carry the load like he did this past week. For the Broncos, they’re in the same boat as Dallas, but a move would make even more sense for Denver as they are competing for homefield advantage in the AFC – plus, Peyton Manning can’t be relied on, as he has proven throughout this season.
Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
The most talked about player leading up to the deadline without a doubt will be Steve Smith. The AFC North is slipping away from the Ravens week after week and they don’t show any signs of regrouping. Even though Smith and the Ravens have both publicly stated they have no plans of moving, that seems only logical for both parties. Even at 36 years old, Smith still has great talent and could land Baltimore a valuable draft pick.
Entering week 8, Smith is a top 10 receiver and is 3rd with 12 receptions of 20+ yards. The most logical destination would be a return in Carolina with the Panthers as they make their playoff push. Cam Newton is without a true #1 receiver on that offense – Smith would provide that while bringing a much needed veteran presence.
Check out other possible destinations for Smith:
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
What a shame it’s been for Roddy White as his role has dwindled on Atlanta’s offense – he has only 14 catches all season with only 1 TD. Julio Jones and even Leonard Hankerson have stolen the show for the Falcons receiving corps. White’s name has come up in possible trade rumors due to his lack of production. However, he has stated that he doesn’t want to go anywhere due to his love for Atlanta and Dan Quinn doesn’t plan on moving him either.
It’s unlikely that Roddy White is actually dealt this season – the Falcons are a big competitor in the NFC and could use his playoff experience. He’s a veteran who could be cut in the offseason, though.
Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams
Of all the players on the list, Jared Cook is perhaps the most valuable due to his age and ability. Entering the season, Cook was coming off a great year – but this season, it hasn’t been anything like that. With a change at QB, Cook has failed to get into sync which has hurt his production – he is still without a TD this season. Regardless, he has a great combination of size and athleticism which makes him a good threat inside the redzone.
Apparently, Jeff Fisher and the Rams have fielded offers for the tight end over the past couple of weeks, but Fisher has declined to comment on Cook’s availability.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Now we get to the most publicized name on the list. The big name would excite a new fan base, but his production wouldn’t. Last season Davis suffered the worst statistical year of his career, and he has carried that over into 2015. Many believe the ability is still there, but that his struggles have been cooped with poor play from Kaepernick along with the overhaul of the team. Plus, Jim Tomsula has given him a minimal role in the offense this season.
Regardless, Davis could probably still serve as a good security blanket in a pass-oriented offense with a good QB. The tremendous athletic ability is still there. San Francisco would be wise to trade the veteran, he is unlikely to return next season – the only issue is a team would be unlikely to sacrifice a draft pick while taking on his big contract.