From Derek Carr to Christian McCaffrey, 42 NFL players who could get traded
Sheil Kapadia
Posted: 2020-03-10

Free agents cannot sign with new teams until 4 p.m. ET on March 18. But trade talks are ongoing, and already, we ve seen teams agree to terms on a couple of deals.

The Panthers are expected to send guard Trai Turner to the Chargers in exchange for left tackle Russell Okung. And the Broncos will acquire cornerback A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

Who might be next? I posed that question to The Athletic s talented beat writers. They responded with 42 names from the teams they cover ranging from players who are likely to be dealt to those who might end up getting released to extreme long shots.

Below is the complete list. The number in parentheses is how old the player will be at the start of next season. Numbers are courtesy of Sportradar unless otherwise noted, and contract information is from OverTheCap.com.

1. Trent Williams, LT, Washington (32)

He didn t play at all last season but is a seven-time Pro Bowler. In 2017, the Seahawks gave up a second-round pick and a future third-round pick for left tackle Duane Brown (who was 32 at the time) and a fifth-round selection. A second-rounder and something else for Williams seems reasonable. He is only under contract through 2020, so a trade would likely require a new contract from his new team. Here s a look at teams that could be willing to trade for Williams.

Washington writer Ben Standig: Williams seeks a deal that would put him among the highest-paid tackles in the game. Washington desires appropriate compensation, likely in the form of draft capital. Are there teams willing to pay Williams $18-19 million annually and give the Redskins a second-round selection?

2. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders (29)

It may surprise some to see that the Raiders finished seventh in passing efficiency last season. Carr ranked ninth in adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) and 10th in Total QBR. But Jon Gruden appears ready to move on if he can land one of the other quarterbacks he likes in the weeks ahead. Carr is under contract for the next three seasons.

Raiders writer Vic Tafur: Once the highest-paid quarterback in the league (for a few minutes), Carr now has a very friendly pay-as-you-go deal with three years left. Though maybe not the quarterback of Gruden s dreams, Carr still has big-time arm talent and brains and is a top-16 quarterback. A fresh start could do wonders.

3. Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (32)

With the Bengals likely forging ahead with Joe Burrow, Dalton is expendable. He could be a fit for a team looking for competency (the Patriots if Tom Brady leaves, or the Bears?). Dalton is due $17.7 million on the one remaining year on his contract.

Bengals writer Jay Morrison: The Bengals sat on their hands at the trade deadline last year despite being 0-8, saying it wasn t their job to make other teams better and insisting they intended to keep their good players to win games and build momentum for the new coaching staff. The thinking was that they could try to win some games and then trade some of their players this offseason. But they ve lost a lot of leverage in doing so. Everyone knows they ll be cutting Dalton and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn if they can t find trade partners, so many teams are willing to wait them out or give low-ball offers.

4. Rob Havenstein, RT, Rams (28)

He lost his starting job last season but has still started 68 games in his five-year career.

Rams writer Rich Hammond: The Rams signed Havenstein to a four-year contract extension in Aug. 2018, but his play dipped a bit last season and the Rams are high on second-year tackle Bobby Evans. Havenstein is far from damaged goods and could be productive on a different team, and the Rams would create $5.4 million in salary-cap room if they traded him.

5. Billy Price, G/C, Bengals (25)

Cincinnati took Price with the 21st pick in 2018, but he started just 18 games in his first two seasons.

Bengals writer Jay Morrison: Price battled a foot injury in training camp last year and ended up losing his starting job to Trey Hopkins. Then he struggled at guard and subsequently lost that job as well. A lot of teams had a first-round grade on Price out of Ohio State, and if one of them needs a center, he still can be a quality option. And the Bengals are open to dealing him.

6. Hayden Hurst, TE, Ravens (27)

The Ravens selected Hurst with the 25th pick in 2018 seven spots ahead of Lamar Jackson. He has 43 catches for 512 yards in 28 career games. Hurst is under contract on his rookie deal for the next two seasons.

Ravens writer Jeff Zrebiec: It s not that the Ravens want to trade the 2018 first-round pick, but they probably would if they got a compelling offer. Hurst has flashed when given the opportunity, but Mark Andrews is already a Pro Bowl tight end and Nick Boyle is one of the top blocking tight ends in the NFL, so the Ravens have some depth to withstand a move at the position.

7. Darius Slay, CB, Lions (29)

8. Marvin Jones, WR, Lions (30)

It feels like the Lions have been trying to trade Slay for years. He s under contract through 2020, but interested suitors will have to be willing to pay up to keep him beyond that. Jones, meanwhile, is on a reasonable contract (a $6.5 million base salary) through 2020 and had 62 catches for 779 yards last season.

Lions writer Chris Burke: Slay is the obvious player who could be on the trade block, because well, GM Bob Quinn said he s on the trade block. Another prominent name who might join him is Jones. He s still a 1,000-yard wide receiver when he s healthy (which he hasn t been, in full, the past two seasons) and he scored nine touchdowns in 13 games last year. He s also about to turn 30 and is on the final year of his deal, and the Lions need to hand fellow wide receiver Kenny Golladay a hefty contract extension. I m not sure the market will be there, with a great class of rookie wide receivers incoming, but the Lions likely would listen if a team called.

9. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns (27)

Beckham caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in his first season in Cleveland. The Browns sent the Giants a first-round pick, a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers in exchange for Beckham last offseason. The going rate to acquire a No. 1 wide receiver is a first-round pick. That s where any offer should start. Beckham is signed through the 2023 season on a reasonable deal.

Browns writer Zac Jackson: The front office that traded for him last March is gone, and though the new guys want the talent, do they also want the drama that tends to follow Beckham? The strong wide receiver draft class and Beckham s down year probably lower his trade value to the point that the Browns keep him, but if they re willing to shop him, they would have some suitors.

10. Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings (26)

Diggs is coming off a season in which he set a career high with 1,130 yards and averaged 17.9 yards per reception. But he was visibly unhappy at times throughout the year. Would Diggs be better off in a more pass-heavy offense? Could the Vikings get a first-round pick and something else in a trade? Would those resources be more useful to a team coached by Mike Zimmer? Those are tough questions, but Diggs would have a big market if the Vikings were looking to move him.

Vikings writer Arif Hasan: The Vikings could conclude Diggs really is a malcontent and wants to leave, even if a trade only frees up $5 million in cap space. A risk-averse team that would prefer a known quantity to an unknown in the draft might give the Vikings the capital they need to replace Diggs and then some.

11. Yannick Ngakoue, Edge, Jaguars (25)

He s said he no longer wants a long-term contract from the Jaguars, and the Jaguars said they ll tag him. Ngakoue came in at No. 7 on our list of the top 100 pending free agents. The Chiefs gave up a first-round pick and a future second-round pick for Frank Clark in a tag-and-trade deal with the Seahawks last offseason. The Jaguars could be looking for similar compensation, and the team that acquires Ngakoue will likely have to be willing to shell out at least $20 million per year to get him signed to a long-term deal.

12. Matt Judon, Edge, Ravens (28)

He had 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits (fourth in the league) last season. Judon is No. 13 on our list of the top 100 pending free agents. Last offseason, the Chiefs used the franchise tag on Dee Ford and then flipped him to the 49ers for a future second-round pick. A similar deal could be struck with the Ravens and Judon.

Ravens writer Jeff Zrebiec: The most likely scenario is the Ravens using the franchise tag on their top pass rusher, but that doesn t mean he s in their long-term plans. The Ravens are expected to consider tag-and-trade scenarios if they are unable to bridge the gap between Judon s asking price and what they re willing to pay on a long-term deal.

13. Arik Armstead, DL, 49ers (26)

Armstead came in at No. 16 on The Athletic s list of the top 100 pending free agents. He can rush the passer from defensive end or defensive tackle and he set career highs with 10 sacks, 18 QB hits and 11 tackles for loss last season. He could be a tag-and-trade option for the 49ers.

49ers writer Matt Barrows: If the 49ers try to trade Armstead, it will be because they simply can t fit him under their increasingly cramped salary cap. They have insisted they want to bring him back for at least the 2020 season.

14. Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs (26)

He came in at No. 6 in The Athletic s list of the top 100 pending free agents. Jones 31 sacks over the last three seasons are tied for 10th, and he showed in the Super Bowl that he can be disruptive even when he s not producing sacks. Jones is young and has been productive. The Chiefs could have him play on the franchise tag in 2020. They could lock him up to a long-term extension. Or they could go the tag-and-trade route. If they decide to move Jones, the bidding would have to start with a first-round pick plus something else.

15. Bud Dupree, Edge, Steelers (27)

Dupree is our 22nd-ranked pending free agent. He set career highs with 11.5 sacks, 17 QB hits and 16 tackles for loss last season.

Steelers writer Mark Kaboly: Even though it is highly unlikely, there could be an outside chance of a tag-and-trade if an extension seems to be at an impasse before the late-July deadline. Even then, the Steelers would likely let him play on the one-year tag.

16. Joe Thuney, OG, Patriots (27)

He s started 64 straight games and played well, but if the Patriots can get something significant for Thuney, it ll signal the beginning of a new era of tag-and-trade deals.

Patriots writer Jeff Howe: It might be a long shot, but it should be on the radar. Thuney s free-agent market exploded at the combine to the point where it s believed he ll earn upward up $15 million annually, which would set a record for guards. If the Patriots can find a suitor who would give up at least a third-round pick for Thuney, they should tag him and trade him. Of course, Thuney would also need to sign his tender, so he d need to approve the landing spot, too. It d be a steep price for a guard, but if three or four teams are offering similar contracts and want to sway the odds in their favor, a trade would net one of the league s best at the position.

17. Jack Conklin, OT, Titans (26)

He had a bounce-back year in 2019 and came in at No. 25 on The Athletic s list of the top 100 pending free agents. Could the Titans be another team looking to capitalize on a tag-and-trade?

Titans writer John Glennon: The Titans almost certainly will not be able to sign all of their key pending unrestricted free agents Conklin, Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Logan Ryan. But assuming for the moment they find ways to hang on to Tannehill and Henry, the Titans could choose to place the franchise tag on Conklin and then trade him. There are plenty of teams in need of a quality right tackle, and Conklin is likely the best of a thin free-agent field at the position.

18. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals (28)

He carried 94 times for 345 yards, an average of 3.7 yards per carry, in 13 games last season. Johnson is due $10.2 million guaranteed next season and his contract will make him tough to deal unless the Cardinals agree to eat a chunk of that salary or throw in a draft pick.

Cardinals writer Scott Bordow: If Arizona re-signs free agent running back Kenyan Drake, it will attempt to trade Johnson, who has not lived up to the three-year, $39 million contract extension from September 2018. For the Cardinals to deal Johnson, however, they ll have to restructure his $10.2 million in guaranteed money this year. Arizona could turn $7 million of that into a signing bonus and then try to trade Johnson to Tampa Bay, where former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians wouldn t mind reuniting with him at an affordable price.

19. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers (24)

He s piled up 5,443 yards from scrimmage and 39 touchdowns in his first three seasons. McCaffrey is coming off of a season in which he had 403 touches and a combined 2,392 rushing and receiving yards. He is eligible for a contract extension, but the Panthers could choose to keep him through 2021 on the fifth-year option. Or they could sell high and trade McCaffrey for picks.

Panthers writer Jourdan Rodrigue: The Panthers made it clear with an agreed-upon trade of Turner that nobody is safe. That also could mean McCaffrey, who will be expecting a massive contract. The Panthers could want to unload McCaffrey for a ton of capital before they get to a possible holdout or have to pay him. There are mixed views inside the building about whether the Panthers are truly in a burn-it-all-down rebuild (they might want to get that figured out), and if they are, a trade of McCaffrey is more possible.

20. Nick Foles, QB, Jaguars (31)

Jacksonville signed him to a big contract last offseason, but Foles started just four games, and now the Jaguars seem poised to move forward with Gardner Minshew. Foles $15.1 million base salary next year is fully guaranteed.

21. Will Fuller, WR, Texans (26)

When he plays, he s productive. The problem is that Fuller has missed 22 games in his first four seasons.

Texans writer Aaron Reiss: Fuller s injury history has made his future in Houston uncertain. He s set to play on his fifth-year option in 2020, and if the Texans, who are in need of draft capital, can get a trade offer from a team that provides much more than the comp pick they d potentially get in 2022, they should consider it. But Fuller is incredibly valuable to Houston s offense when healthy, and it s hard to imagine another team being comfortable enough with Fuller s durability issues to pay the price such a trade would require.

22. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints (25)

Kamara has piled up 4,476 yards from scrimmage in his first three seasons with the Saints. He s entering the final year of his rookie deal.

Saints writer Katherine Terrell: An intriguing, if unlikely, possibility. Kamara has shown superstar ability and is an important piece of the Saints offense, but he had an up-and-down season last year, even though he still caught 81 passes. If the Saints realized an extension wasn t imminent and wanted to go with Latavius Murray instead, could they try to move Kamara? Again, unlikely but still interesting to think about.

23. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons (28)

He averaged 3.6 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns on 184 rushing attempts last season. Freeman has three years remaining on a deal that will pay him an average of $7 million annually, but none of that is guaranteed.

Falcons writer Jason Butt: The Falcons and Lions discussed a trade for Freeman near the deadline, with Atlanta deciding against the idea before talks got too serious. If the Falcons were willing to listen before, they could do so again if another team decides it needs a running back.

24. Evan Engram, TE, Giants (26)

He s missed 14 games in his first three seasons. Engram had 44 catches for 467 yards in eight games last season.

Giants writer Dan Duggan: If there s one thing GM Dave Gettleman has shown in his two years running the Giants, it s that he s not afraid to make big trades. He s made moves involving Beckham, Peppers, Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Alec Ogletree and Leonard Williams. That s a lot of big names coming and going in 24 months. But all of that wheeling and dealing hasn t left much behind to trade. Engram would be the most likely candidate, but the 2017 first-round pick s value is diminished after undergoing Lisfranc surgery in December. But as we ve learned, nothing can be ruled out with Gettleman calling the shots.

25. Desmond Trufant, CB, Falcons (30)

Trufant missed seven games last season but still had four interceptions in nine starts. Trufant is under contract for the next three seasons at base salaries of $10.75 million, $11.75 million and $12.75 million. None of that, however, is guaranteed.

Falcons writer Jason Butt: The Falcons were willing to listen to overtures for Trufant last year but didn t find anyone willing to propose a trade. This offseason, perhaps cornerback-needy teams may choose to inquire, despite the big contract on the books. While Atlanta dealt with myriad issues on defense over the first half of 2019, Trufant, when healthy, played well.

26. Riley Reiff, OT, Vikings (31)

He s started 112 games in eight seasons and has never missed more than three games in a single year. Reiff is under contract through 2021.

Vikings writer Arif Hasan: It might be obvious to point to Diggs, but he doesn t free up very much money in a trade. Reiff does. He s played well, but not up to his contract, and he could be great bait for a team that won t be able to grab one of the excellent tackles in the draft. The Vikings could use that ammo to reload elsewhere on the offensive line.

27. Josh Rosen, QB, Dolphins (23)

He started three games last year and appeared in six, completing 53.2 percent of his passes, averaging 5.2 yards per attempt and throwing one touchdown pass to five interceptions. Rosen has been in two bad situations, but he hasn t shown much at either stop.

Dolphins writer Chris Perkins: The Dolphins don t seem enamored with developing Rosen, who serves as the backup to starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, and they d both probably be willing to part ways. Considering Miami gave up second- and fifth-round picks to acquire Rosen a year ago, they d love to get something of value in return perhaps a fourth-round pick. But that seems unlikely; everyone saw Rosen last season. Ideally, Miami trades Rosen and drafts a quarterback in the first round. However, there s a chance the Dolphins open training camp with Fitzpatrick, Rosen and a first-round draftee at quarterback.

28. Trent Murphy, Edge, Bills (29)

He s produced nine sacks and 18 QB hits in 29 games with the Bills over the past two seasons. Murphy is due $8.1 million in the final year of his deal.

Bills writer Joe Buscaglia: The Bills took a swing on Murphy in free agency two years ago hoping he would regain form as a productive pass rusher before his ACL tear, but they have only managed to get a solid run defender. The Bills are looking to reshape their group of defensive ends this offseason, and if successful, they could look to move Murphy in the last year of his contract.

29. Sidney Jones, CB, Eagles (24)

30. Rasul Douglas, CB, Eagles (25)

Both have had opportunities to seize starting jobs but have been unable to capitalize.

Eagles writer Bo Wulf: Taken in the second and third round, respectively, in 2017, Jones and Douglas have been perpetually on the outside looking in during their time in Philadelphia. Jones was considered a first-round talent entering the draft before he tore an Achilles in the pre-draft process and has never looked the part as a pro. Douglas has been the superior player he has good ball skills and will tackle but is speed deficient. For whatever reason, he has never been a preferred option by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Douglas is an outside corner only while Jones offers theoretical slot versatility. It would not take much to pry either player away. Maybe a player-for-player deal would make sense for an underachieving wide receiver with speed or an average linebacker.

31. Josh Jackson, CB, Packers (24)

The Packers selected Jackson 45th in 2018. He started 10 games as a rookie but was a non-factor last season. Perhaps a team that had a high draft grade on Jackson would be willing to take a flier especially considering he s on a rookie contract for the next two seasons.

Packers writer Matt Schneidman: The Packers 2018 second-round pick played less than 10 percent of their defensive snaps in 2019, plummeting down the cornerback depth chart. General manager Brian Gutekunst could probably still get a late-round pick for him, and that deal could benefit both sides.

32. Royce Freeman, RB, Broncos (24)

Denver selected Freeman with the 71st pick in 2018. In two seasons, he s averaged 3.9 yards per carry on 262 attempts and just 5.8 yards per reception on 57 catches.

Broncos writer Nicki Jhabvala: With the scheme and coordinator changes, and the rise of Phillip Lindsay, Freeman s contributions have been limited. The Broncos could use a pass-catching back to complement Lindsay, especially in Pat Shurmur s offense in five of the seven full seasons he s been an offensive play caller in the NFL, Shurmur s teams have had a running back with at least 50 catches which means Freeman could be expendable.

33. Quincy Wilson, CB, Colts (24)

Wilson started 10 games in his first two seasons after the Colts took him with the 46th pick in 2017. But he didn t start at all last season and appeared in just nine games. Perhaps Indianapolis could flip Wilson for another player who s on a rookie deal and in a similar spot with another team.

Colts writer Zak Keefer: Outside of a brief run in the middle of the 2018 season, Wilson has failed to consistently perform in Indianapolis and has spent a good chunk of his time with the Colts watching from the sidelines. He was a healthy scratch for several games last season, beaten out by younger players. Publicly, the coaches haven t written Wilson off yet, but with a solid core already in place Pierre Desir, Kenny Moore and Rock Ya-Sin Wilson could be a trade piece who nets a late-round pick.

34. Tedric Thompson, S, Seahawks (25)

The 2017 fourth-round pick has started 16 games in three seasons.

Seahawks writer Michael-Shawn Dugar: The midseason trade last year for Quandre Diggs made Thompson expendable, which is why he went from not being on the injury report at all to injured reserve with a mysterious shoulder issue the minute Diggs showed up from Detroit. Before that, Thompson was Seattle s replacement for Earl Thomas, starting 10 games in 2018 and six in 2019. Thompson s still a bit raw, and the ball-hawking ability Seattle lauded when it drafted him hasn t translated into anything more than a few interceptions. But at just 25 with a $2.1 million base salary in 2020, he could be an option for a safety-needy squad willing to part with a late-round pick.

35. Trysten Hill, DT, Cowboys (22)

The Cowboys selected Hill with the 58th pick last year. He appeared in seven games and played 11 percent of their defensive snaps.

Cowboys writer Jon Machota: With 25 unrestricted free agents, there aren t many great trade candidates on the Cowboys. Hill would be one possibility because the members of the coaching staff who pushed for him last year are no longer in the building. He made almost no impact during his rookie year, playing in only seven games, totaling five tackles (one for loss), two QB hits and no sacks. If Mike McCarthy and new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula are looking to go in another direction, maybe the Cowboys find a team that liked Hill in last year s draft that would be willing to trade a late-round pick for the former UCF standout. It seems unlikely, but it s one of the very few realistic scenarios.

36. Linval Joseph, DT, Vikings (31)

Joseph has been a very good defensive tackle, starting 134 games during his 10-year career. He s under contract for three more seasons, but it s at a pretty big number: an average base salary of $11.2 million.

Vikings writer Arif Hasan: The Vikings develop defensive tackles pretty well and have a replacement for Joseph in Armon Watts. They might need to cut Joseph, but they could do even better by trading him. He s played well, but the Vikings are up against it in terms of the cap and need to look to the future.

37. Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers (30)

38. Mark Barron, LB, Steelers (30)

McDonald had a career year in 2018, finishing with 50 catches for 610 yards. But last season he produced just 38 receptions for 273 yards. McDonald carries base salaries of $5.5 million in each of the next two seasons, which will likely make him hard to trade.

Barron, meanwhile, started nine games last season and was on the field for 69 percent of the Steelers defensive snaps. He s due $4.5 million next season.

Steelers writer Mark Kaboly: McDonald and Barron could be traded in salary dump-related moves depending on if the new CBA is ratified. If it isn t, the Steelers have no choice but to clear space by getting rid of both veterans, most likely via release.

39. Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers (29)

He played just 38 percent of Tampa Bay s offensive snaps last season and finished with 36 catches for 311 yards and four touchdowns. Brate is under contract for four more seasons at an average base salary of $6.7 million. It seems unlikely that a team would give anything up for him, given that contract.

Buccaneers writer Greg Auman: Brate wasn t featured prominently last year, and while he did have four touchdowns, his overall usage was low enough that it s hard to justify the $6 million he s due to make in 2020. It s not guaranteed, so he could be cut outright if the Bucs get to the point where they need to free up cap space, but it s possible a team with a need at tight end and cap room to spare could offer a low-round pick and get a proven red zone target who has 27 touchdowns over the last five seasons.

40. Reshad Jones, S, Dolphins (32)

He signed a big deal in 2017 but started just four games last season. Jones is due a base salary of $11.5 million next season, which will make him nearly impossible to deal unless the Dolphins can find another team trying to get rid of a player in a similar situation.

Dolphins writer Chris Perkins: Miami would love to trade Jones, but it ll have a tough time finding a trade partner because of his age and salary. Jones doesn t fit any profile on Miami s defense from price to age to his 10 seasons of experience. And overall, he s not a good match for their rebuild. Jones and coach Brian Flores are in an awkward situation. Each would probably privately acknowledge they d both benefit from parting ways, but there doesn t seem to be an end in sight.

41. Patrick Robinson, CB, Saints (33)

He signed with the Saints in 2018 after one season with the Eagles but appeared in just 14 games over two years.

Saints writer Katherine Terrell: Robinson could be a potential trade candidate if another team wanted him. But it seems unlikely that anyone is going to shell out significant capital for a 33-year-old backup. Robinson is due to make $6 million in salary and bonuses in 2020, making him a possible cap casualty if they can t move him.

42. Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers (29)

Given that he s totaled just 581 receiving yards in 20 games over the past two seasons, Goodwin falls in the long-shot category.

49ers writer Matt Barrows: He has a bit of a sports car element to him: When everything is running smoothly, he s fast and dangerous, especially when paired with a big-armed quarterback. But he s also frequently in the shop and doesn t perform well when there s an issue, which is often. Goodwin s $4.9 million cap hit it goes to $6.5 million next year makes a trade difficult.



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