The most logical trade chip for every NFL team

Posted 10 hours ago | By Sam Robinson

The bulk of the NFL will begin padded practices this week, and more teams will determine their respective strengths and weaknesses ahead of the regular season. With franchises’ roster depth and standing within the league in mind, here is every team’s most logical trade chip.

Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick

Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Probably already beyond bust status, Reddick has hovered on the trade block for a while now. The Cardinals declined the 2017 first-rounder’s fifth-year option, benched him in multiple seasons and acquired two new starter-caliber linebackers — including 2020 top-10 pick Isaiah Simmons. Patrick Peterson profiles as Arizona’s best trade chip, but Reddick is the team’s most logical going into the season. The return will not be enticing, though it may be a late-Day 3 pick-or-nothing scenario at this point.

Atlanta Falcons: Alex Mack

Atlanta Falcons: Alex Mack
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This qualifies as more of an in-season swap. And it is only logical if the Falcons are again a non-contending operation. One of the cornerstones of Atlanta’s Super Bowl LI lineup, Mack has made six Pro Bowls — three as a Falcon. But he will turn 35 this season, is in the final year of his contract and saw the Falcons draft his potential successor — Boston College’s Matt Hennessy — in Round 3. This is a historically bad year for rookie O-linemen to develop, but if the Falcons are again sub-.500 at the trade deadline, they could look to move Mack in the same way they shopped Vic Beasley last year.

Baltimore Ravens: Gus Edwards

Baltimore Ravens: Gus Edwards
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens employ several big-ticket players and have a looming glut of extension candidates ahead of 2021’s expected record salary cap decline. Were they a rebuilding or mid-pack team, they would carry a host of high-profile trade chips. But Baltimore is a Super Bowl frontrunner. Its crowded backfield is a place to look for a trade piece. The Ravens’ record-setting rushing attack featured three 700-yard rushers last year, and Edwards has cleared 700 yards (and 5.0 yards per carry) twice. With J.K. Dobbins and 2019 draftee Justice Hill also behind Mark Ingram, Edwards could be attractive as a starter or sidekick elsewhere. 

Buffalo Bills: Trent Murphy

Buffalo Bills: Trent Murphy
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills lost their top two sackers from 2019 but are sneaky-deep on the defensive line. They added three defensive ends in Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson and second-rounder A.J. EpenesaTrent Murphy‘s $9.78 million cap number may be superfluous, especially after two unremarkable years in Buffalo. He could be a fit for a contender in need at this premium position. The former Washington cog is a plus run-stopper on the edge and has a nine-sack season (in 2016) on his resume. 

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Grading major deals: Texans flunk with Hopkins trade; Colts, Dolphins shine

Texans send Hopkins to Arizona | Texans grade: F | Cardinals grade: A 

HOUSTON: Just … why? The entire NFL world wants to know.

Coach/de facto GM Bill O’Brien’s deal of elite receiver De’Andre Hopkins to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a 2020 second-rounder and a fourth-rounder in 2021 is mind-boggling. (Houston also sent a fourth-rounder in this year’s draft to Arizona.)

Hopkins had such a great chemistry with franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. Over three years together, Watson completed 70.9% of his passes in Hopkins’ direction for 8.7 yards per attempt and 25 touchdowns, earning a 110.3 passer rating on those throws. 

Trading an elite wide receiver for a running back and mild draft compensation is puzzling enough in a vacuum, but it is even more unforgivable when the running back in question simply is not very good. Since his All-Pro season in 2016, Johnson has averaged just 3.6 yards per rush attempt, amassing nearly as many fumbles (6) as rushing touchdowns (9). Sure, Johnson makes a great impact as a receiver. His career averages of 35.8 receiving yards per game and 7.2 yards per target are outstanding for a running back (eighth and fourth, respectively, among 59 qualifiers since 2015). 

But does Johnson help Watson nearly as much as Hopkins? Absolutely not. O’Brien has some explaining to do. 

ARIZONA: With transition-tagged RB Kenyan Drake presumably set to return, the Cardinals had no need for Johnson and his immense $14.2 million cap hit. In 2019, Drake was excellent over eight games in Arizona after being acquired from Miami, averaging 80.4 rushing yards (5.2 per attempt) and collecting eight touchdowns on the ground. 

Kudos to the Cardinals for taking advantage of a team that is now building a reputation of giving away star talent for much too little. Hopkins, a seven-year vet, is going to work wonders for Kyler Murray in his second professional season. Since 2014, Hopkins has the second-most receiving yards (7,800) and receiving touchdowns (52) of any wide receiver in the league. Hopkins will actually have a slightly lower cap hit in 2020 ($14 million) than Johnson. That is a major coup for Kliff Kingsbury’s squad.

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By Michael Nania | Last updated 3/16/20

Ranking the 15 most significant MLB trades in July

A lot went down prior to Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline. More deals could be coming in August, but for now, let’s rank July’s trades by how much impact the moves will have on each team’s roster:

Braves GM Tells Fans to Be Patient Before Criticizing Trades

Written by Liam McGuire at Bloguin

The Atlanta Braves are in the trying start of a long rebuild.

Braves fans were given another reality check this week when the club traded star shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels. If that wasn’t a tough pill to swallow on its own, reports suggested the team was willing to move first baseman Freddie Freeman as well. The Braves are truly exploring every opportunity.

Braves general manager John Coppolella understands fans being frustrated with the tear down of a team that won 96 games two years ago, but admits rebuilding is a long proccess, while not mincing his words about his frustration.

“I know it’s hard for our fans, but I’m not running for office. We are doing what I believe is what’s best in for the long-term interest of the Braves. I’ll trust our scouts and analytics.

“I’m getting so tired of this,’’ Coppolella told USA TODAY Sports. “If guys want to take shots, or (degrade) us, fine. But let’s let it play out for a few years before we start branding our pitchforks and torches.

“I feel in my heart this is the best for the Braves.”

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