The Bengals have maintained links to Jensen for a couple of seasons. But the difference between now and then is that they’re now an attractive team. After a Super Bowl appearance, it’s time for Cincinnati to consolidate. The presence of Joe Burrow makes them a popular franchise to join. However, time is ticking so they need to exploit this for all its worth.
Jensen is a veteran center and a capable NFL player. He would likely push Trey Hopkins off the team. Ultimately, the offensive line cost the Bengals last season. If they can improve this and maintain their devastating offense, they’ll be an exciting prospect. Jensen isn’t the sexiest player in the NFL but every team needs athletes like him (via USA Today Sports).
Winston was an NFL starter for five seasons before joining the Saints. Finally, after the retirement of Drew Brees, he received his opportunity in New Orleans. However, he wasn’t outstanding for the franchise. Winston started seven games for the team and it’s safe to say that he isn’t their long-term option. The question then is where he will go next (via CBS Sports).
The Steelers came up frequently on this list but they’re here again. Winston makes sense as a stop-gap solution for Pittsburgh. Sure, he might not excite their fanbase but it’s going to be difficult for everybody to get the player they want. Another change of scene may be good for Winston, especially if he revives his career. Stranger things have happened in the NFL.
Mayfield has had a tumultuous career in the NFL. The quarterback was excellent in the beginning before a downward spiral. Then the Browns made the postseason in 2020. Everybody thought that this was a new dawn. However, they regressed the following season. Meanwhile, Odell Beckham Jr. made Mayfield look terrible by leaving Cleveland to win the Super Bowl with the Rams.
Mayfield will likely be the Browns’ starter in 2022. However, they are keeping a close eye on proceedings elsewhere. They may bring in somebody like Russell Wilson. Failing that, a Teddy Bridgewater or Mitchell Trubisky will materialize. Mayfield could join the quarterback carousel (via Bleacher Report).
The Packers are in a terrible salary cap position. Right now, they have a superb team on paper. They probably should have made the Super Bowl in 2021 but choked. Now that team may fall apart. Their top pass rusher, Smith, could be a casualty of the team’s cap situation. If they cut him, the Packers will gain over $15 million in cap relief. They’ll lose a great player but they’re in a tight position.
Furthermore, Kansas City has a clear interest in him. Frank Clark isn’t up to the job because the Chiefs finished 29th in sacks last season. Meanwhile, there are doubts about Melvin Ingram’s future. It’s a deal that could make sense for both parties. Of course, the biggest loser would be the AFC because nobody needs a stronger Kansas City (via Pro Football Network).
Things didn’t go the way Ridley and the Falcons wanted in 2021. He played five games before a mental health issue ended his season. However, he’s still a blue-chip talent and a player that the Falcons are desperate to retain. But if they can’t, they’ll be desperate to milk his value for all its worth. A first-round pick is certainly within the bounds of possibility.
Teams like Miami and Detroit may have a strong interest in the wide receiver. Meanwhile, the Patriots may be in the driving seat. There are rumors of a trade involving a second-round pick and Chase Winovich. Ridley’s recent issues may deter some teams but he’s got the skills. It could shake up a team if he finds the right fit. That may be outside of Georgia (via Alabama.com).
It appears increasingly likely that Cousins won’t be in Minnesota this season. The quarterback only has a season left on his current contract and is open to offers. Cousins has his flaws but his trade stock will never be higher. There may even be a surprising move in store for him. Everybody knows that the Broncos want Aaron Rodgers. But Cousins appears to be their second-choice option (via The Spun).
Mile High fans will roll their eyes because this is a bit anticlimactic. Of course, this depends on what’s involved. The Vikings would like to lose some of his $45 million cap hit. However, the Broncos are cap-healthy and Cousins isn’t a top-tier QB. Wilson and Rodgers are available but Cousins is the best of the rest. It’s a strong possibility but by no means a guarantee.
There is a possibility that Wentz remains in place for another season. For all the talk of a quarterback carousel this offseason, it’s not going to be easy to get one. However, the Colts are desperate to offload Wentz and lift the franchise out of purgatory. Unfortunately, they will have to bite the bullet and accept a big portion of compensation (via ESPN).
Then there is the conversation of who wants him? Wentz is possibly the least-inspiring quarterback in the league right now. He’s not the man to shake up a roster. Dan Snyder doesn’t care about antagonizing his fans. The Commanders may be a surprisingly good fit for Wentz. They may pull the trigger if the deal makes sense. It can’t be worse than their situation last year.
McCaffrey became the highest-paid running back in history in 2019. However, life hasn’t been kind to the Panthers’ star since. Injuries curtailed his efforts over the past couple of seasons. That’s why Carolina is reportedly open to doing business. McCaffrey received $30 million for just 10 games since they gave him that massive contract (via USA Today).
Buffalo makes sense as a potential trade destination for the electric running back. McCaffrey is still just 25 and had an insane 2019. He became the third player to have 1,000 rushing yards and receiving yards in the same season. He is a risk because of his injury record but if the Bills could keep him on the field, it would be amazing. This is one that the Bills Mafia will be watching.
In 2020, Dallas signed Cooper to a five-year, $100 million contract. However, they wisely inserted an escape clause that they may activate in 2022. It appears as though they will release him because they are desperate for cap space. Ezekiel Elliot’s deal is harming other members of the roster and Cooper will be a casualty of this (via Sportsnaut).
The next question is where will Cooper land? There are several intriguing options because several teams need a good wide receiver. The Jaguars are an obvious candidate because they want to give Trevor Lawrence a new weapon. Meanwhile, the Bears and the Dolphins will have a similar idea for their young QBs. Cooper will shake up whichever team he goes to.
It seems crazy that the Lions would trade their captain and one of their best players. But Flowers isn’t as robust as he once was. Furthermore, his contract is outrageous and a drain on their cap space. At the very least, Detroit must restructure his deal. He has only played 14 games over the past couple of seasons. There was also a statistical decline over that period (via Detroit News).
Flowers won’t lose sleep over the Lions’ decision. The linebacker will find a good landing spot because there is always room for someone of his caliber. A team like the Saints or the Chiefs will benefit from his signing. Meanwhile, Detroit will gain $17 million in cap space. That’s a massive chunk of cash so a parting of the ways appears inevitable.
If any team can sign Watson it will shake up the entire league. Yes, he missed an entire season, but he’s still a blue-chip quarterback. On his day, he’s a top-five talent. But the problem is that his legal issues are rolling on and on. That’s why the Texans are struggling to find somebody to take him. It’s no surprise because a conviction will make him worthless to any franchise.
However, that doesn’t stop teams like Philadelphia from retaining interest. The Dolphins and the Panthers have abstained because of Watson’s legal situation. The Eagles may do a deal before Watson settles his civil suits. Another option is that the Texans simply cut him from their roster. They would lose his massive trade value but it may be worth it (via SBNation).
Ryan is a Falcons legend. The Atlanta quarterback won the NFL MVP award in 2016 and came close to a Super Bowl victory. However, he’s 37 and the Falcons are no longer in contention. The franchise needs a rebuild, and Ryan’s time as a starter is drawing to a close. They may retain him for another season or two because he provides a stable presence.
But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t trade him if it made sense. Cleveland is a team that would benefit from somebody like Ryan. Everybody knows Baker Mayfield isn’t going to win them championships. If they could bring in Ryan they’d instantly shake up the team. He would bring maturity, quality, and a winning mentality to the Browns (via Sporting News).
On paper, Barkley is the Giants’ best player. Unfortunately, he’s as fragile as their hopes of winning a Super Bowl. The running back has had a terrible injury record over the past couple of years. This doesn’t mean that they want to lose him. After all, he’s still the face of the franchise. They would prefer to lose James Bradberry instead. In the end, money talks.
The Colts are one team that retains an interest in Barkley. A fourth-round pick with another couple thrown in could be enough to lure the Giants into a deal. Whoever can keep Barkley fit will gain an amazing player. After all, the Giants are a joke of a franchise with a bang-average quarterback. Nobody can prosper in that kind of situation (via New York Post).
It’s bizarre to imagine Wilson playing in another team’s colors. In reality, this is a distinct possibility in 2022. His trade would shake up the entire NFL because Wilson is a potential MVP contender. Seattle already declined Washington’s offer for the want-away quarterback. They’re not the only franchise who would love to sign one of the best of his generation (via Sportscasting).
Allegedly, the Commanders offered the Seahawks multiple first-round picks for Wilson. Other potential suitors include the Eagles and the Broncos. However, Pete Carroll is adamant that Seattle will keep their biggest star. This isn’t impossible. It did seem like the franchise would say goodbye to either their head coach or their quarterback in 2022. They may keep both.
All eyes are on Rodgers before the trade deadline. The Packers are desperate to retain his services. Meanwhile, everybody knows that Denver plans to test their resolve. But Rodgers may even retire and leave the game behind. He has several prime years left but perhaps his competitive spirit no longer remains. However, the Broncos want him and Davante Adams.
Denver is ready to offer a massive haul of draft picks for the star quarterback. These include a pair of first-rounders. It’s up to Green Bay if they’re willing to do business. It would shake up the NFL because the Broncos would become instant contenders. Many people question Rodgers’ playoff record but a fresh start could bring him to the next level. Only time will tell (via Sports Illustrated).